Wednesday, January 5, 2011


My wife, Joanne, and I were talking a little while ago about how different our lives have been in the last six months since our son, Kris, deployed and what new things will "crop" up in the not too distant future.  I'm sure we are not alone given the fact that 3,500 other Iowa Guard families are undergoing much of the same situation.  And let's not forget to mention all the thousands of other deployed soldiers that are stationed around the world.  How many do you think that is?

Well, if you take the 3,500 figure and add two zeroes behind it, you'll come pretty close. Can you imagine....over 350,000 U.S. troops are deployed in some 150 countries?  Doesn't that just seem incomprehensible?  As of August of 2010,  Afghanistan led with 98,000 military personnel, Germany was second with 57,080, Japan third with 32,803, South Korea fourth with 28,500, followed by Italy with 9,855.  Saint Helena and Antigua brought up the rear with 3 and 2 military personnel, respectively.  That's alot of lives that have made commitments and sacrifices to you and I and most likely, will be facing some difficult decisions in how their lives will play out in the coming months and years.

Let's talk about soldiers coming home from deployment first.  Many will return to jobs they once held in the private sector...some will join the unemployment ranks hoping to find a fit that will utilize the skills they've acquired....a number will have a deeper appreciation in their faith, while others will look to some other methods of coping... some will return to relationships that have gone south or marriages that will undergo huge tests....there will be marriages and births and adoptions.....and on and on and on. 

For those continuing to serve, there will no doubt be some issue that will determine the road ahead.  Where is our next outbreak of war going to come from?  I'm as queasy as the next person when I think of our next   involvement.  Many experts feel Iran is the next big powder keg ......certainly Pakistan is right there......and North and South Korea certainly have to be watched.  Who knows how many more countries are right on the edge?

North and South Korea at Odds
 I do know this....changes are happening at a terrific pace these days. Technology has been the big driver behind the wheel.  Hasn't this last generation been a bonanza for inventors?  These are the days when one-stop shopping and marrying our social media together are catch phrases.  Keeping up with the Jones' with your new cellphone is more fashionable than the home or car of years past.  On the flip side, small countries are as dangerous as ever given their threat of nuclear power.  That's a change, huh?   And the scary part is some of the leaders and countries with that same "power" are completely unfazed in their appreciation of human life.  Yup, these are all changes but it does beckon the question of whether Armageddon can be far off?

I'm not a political activist....far from it, but I am what you'd call a political realist.  The facts are....every new election calls for change.  Given that rally cry, I wonder what is truly meant, change for the better or change for the worse.  I see billions being spent on foolish, stupid programs.  Is it too difficult to imagine people with Harvard and Yale degrees to figure out a meaningful direction for our spending?  Now that would be a change.

 I'm trying hard to connect deeper to the world that we live in.  I'm sure I'm not alone in that thought.  Yet, I come back to the basics and my little world and some of the changes that are in store for our family. Here is what lies ahead for us...our oldest son coming back from overseas deployment, another son graduating AIT, our youngest son about to enter his senior year of high school.....a new job for my wife that has challenged her, yet rewarded her .....and me....continuing to blog about our experiences to an uncertain future.

Uncertainty is alright though.  It's during these times that you can reflect and transform your life.  You can appreciate what life is all about and the purpose of it.  It's here that you and I will both be able to see that....

God moves.  He is a moving God.  He is never still.  He is always effecting change in every sphere of Creation.  I think knowing that helps, how about you?



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