Send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org (no attached files, please, which can contain viruses); fax to 770-532-0457; or mail to The Times, P.O. Box 838, Gainesville, GA 30503. Include full name, hometown and phone number for confirmation. They should be limited to one topic on issues of public interest and may be edited for content and length (limit of 500 words). Letters originating from other sources or those involving personal, business or legal disputes, poetry, expressions of faith or memorial tributes may be rejected. You may be limited to one letter per month, two on a single topic. Submitted items may be published in print, electronic or other forms. Letters, columns and cartoons express the opinions of the authors and not of The Times editorial board.
To find a form to send a letter, click here
A little while ago, we got the news that my husband’s Army Reserve unit would once again be called to active duty. They flurried into activity to prepare for deployment.
Thanksgiving was spent in a hotel room in the small town of Gatesville, Texas, just outside the North gate at Fort Hood. I was grateful to be there.
Last week, I flew out to spend a final few days with him before he would leave me to serve his tour in Afghanistan for a year.
Christmas is not the same without your family with you. I did not even put up a tree this year. With money being tight and my heart so heavy, I just could not find the Christmas spirit. My sons are older, so they understand and were content with hanging their stockings on the mantle.
As I sit here Christmas morning and I think back to years past, how we would all get up early and exchange gifts. I would sit on the arm of his chair and watch the boys open their gifts. There would be smiles and laughter. And he always, always managed to surprise me with a gift.
As the tears flow down my face, I realize that I feel guilty to be sitting here in our home while he is miles away in some foreign country facing who knows what.
I am writing this to remind everyone what those soldiers are sacrificing. Christmases without their families, and for some, their child’s first Christmas. Just the memories that are lost are priceless.
Do not forget them. Do not forget what they are over there doing for you. If you know a military family, offer to send care packages when the need arises. If not, there is always the USO, or the Wounded Warrior charity.
Look within your offices, your churches, your circle of friends or family and I am sure you will find a military family who is struggling here at home because their primary support is overseas.
The community stepped up and was amazing in their send off to the men and women of the 802nd Ordnance Company. All I ask is do not forget them while they are gone. Only 362 more days to go.