Some through a common bond of having a loved one serving in the military, in a combat unit, in Iraq, and others who just want to wish us well.
The out pouring of well wishes, offers of prayers, and positive comments are appreciated more than any of you will ever know.
I usually answer comments by commenting on them in the comments section.
This time I decided to return the favor in a post.
First there is Suzy.
Suzy started reading my blog because I use to bash George Bush, and she shared my disdain for his politics. Actually, she hates him.
I don't do that anymore.
This one's for you Suzy.
Suzy helps me by correcting my grammar and punctuation from time to time.
Seems she doesn't want the readers to think that I'm an idiot.
Yeah. Well good luck with that.
I call her M&M, because I like M&Ms, and her, and her family.
You've got to check out her blog. It's a great perspective on living in Texas, and bringing up three children, and a retired sink boater.
Thank you Sarah for reading my blog, and your well wishes. You will never know how much it means to read your wonderful comments.
Then there's Mark.
Mark doesn't have a blog, but has a son in Iraq also.
We have communicated about our sons on numerous occasions and share many of the same concerns. Hopefully he will share some pictures of Mark from Iraq one of these days.
His son will be home in October, or early November.
I pray daily that he makes it out of there safely, and never goes back.
This message came from a new reader, who follows Suzy's blog.
"Hey Infantry Dad, My husband and I are also infantry parents. Our feelings mirror yours. Everything you said about waiting to hear from them, have they moved, has he been on his MySpace account is so true.
Also, the part about friends not asking how he is or if we have heard anything. I often wished people would ask. Now that he is preparing for his second deployment, I don't want people to ask anymore. I don't want to talk about it. I am in denial mode I think. If I don't think about it, it isn't happening, AGAIN. He will be deployed 15 months this time, a very very long time IMO. My son's name is Cpl. Calvin Anderson". I hope you don't mind my quoting you Lori? I think it's important that people know that they can ask, and that it is appreciated. And that there are many of us in this together.
I'm sorry that Calvin is being re-deployed, and certainly hope that all goes well. He will be in my thoughts and prayers.
It is important that we all talk to our elected officials and let them know that they need to insure that the home time between deployments is extended to a minimum of a year.
Martha Jane, thank you for your thoughts. I've read your posts to Suzy's blogs and always find them witty and interesting. I have tried a couple of the drinks.
I almost forgot;
His latest comment,
"Seems like our news media concentrates more on reporting how many dead in Minnesota's bridge collapse, or how many possibly dead in Utah mine disaster, but they hardly report on Iraq casualties... I wonder what makes some deaths more important than others?
Hope your boy stays safe".
Thank you Chief. I am confident that Matt will return home safely as you did from Vietnam.
(Thank you for your service to our country.)
As far as one death being more important than another, I think it's more a matter of what the hot new topic du jour is.
That and the government putting pressure on the press to down-play the violence in Iraq, so the administration can report that the surge is working.
The truth is that our troops are still grossly under staffed, and over worked.
Matt's unit is going out on thirty six to forty eight hour missions, coming in for six to eight hour rests, and going back out again.
It's no wonder so many mistakes are being made. Sleep deprivation is a terrible thing.
I hope that I live long enough to see the end of our involvement in this terrible situation.
Thank you to all who stop by and take the time to pass along well wishes.
The last message I received from Matt was that he was in Qatar for five days R & R, but that he wasn't enjoying much. He was having anxiety attacks about the guy's in his unit still in country, and couldn't sleep because it was too quite.
I think it will be a long time be for that changes.
On a more joyful note Karen and I took the weekend and traveled to upstate Vermont then across into the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Here's a young fella we caught a look at around dusk last evening.
And one of yours truly headed to the office to take care of a little business.
For those of you who are familiar with New Hampshire, you know that our symbol is an image of the Old Man Of The Mountain.
The ledge to the upper left of the picture is where the Old Man use to reside. Looking from the to the south.
The picture of the Old man is looking to the north, from the other side.
That was the more desirable view.
A couple of years ago the old guy gave up and slid down the side of the mountain.
A couple of hikers camping in the area heard the rumble, but weren't aware of what had happened until they went to view him the next morning and he was gone.
For those who have never been to New Hampshire, I recommend a visit. It is a beautiful state, with lots to see and do.
So much for the bureau of tourism.