Thursday, March 15, 2007
It has been a little like Christmas this week - the end of a long wait, after a prolonged period of growing anticipation as the circled day on the calendar drew closer. There was no stack of wrapped packages, and none required. All we wanted was Nate's return from Iraq.
I am made aware this week of all that I take for granted. I knew from our phone calls that he was putting in long hours. I did not know that he and his buddies were on duty every day of their 7 month deployment, working 10, 12, 18 hours - that they spent every single day in their "work clothes" with no furlough, no R&R, sleeping with the rifle next to the bed every night. And then the convoys, traveling through places with names like "IED Alley," as shown in this photo.
And so I am thankful that Nate is home, but today tens of thousands of other young men and women will spend another 18-hour day in their work clothes, eating sand, getting shot at, and missing home. I'm thankful for them. So much of all that I take for granted is the result of the sacrifices made by these people, and the generations that came before. I'll try to keep this in mind the next time I think I have something to complain about.