I just wanted to take a moment and wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. I wont try and be poltically correct and wish you a happy anything else, becasue quite honestly I'm completely ignorant to all the other holidays taking place around this time of year. So I'll throw a Merry Christmas out there and you can throw it back if you choose.
This is Christmas is especially meaningful to me. I cannot believe that it has been an entire year since my last one. The deployment to Iraq that immediately followed and consumed the majority of my year feels like it didn't even take place. The fact that the only thing we wished for, that we could all gather as a family once again for Christmas this year, has taken place, is amazing and a blessing. Mixed with that relief is the knowledge that there is zero chance I will be in Iowa with my family for next year's Christmas. I have no idea when I am deploying again, or to where, but I know that it will overlap Christmas.
I hope that this Christmas finds all of you in good health and in the comfort of loved ones and friends. I pray that the meaning of Christmas does not get lost on you and that God can continue to bless you well into the new year. I thank all of you for the support that you have shown me and my family, and I pray that I can someday repay you in a way befitting your generousity.
In closing, I would ask that you keep in your prayers this day the mothers and families of Blake Howey, Nathan Windsor, and all the other fallen brothers of 2/7. This is their first Christmas without their sons and they must know that they're sacrifice as families is felt and appreciated around the country.