I mailed the letter and the package to Dirk today. I was almost in tears when I left the post office. It was so weird. I have known Dirk was clear on the other side of the world but somehow sending him that box of goodies that we all put together and mailing it just brought it all home!! (By the way Dirk - that package was put together with love from our whole family. Most of us contributed junk food (who's gonna fight with that?? But I was impressed that Mauri got online to see what soldiers needed over in Iraq and Afghanistan - so the interesting items are from Mauri!! Way to go Mauri!)
My son is in harms way. They have taken him and put him on a plane and sent him halfway around the world to a country we know so very little about. Not only has he left behind a beautiful wife and two darling boys, but they have totally disrupted his daily activities and the comforts around him. He is probably sleeping in a sleeping bag on a cot in a cement bunker. He is told when he can eat and he can't enjoy Da's good home cooking. Hopefully they have plenty of Dew over there - I don't think the army can exist without Mtn Dew! He has been thrust into a country with little water, lots of dirt and dust, lots of poverty and lots of angst. And he is told to adapt!! It's gotta be tough on all our soldiers!
I totally believe in what he is doing...I just wish he had a soft bed and a nice air conditioned office and room to enjoy it in with all the tv, internet and normal every day activities. That's a mom's wish - and I guess a mom's real wish is that there was no war - any where - that man could learn to live and work together towards peace each and every day. But like that is NOT gonna happen.
Dirk - I know that you are able to get online enough to read the blogs - I pray that you will read this one. I love you so much and want so much for the year to go quickly and that in that time you can accomplish what you have gone over there to do. - protect our country from those who would harm it and help the people of Afghanistan to know that we are normal people that live and laugh and love and try our best to help our fellow man. There are good and bad people wherever you go, but for the most part we are a God fearing nation - we have a long way to go to be perfect but we try.
In USA Weekend - a little circular that comes in our Sunday paper had the neatest story about a dad serving overseas. I have copied and pasted it below (in italics) -
The red balloon comes home
Chief Petty Officer Dain Anderson, Navy
My husband, Dain, said goodbye to our four kids in 2005, heading to Iraq. Our son Daimon, then 2, felt lethargic. He had an E. coli infection and was critically ill. Our son Dawson, just 11 months old, also came down with the same disease. Thank God they survived! Dain was distraught at being away and dealing with possibly losing his two boys.
After they both got better, Daimon received a red balloon at a birthday party. As he left with his Grandma Bev, the balloon flew into the sky. He was upset, but she said, "Do you think the balloon is going to Iraq to give Daddy joy?" That made Daimon feel better. We told Dain about this. Two weeks later, he e-mailed us a beautiful picture of him holding a red balloon, telling us how happy he was to receive what his son sent. When Dain returned home just before Christmas 2006, he came off the plane carrying a red balloon. I've never seen such joy in a child as I saw in Daimon that day. Kristi Anderson
Maybe sometime during the next year Benji can get a red balloon - and let it go up up into the air so his daddy can get it. Who knows.
I love you son - your whole family is so proud of you and we are all praying for you - I pray that your Grandpa Cec and Grandma Nielson are up there watching out for you. I am sure that Merrilee is too! Lots of guardian angels! Take care of yourself -