June 6, 2009

~Heartsick~ [and...I'm back to blogging again!]

Hi, everyone. Kat in GA here again. I know, I know, it's been eons since I've blogged here - or blogged anywhere, even my own blog, for that matter, LOL. Life - knee surgery, unemployment, job searching, temp work (43 miles from home, might I add), computer crashes, and once again starting college have kept me busy to the extreme, and my blog has been gathering layers of dust, sprinkled with cobwebs and a downright scary empy echo. But, events from this week have compelled me to brush off the dust, do some spring cleaning, and hit the keyboard once again. Yep, I'm back - expect me to be around much more frequently! (I heard that groan of dismay, lol... sorry, you'll adjust, I promise you will! ;) )

On the serious side now, and the reason for my blogging return....

You may or may not know, that our Georgia National Guard guys, the 48th Brigade, have deployed to Afghanistan. They deployed in waves, starting in early spring, and I believe they are all over there now. Anyone who's read my blog or my postings on this blog longer than 2 minutes knows that all soldiers & veterans are very important to me, and our local heroes in particular have a special place in my heart.

Earlier this week, we lost three of our Heroes, in one single incident.

DoD Identifies Army Casualties

The Department of Defense announced today the death of three soldiers who were supporting Operation Enduring Freedom. They died June 4 near Kapisa, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered from an improvised explosive device and small arms fire. They were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 108th Reconnaissance, Surveillance and Target Acquisition Squadron, 48th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, Georgia Army National Guard, Calhoun, Ga.

Killed were:

Maj. Kevin M. Jenrette, 37, of Lula, Ga.,

Staff Sgt. John C. Beale, 39, of Riverdale, Ga., and

Spc. Jeffrey W. Jordan, 21, of Rome, Ga.

My heart sank when I read the DOD announcement. The sorrow hasn't abated since I first read it... indeed, it's gotten more profound. I don't know these Heroes or their families, but they are "ours" nonetheless. If the Patriot Guard Riders are invited to participate in their services, I will move heaven and earth to be there, no matter what (as long as it's on a weekend...still only temping at my job and do not have vacation days yet, so I can't miss work, unfortunately). But I'll be there for anything I can be there for.

Our family has friends in the 48th deployed to Afghanistan right now...soldiers we adopted during the 48th's first tour to the Sandbox, who, on their return, got to know our family and we theirs.. friends who grew up with Sgt. Mike Stokely, who was KIA on 16 August, 2005 and is now buried only two miles from our home. I anticipate not sleeping too much, and doing even more-than-usual praying, over the next several months, and I've already got care package stuff and letters ready to go, once I have their addresses (they just got there). Our family's adopted soldiers (whether we actully *know* them "in person" or not) really do become part of our family, and we care for them as if they were our own kin 'for real.' Thanks be to God, in nine years of adopting soldiers (yes, well before the war started), we've never, ever lost one yet. *knocking on wood* But the risk is always there -- that's the reality of war.

So, I grieve for the heroes above who were lost, and pray for the ones left to carry on, and for all our heroes deployed all over the world, wherever they may be.

For those who were lost, and for the veterans who have served, know this: We will NEVER forget. Ever.

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