I'll let you in on a few things I think might be causing this "flat" response because somewhere among them is no doubt the answer. First off, it wouldn't have taken much for someone to see that our soldier wanted to be home and then again, he didn't. I'll bet he dreamed of getting back to seeing his friends, his car, his new motorcycle and the aspect of "home". But the other part of home, the one that meant involved conversations, connecting on a deep, personal level or one that dug deeper into his attachment of the surroundings of his family....hmmmmmmmm PN.
I asked Kris what was the thing that he thought of most when he was on the 5-day airplane trip headed to Des Moines. "Home", he said. That shocked me, really, because that is not what I saw. We asked two things of him while he was with us. A lunch with his grandparents and a videotaping at our church....that's it. The remaining time was all his. He could do anything he wanted. What my wife and I saw, or thought we saw, was a soldier who didn't want to get to close to anything while he was home for fear.......
|In a light moment before leave ends...|
So, I have mixed feelings, for sure about "leave". On one hand, it's great to be able to touch and hug a person again that means so much to you. On the other, you know you have to release them to go back to a war zone for another half-year. One family that I've met through this deployment process has a soldier coming home in June for leave. Let's see, 15-day leave, then back to Afghanistan for three weeks and then back home. Now that will be tough!!. I've been told that with the number of troops deployed, the only way everyone could get leave was to space it out. Thus, some got real early leaves and others way late. With 3,5000 troops, I'm sure scheduling leaves is a nightmare in itself.
More than anything....everyone's experiences will be unique when their soldier comes home for leave. Don't be too high or too low in your expectations. Perhaps the best thing you can do, is just be there for them. You can always process the moments later, just like we are. There are roughly 181 days left....that will sure allow some time for you and I and our soldiers to process over and over. God bless us all with that.
Last Friday I found out Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta will be leaving the military and embarking on a life in the private or voluntary sector. I wish him the best in his search and path that is laid before him. In discussions with his mother, Rosemary, it would appear the Staff Sgt. has a desire in continuing to "make a difference". God Bless you Staff Sgt. Giunta and your wife as well.
"My Father's Voice" turned three months old this past week. During this period I've posted over 40 entries into the blog. The feedback has been tremendous and the "viewings" from around the world have been inspirational to say the least. Fifteen different countries have hit on the blog. They are: the United States, Japan, Canada, Russia, Slovenia, United Kingdom, Croatia, Germany, Singapore, Afghanistan, Denmark, India, Iraq, Malaysia and Indonesia. I can't thank each and everyone of you enough. Keep coming back and if you have story ideas, let me know.
Lastly, should you want to comment about any post that I've blogged, please feel free to jump aboard. I will respond to each and every comment, either through the comment box or, if it is of a personal nature, I will connect through email or some other social media. Thanks again!!!