During my medical in processing I spent a little extra at the Optometrist. It turns out that I need glasses. I sort of felt that this was coming. I found my eyesight a little blurry - especially after a long day when I am tired. My glasses arrived the other night when I was out on the field problem (Mission Readiness Exercise). The difference was immediate and shocking. Off and on again - wow. So now I am learning to live with glasses. I don't need them all of the time and they only work for distances but here I am...
There are some other big changes that I am accutely aware of since 2005.
First, since 2005, I lost both of my parents. I lost my dad in June of 2006 to a three year long battle with cancer (In fact when I first saw the picture above I saw my dad in my face). Then, ten months later, I lost my mom as the result of complications from surgery. Dad always around his house to answer the phone and gave a familiar voice to listen to whenever I needed it. Mom, well, mom took my deployement a lot harder and worried excessively about my safety. If she knew that I was going back she'd be frantic but proud of me. I miss them both and will miss reaching back to them from Iraq, just to talk.
In the last three years I married Lisa. Although we were engaged at the time I left the last time we were not under the same roof. Under an October sunset in 2005, at the end of a pier in Key West we made our vows to one another. Now, Lisa is my wife. She is my best friend and a rock I can rely on. I have never known a better person and I am so lucky to be married to her.
Finally - I am a dad again! My son, TJ, was born in June 2007, and is the light of my life. He is an absolutely gorgeous toddler who lights up with a smile whenever I walk into the room. Being away from him and all of the "firsts" he is going to go through is probably the hardest part of this deployment.
There will be more changes in the year to come. Iraq will be different. It will be more or less secure and there will be more or less progress. I will be different. I will be a company commander with new challenges to my leadership. Homelife will be different. Lisa will be the head of the house and the sole parent present for raising TJ.
Through it all I will continue to post and keep you up to date.