I finally got an email from Matt.
He's doing well. Seems a good friend of his over there decided to re-up for another year, and got a five day vacation to Qatar on which he could take a buddy. Matt's getting to go. I hope it doesn't entice him to re-up. But if that's the route he chooses, we will support him.
Here's Matt and a friend in the square where the statue of Saddam was toppled. (I think)?
That's him on the right. Pointing.
I think he's pretending to be able to read Arabic?
Or maybe he can...
This one says it all.
Guess he got my sense of humor!!
It was great to hear from him.
I was thinking, as I sometimes do, yesterday morning on my way to get a coffee, how people don't often ask how he is!
Oh, I don't mean you guys here on line.
I mean friends of ours, and co-workers, or the people who work with me. They seem to be uncomfortable. Sort of like when you come across an old friend who has lost a loved one, and you don't quite know how to approach them.
What to say?
The ones who do ask, are almost apologetic for bringing it up!
I can say, from my experience, that I don't mind at all! I like talking about Matt, and how he's doing. But I guess I can understand why someone would be hesitant about bringing it up.
Someone asked me, a while back, how I felt about his being over there? At the time I answered that I really didn't know how I felt. I tried not to think about it as much as possible, unless I was talking with somebody about it. Dwelling on it in my "me time" was something that I tried to avoid. It was just to depressing!!
As time has gone by I've come to feel that it is probably similar to having a child who has been seriously injured in an accident. You have the prognosis that he should come out of it and be ok, but there is that chance that he might not. Every day that goes bye with no bad news is one day closer to his being out of the woods. Every time he calls, or you get an email is a great day, and a giant step toward that day when he'll be home.
Then the news comes.
*"Truck bomb in northern Iraq kills 25".
"A truck bomb in the northern Iraqi town of Tal Afar killed 25 people and destroyed about 10 homes on Monday, police said". What a shame! But thank god he isn't in Tal Afar!! Or, is he? Yesterday he was in Baghdad. Did they move?
**"Four U.S. soldiers died on Monday in an explosion while on combat duty in Diyala province in Iraq, the U.S. military said".
He was South East of Baghdad Sunday. But there's no telling where the missions take him. So you wait. Look at his MySpace page to see if he signed in, and worry, until a couple of day's go by and no word,(no news is good news), or you get an email or phone call from him.
This is the cycle of daily life for a deployed soldiers family.
Any tough guy that tells you he doesn't worry a bit is lying to you!!
Or maybe he's just getting through it the only way he knows how!!
As for me?
I like talking about my feelings and Matt, with anyone who cares to ask!
I appreciate everyone who says they'll pray for him and us!!
I'm just a dad doing my best to cope, and reassure the rest of the family that everything is going to be ok!
Thanks to all of you who drop me a line, or leave your well wishes in comments here!
It makes my day.
God bless you all!!!!
*Associated Press writer Sinan Salaheddin in Baghdad contributed to this report. - Sapa-AP.