Well I had a post ready to go about Peyton's Batty 7th Birthday party from this weekend, it will just have to wait a day, because I would be sorely remiss, if I didn't remember my veteran, today, on this Veteran's Day!
I started blogging in 2011, long after our adventures in the military had drawn to a close, so I've not written much about our Army life. I must say that those four and a half years were some of the hardest and sweetest times of our ten years of marriage. I will have to tell some of our military journey, as well as share some of the amazing things that God did during those years, but today I'm gonna focus on my veteran.
As I looked back through some of the pictures, my eyes filled with tears, just remembering how hard military life was at times, particularly the year-long deployment that Adam had in Iraq. Having only been married a year and a half, we were still newly weds, still figuring things out, so for him to be leaving, for such a long time, felt so so hard.
Our deployment journey began on an early, very cold, Georgia morning. To be real specific, it was 2:00am on January 19, 2005....that day will NEVER be forgotten. Here's my hero just moments before he left to board the bus that would take him to the airfield. I remember that I was pretty choked up but at that point, trying real hard to be strong, and feeling like my heart was gonna break.
His destination was the Diyala Province in Baquba, Iraq after a brief two weeks in Kuwait. Here, he's just flying in, in the back of a plane...not exactly our idea of flying, huh?
While in Baquba, life was ok, we had intermittent internet service so we could IM each other and have "computer dates". Baquba was really not that big of a deal, stuff happened, but for the most part it was pretty simple there. Below, he is with one of the armored vehicles in the motor pool.
Things changed when Adam's unit, 2-69 AR Battalion, was moved to Ramadi. That my friends was a game changer! Task Force 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment of the 3rd Brigade Combat Team was given the difficult mission of conducting full spectrum operations to neutralize the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi, in the Al Anbar province. According to Lt. Col. Roggeman, commander of 2-69 AR, the Panthers (that was the battalions mascot) were being asked to apply "overwhelming combat power" by using tanks, Bradley fighting vehicles and infantrymen. I will NEVER forget June 13-17th, that was the absolute worst week of the entire deployment. There was a huge explosion in the DFAC (dining facility) followed by almost a full week of "black out" (where no communication went in or out--we were simply left to wonder what all was going on!) The FRG leaders (Family Readiness Group), of which I was a leader, had a top secret, security clearance, video teleconference to discuss the move to Ramadi which was the "hot bed" for insurgents at the time. Everyone was on edge and concerned about the move.
Here's an arial shot of FOB Scunion (that's where Adam was posted) being fired upon.
Adam with some of his Medics, who were training the Iraqi soldiers.
Though life was stressful and very uncertain, I must say that my Veteran, Lt. Adam Head, always had (and still has) a positive outlook on life...whether he had to burn the poop (this is what their restroom looked like...pretty make-shift wouldn't you say?)...
...To wearing Dr. Basim, the Iraqi Doctors, headdress...he made light of things that could be lighthearted, humor to him, is the very best medicine!
And when he wasn't calling in medi-vacs and dealing with the injured people, he did take a little time to work on his "gun show". Here he is with the Battalion Doc, Dr. JJ Byers (who was and still is, one of our good friends), and the Physician Assistant, CPT Hartley.
Seeing him on the front of this armored ambulance, and re-reading all the different statistics that occurred during that time, just once again, makes me realize how God protected him and brought him back safe and sound. There were 12 men who lost their life from our unit; 93 IED's were discovered; 112 indirect fire attacks happened averaging 1.3 per day. There were 272 Direct Fire engagements by Anti-Iraqi Forces, 39 enemy weapon caches found; 214 enemy killed in action (confirmed) and over 1600 120mm mortar rounds were fired in support of combat operations in Ramadi.
The day that he came home was A-MA-ZING! To see the whole procession of soldiers marching into that building, to see flags waving and families reuniting, was by far, one of the most patriotic things I've ever experienced. Trying to find your soldier in a sea of soldiers was quite overwhelming, so when I FINALLY laid eyes on my man, I was one happy girl! God had brought us through a trying time but thankfully we were closer then we'd been when he left and that can only be attributed to God's grace in our lives and to Him working in and through us to draw us closer as a couple even though we'd been thousands of miles apart for 365 days. That January day, in 2006 when he came home was such a gift, such a blessing!
Can you tell I was excited!??
And just in case any of you ever wonder what the Iraqi people really thought about the US Army and Marines being there...
So, to my Veteran, and to all the Veteran's who have ever served, you are my hero(s)! You are the one(s) who fight for justice, you are the one(s) who gave the gift of freedom to me each and every day that I luckily get to enjoy! I thank God for men and women who fight for me each day; I'm forever grateful for your sacrifice!! Today, on this Veteran's Day, take time to thank someone you know who's served in any of the military branches; their job, their sacrifice, allows you your freedoms! Happy Veteran's Day!
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