Saturday, February 7, 2009

Godspeed, Mike

This morning was a bittersweet time for our family. Marty's twin brother Mike has received orders for deployment to Iraq for a year. Mike has served the US Military in the Army for almost 21 years. This will be his first assignment to any place anywhere near a combat zone. While his family does have some concern, we have all placed him firmly in God's hands for safekeeping. Mike is not a man who takes unnecessary risks, is devoted to God, his country and his family. He is ready for this mission and is the proudest man I've ever met to be serving his country in this way. To me, Mike epitomizes all that a soldier should be and is. Mike, I am so very proud of you...whether you are serving our country in Iraq, or here in the USA!

I love the look on Mike's face here as he looks so proudly at his son Tony before leaving.

Mike's goodbye to Heather.

Mike and his kids Cheyenne and Tony
goodbye kids

Father and son
father and son

Mother and son (my mother-in-law Billie and Mike)
goodbye mom

No one had a dry eye as Mike embraced his wife before departing for his plane.
goodbye deb

Just before getting on the plane Mike had a quiet goodbye with his immediate family. I am sure they had prayer together which made this moment so very special.
family prayer

After Mike got on his plane we all watched from the window until we could see it no more. Here Heather watches. I am sure she was remembering some of what she recently wrote about Mike for an English class writing assignment last week:
(written by Heather)

War in Iraq
Sergeant first class Michael C. J. is being sent over to the“dead zone.” On February 7th 2009, his friends, family, and coworkers will all keep him in their prayers for the next year. To you that’s just a name,an unknown person, some random guy who signed up for a job at the age of 18, willing to do anything for his country. As a high school student or teacher, you could probably care less about this man with amazing patriotism and huge heart for people he doesn’t even know nor ever will. For his family, this is a year of distance, of heartache, and of turmoil. For his son, this is a huge deal. His son is a senior this year and doesn’t even know if his dad will be able to come home for his graduation. For me, this is my story. I’ve not really known this man, my uncle, for he is always away on some military post too far away to really get to know. Yes I’ve enjoyed the German chocolate. And yes I love the bear he got me. Yes the very same bear he spent hours hugging in the store to make sure it was the softest one on the shelf. The doll he got me is beautiful. But this is not what is important. For me, the important part is getting to spend more time with him the past three and a half years than I have in a lifetime. For me, the importance is family bonding. It’s about creating memories, or laughing so hard at Jeff Dunham that you cry. It’s about getting to know the man inside. It’s about learning how to really hugsomeone, and be told that I give the best hugs.

Marty and his Mom watching through the window together

Mike's family supporting one another as they watched and waited.
Mike family

When I snapped this photo of Marty watching his brother's plane out the window, Billie asked me..."don't you wish you could read people's thoughts sometimes?"

Godspeed, Mike. Your family is praying for your safekeeping and we are ALL SO VERY PROUD OF YOU!!!


C and C Mommy said...

Very sweet post!! Mike is one of God's children and he will be well taken care of!!

Grace said...

That was so touching.The photos show so much that to some are just another picture but with the words you have written to decribe them make them so much more.Some may so "oh it's only 1 year or 12 months" but to others it feels like a lifetime.Let's keep Mike in our prayers along with the other men and women serving our country!

Wa Ya - Mistic Wolfs Creations said...

God be with him always and keep him safe. His men and him are always in my prayers and you know that as well as anyone.

E said...

Oh man, even with no words in your post, the pictures said it all.

But you made me cry!!!

Lana said...

Yeah I agree with Erica! I was crying just looking at the pictures. I am so thankful for men like Mike who serve their country proudly! You will be in our prayers! GODSPEED

Sherri Kaye said...

Very touching post. I have the utmost respect for the American Soldier and their families and always get emotional when I see images of their departures. I would like to take the time to thank your brother-in-law and his family for the sacrifices they make for our freedom. Prayers for his safe return are going up now.

Me!! said...

God's Speed Mike


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