20 August 2007

Home at Last

From the time we went into Customs lock down until I stepped off the plane to see my family waiting...it took 45 hours to finally be home. Good flights and the good company of my AF brethren, who deployed on this mission with me, helped pass the time and the miles.

JM, Gio, Foggy, Orto, and Dozer I wish you all the best of luck and continued success in your careers and endeavors! "Tail Winds and Clear Sky" my friends.

My family, neighbors and church have treated me to a hero's welcome and I am grateful. Time to focus on our move. The packers arrive in two days and then it's time for our next adventure.

Once again, thank you all for your prayers, words of encouragement, and for following my adventures.

Remain vigilant and may God continue to bless America!

06 August 2007

Last Thoughts

This will be my final posting from Iraq. As such, I will leave you with a few parting thoughts:
The personal sacrifices of your men and women of the United States Armed Forces are great and many. Long missions without sleep, no showers, an undefined adversary, sniper fire, roadside bombs, and the single unified prayer of returning to base alive and in one piece as they often find themselves fighting for their lives on the streets of Iraq. Their lives have been put on hold for 12 months and now involuntarily extended to 15 months for a mission in a hell hole defined by the gruesome reality of a fight for stability and security akin to the biblical battle of David and Goliath. Time will tell whether we are David or Goliath. Maintain positive thoughts for these kids and keep them in your prayers.
For the men and women who have paid the ultimate sacrifice, their death is not in vain but rather in the provision of hope for the citizens of Iraq to lead a better life – one lived freely and without fear of oppression and arbitrary torture or execution by government death squads.
There are sights, sounds, and smells that define our experiences here in Iraq. There are ones we wish to remember, many we wish to forget, and some we will never escape as long as we live. Such is the reality of war. While on this mission, we gave our all...inevitably leaving a bit of ourselves behind while a part of our hearts dies within for the comrades who will never return.
Until we leave Iraq, may the Lord bless our troops. May those called home to the Lord be honored and their families comforted. To them, we will always owe our debt of freedom.
To my family, church family, and friends who have followed my mission - my sincere gratitude and thanks for your prayers and good words. They have gone far in upholding my spirit and determination.
Apart from returning home in the near future, I am now: MISSION COMPLETE.

Remain vigilant and may God continue to bless America.