Friday, October 20, 2006

Long Road Home

Mike has been away for eight and a half months. He came home for a couple of weeks at the end of May/early June. We still have eight and a half months, at least, until he is back home with us.

Last Friday, the 13th, marked another tragedy for our troops. Mike's platoon lost a soldier to an IED. I can not begin to describe to you the emotions this has stirred. What I felt when I posted a few weeks ago about losing a soldier doesn't even come close to how I felt when we lost 'one of ours'.

When all the talk of Mike going to Iraq came about, I wrote about how I felt, and how we came to the decision for Mike to go to Iraq. He really felt a pull to go with this group of soldiers. As much as I hate the idea of him being there, I feel pride for him doing what he feels he needs to do. I have never met any of the soldiers in Mike's platoon. But I know that each one of them mean something to him.

I wish there was way for me to know these soldiers. Because they mean so much to my husband. Because they are family now. Because you can't go through what they are experiencing without some form of attachment. I wish I knew these soldiers becaue they are brave and young and scared and heroes.

I know that we have a long road left ahead of us. Mike will be home in early December for a couple of weeks. Then he goes back to Iraq. From there, we don't yet know where he will go. That past eight and a half months has passed fairly quick. Sometimes I think back on something that has happened and remember that Mike wasn't home for it. I think the next eight and a half months will be harder. Partly because they haven't passes yet, but partly because I am more accutely aware of what I stand to lose. The only thing that will relieve the fears is having Mike home in my arms.

I know this experience will change him. I'm sure it has already changed me. I know that I've grown as a person since he has been gone. I've made some realizations about myself. Our relationship has also grown. I've seen alot more of Mike, or made some realizations, that will definately come into play once we are together again. And I believe these are all positive things.

I can't wait for him to be here. To be a part of our day to day lives again. The kids have done well with the deloyment so far. Much better than I imagined. I feel it's time to have Mike back home though. Because even though we get through our days, we definately feel his absense. And it's hard to share things with such a distance between us. Until this is over, I'll keep looking ahead, counting the months and waiting for him return home.

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