Thursday, January 13, 2011


The journal you are about to read is part of an ongoing dialogue.  The words are a conversation between "the family" of
the soldier experience.  It's Dads, Moms, Sons,  Daughters,  Relatives and Friends sharing their thoughts of a particular day and/or it could be the soldiers journal entry detailing his or hers.  I believe there are many, many people keeping a journal through the Afghan War.  If you want to share an entry of yours email it to  Your post will be strictly confidential,  no names will be used.  In addition, locations overseas will not be mentioned for security purposes except the country of origin.  Some editing may be done to further protect the journal participant.

This might be my favorite journal posting that I've ever written.....gosh, what am I saying?  Without question this is my favorite journal're coming home on leave!!!

When I finish writing these words, I'll hop in the truck and head for the airport to pick you up.  It's been a long five days since you told me paperwork had been completed for your "leave" and when you finally touched down in the states.  What a journey.  Afghanistan to Kuwait, to Dallas, then Chicago and then Des Moines.  It's been even harder to keep this a surprise for your Mom!  I can be sneaky at times....well, that's probably not the best word to use, how about I say creative as we put together a great "gotcha" moment?  It will be emotional to say the least to see your mother "melt" when she sees you for the first time, in a LONG time.  Heck, I'll probably do that when we connect at DM International.   

The uniform comes off for 2 weeks
During the last several days, mom has asked repeatedly if I've heard from you.  I told her you were out on a mission and would be back on Wednesday or Thursday.  My guess is, if she had to go much longer not hearing from you, she'd hop a plane herself to Afghanistan.  So, these are a couple of thoughts I have as I get ready to head out.

First off, I want this to be a relaxing time for you.  It's your two weeks and you need some rest and relaxation.  Secondly, I hope we have some great one-on-one time that allows you to talk about anything and everything you'd like.  And thirdly, help me to make you laugh and cut up. I want to hear that funny laugh of yours again!

I've heard about many soldiers leave time that have turned into "nightmares" for both the soldier and his/her family.  I'm sure there are preconceived thoughts as to what each wants to take place during those two weeks.  I'm not going into this with anything other than your wishes and desires to be met.

In addition to your Mom and brother's moment, I'm most interested to see our dog Mason's reaction to hearing your voice.  Our first Golden, Nala, was a smiler.  Mason is getting better at expressing himself.  I think he has a big grin stored up for you.  He has missed you alot.  His, go-Mace-goes are prime for the snow covered yard.  Oh.....yeah, sorry about that.  I tried to hold off on the snow coming.  I know you don't like it any better than I do.  I'm sure you'll have to be happy with just starting up that new motorcycle and listening to it purrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....and dream what it would be like to take it for a spin.  Knowing you though, my guess is that on any warm day we get, you'll peel around the block, right?

Okay....I think I'm ready to shut this post down.  It's been almost six months since we've seen you....and it seems like six years.  I hope you remember me.  I'll be the short little guy with a smile a mile wide and tears streaming down his cheeks.  Welcome home son!!!!




  1. John I would give anything to see the smiles and love when Kris comes down those stairs. You have shared every parent's thoughts and prayers in such a true style. It brings tears of joy to imagine the happiness of having your family together again. All are proud of your sons and family and pray every minute is what you've waited for. Wish we were there, but know we are thinking of you all. Love, Ron & Diane

  2. Best wishes for your two weeks at home.... the gentle hugs and kisses from family will help you renew....what a great post Jon... my excitment builds for whom ever this is.... my prayers be with you and your family....enjoy your time with loved ones.....and thanks for the job that you do.... It is so appreciated by many....

  3. Have a great time Kellings! I'll be interested in your wife's response. I'm not so sure I'd want to be surprised! All the best to you.

  4. Wow is all I can say. I'm having a hard time thinking about Hunter leaving for college...and I will be able to go see him when ever I want to! He may not want that but I have that luxury. But it sure makes you cherish each and every moment. Enjoy your time with your boy! Tell him the LaFollette's say "hi".