I have two great kids; Samantha and TJ. Being away from them on Father's Day is just another reminder that the sacrifices Soldiers pay is not merely paid out by Soldiers alone. There is a cost levied on the children, spouses, and loved ones too.
My Father's Day started almost like any other Sunday; first I opened my presents that Lisa and the kids sent. Cards, a picture frame with a photo of TJ and I hamming it up, and a "Life is Good" t-shirt. Then is was off to an early breakfast, off to the office, read through emails which included a really sweet email from my daughter, when the power suddenly went out. The power went out because someone dug up the powerline putting in the swimming pool; which is a story for another time. Since all of my war fighting is done with a computer I was out of action.
With no power I went back to the compound - where there was electricity - and conducted "tanning operations". In other words I sat in the sun and worked on a tan until its intensity drove me inside. I got my hair cut, grabbed some lunch and confirmed that the power would be out until dinner. Great.
We wound up watching the Lord of Rings, The Fellowship of the Ring, for the three plus hours it takes to watch it. And still there was time left in the day. It's moments like those, when you are not busy that you miss home the most. On Father's Day only makes it worse. I headed to the gym to burn up some daylight and get some miles in on the treadmill.
I miss my kids. At times I am so tired of Iraq. Tired of the mission. Tired of dust and the heat and the routine. Tired of being lonely for my family. I look at my countdown clock and wish it faster.
In closing I offer another unaltered picture of "red air" taken the other day outside of my door. I wrote on Facebook that "I went to bed on Earth and woke up on Mars." Indeed.