Sunday, May 22, 2011

AS IOWA TROOPS "COUNTDOWN", EYES TO SEE, EARS TO HEAR

I've got to ask you a question....and I hope you'll be honest with yourself.  I'd like to inquire of all the soldiers, the families, the relatives, the friends.....all of you, collectively, How ya doing?  How ya doing knowing that days are dwindling down in the deployment of your soldier with the Iowa National Guard Troops that deployed to Afghanistan in October.  How ya doing with any news item that hits the wires?  How ya doing after you hang up the phone talking to your loved one?  How ya doing after a Facebook correspondence runs dry and there is nothing more to say.  How ya doing with those restless nights of sleep not to mention any bad dreams you have along the way?  How ya doing during the waking hours, during work time, during activities that used to be of great enjoyment to you......are you finding your mind wandering all over the place?  How ya doing with people you know who don't ask anymore, "how's everything?"  And how ya doing in sharing your struggles along the way with people who have checked out on you.....you know the ones that were supportive at first, but give you the impression that you overreact far too much?  Now, I ask you again, "How ya doing?"  And don't tell me the stock answer..."fine".

I'll share with you where I am.  Maybe that will help.  I'm tired, I'm wore out and I'm exhausted.  I can't wait to get our son off the soils of Afghanistan and on his road home.  My wife feels the same way.  We just want him home.  I'm sure leaving Afghanistan  is a pretty common mind-set amongst the troops as well, at least what I've been able to view from general attitudes of soldiers I know.  They're exhausted too.

So how about joining forces?  You, me, our soldiers our friends, our family, etc.  When I said I was exhausted and you could be too, that doesn't mean were down for the count.  We're still breathing and operating in this universe.  Here's my suggestion to you.  You can take it or leave it....hopefully, you'll take it.

Even though I'm exhausted doesn't mean I can't pray.  I've prayed more in the last six months than I might have in my entire life.  And that's been a good thing.  In addition, I've found out how to pray better.  That's been awesome as well.  Last Sunday, we held a Prayer Vigil for the Iowa National Guard Troops deployed to Afghanistan and their families.  I saw another way to pray.  Rosemary Giunta, mother of our Medal of Honor recipient, Staff Sgt. Salvatore Giunta,  provided that eye-opening moment.  If you've come to my blog recently, you've seen this prayer.....but I'm going to re-run her video.  I'd like you to listen.....then listen again with your eyes closed.  Tell me if she doesn't involve nearly every aspect of your soldiers concerns.  It's all there for you and yours.  And then after you do, encourage your soldier to listen to it, and share it with his friends and "buddies".  I can pray, you can pray, we all can pray for our troops.  This past week we had four soldiers from the 133rd, my son's unit, injured in another IED blast.  Did the prayers from the Prayer Vigil make a difference?  Would the injuries those four soldiers endured have been more serious had we not been fervent in prayer?  I don't know....but I do know prayer is a mighty force.  Pray that you can see and hear the message in Mrs. Giunta's voice for you in these last days and for our soldiers.  We're that close to getting the troops home.  We're exhausted, no doubt.  But we're not done quite yet, we can all keep praying.


video
                 

The four soldiers involved in last week's IED incident are Sgt. Chisum Frisch, 23, of Cedar Falls, Iowa; Spc. Jacob Hutchison, 21, of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; Spc. Benjamin Ward, 26, of Rowley, Iowa; and Private 1st Class Tanner Williams, 18, of Tama, Iowa.  Three of the four are either on their way home or will be in the coming days.  One of the soldiers will be returning to Company C, 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry.  Pray for their recoveries.  Wouldn't it be awesome to one day meet them and say, "How ya doing?"  And most importantly know that your question was not just a passing thought.

YGG,

John 

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