Do you ever sit and think, that at this very moment, while you are sitting at your computer, reading my blog, drinking a bottled water, there are people shooting guns, tossing grenades, and launching bombs all to protect our country and our freedoms?!?!? Then, do you ever try to put a face to these heroes? I know most of us have the image of the young man with a fresh crew cut, who wasn't successful at his first try at college and decided he'd join the armed forces and give school another try later down the road. Well, let me share a new image with you. One that is very humbling, but very inspiring as well....meet Kelly Avery.
Kelly is the daughter of one of my neighbors. She is 24 years old and the mother to a precious one year old little boy! Wow, how does that change your image? Kelly and her husband are both in the U.S. Army. In October, Kelly began her 12 month tour of Iraq, which meant she had to leave her 6 month old son and her husband to face the ugly war on terrorism. With Kelly's husband also in the Army, he has weekends where he is on duty on base. So, on these weekends, the precious little one gets to stay with his Grandma! (Wow, you know that saying,"It takes a village..."?!? This is definitely a prime example!)
Two weeks ago, Donna, Kelly's mom, called me to tell me that Kelly would be going home for a two week leave and she asked if I could help coordinate a "welcome home" for Kelly. How wonderful is that?!?!? So, I got my mind going and started making phone calls and our wonderful neighborhood stepped up and welcomed Kelly home with open arms! I asked everyone to hang their American flags and to make signs to put in their yards. We also got yellow balloons and tied them to everyone's mailbox. (A big thank you to my peeps - Sandy, Susan and Michelle for helping me do this at 7:00 in the morning!)
What an honor to be able to coordinate this and to be able to help out a neighbor. Donna was so excited to see her daughter and to see her daughter hold her baby again! And oh, by the way, this incredible homecoming was caught on video and in the news! Check these out...
The Revue and News
So I'll end this with a BIG thank you to all of the men and women who are out there - right now - or have been or will be - who are fighting for this life of freedom that we have. I am humbled and appreciate the sacrifices they are making for me - who they don't know!