In 2004 my son Gabriel cut his waist length hair and joined the Army. I cried at the bus station as he rode away in the Greyhound bud. Memories of not so long ago when we said good-bye to a young friend as he departed for boot camp only to return a few weeks later in a casket escorted by my husband haunted me. But Gabe had inherited his father's sense of duty and was firm in his resolve.
I knew where his journey would take him, to the badlands of Iraq. And again I held my breath as icy fear gripped my heart. He would return for a second tour, losing several friends along the way. I cried in the dark hours of the night so as not to alarm the others, but my fears were never really calmed until today.
Today he is released from his commitment, having served bravely and honorably. And we impatiently await his return to his hometown and family. To all my friends who have been there with us through this trying time, those who shared my fears, and lightened my heart with their prayers and well wishes, I thank you from the bottom of my weary but grateful heart.
He's coming home. Amen!