During the July we managed to corral one of the grandsons and held him for ransome. We knew dad would come and get him sometime before school started. We were right! Got him!!
He rolled into the homestead about 2120 hrs, (9:20PM for you civilians) Friday evening. A two hour parking lot (accident) on the West Virginia Turnpike (?) caused the delay of a normally 8 hour trip. But he's home. Sit down eat some pizza from his favorite pizza joint and just talk and listen. Oh, what a wonderful experience. Just Mom, Dad, and child, (man). Conversation ran the gamut (sp?) from re-enlistment, buying his first home, little sister who is with child, was Michael, the grandson good?, (grandchildren are always good for grandparents!). It was just fantastic!
Saturday morning I went to work for a couple of hours and then.....the tradition breakfast at Bob Evans. We went there on a regular basis and just talked about everything and nothing. Dad's know about this type of talk. The first thing that happened was so emotional I had a hard time telling it to his mother when we got home.
I gotta set this up. We go to BE and are dressed in shorts, t-shirts and tennis shoes. No military stuff at all. We are shown our table and before the waitress give us our menus a guy from our church walks over. He puts his arm around Jacob and declares to the tables near and some far, "Welcome home soldier, we are so proud of you and what you are doing for us." Let me tell you a very humble rough tough soldier was visibility moved. Thank you's came from various other tables around us then. Of course dad was bustin' the buttons off his t-shirt but my soldier just sat there quite and humble and replied thank you sir and nodded thanks to the other people. It was a very moving moment in his life and mine. I believe it meant more to him than anything that he has ever had happen in his life. He understood the path he had chosen was the right one not only for him but for his county and the people who live here. He knew what he and all of our young men and women were and have been doing was well worth it.
Saturday we had a little surprise cook out with just family and friends. He and his little sister were talking and she asked him about PTSD. Do you have it, she asked, yes, he answered a mild case. What are you doing about it? Dealing with he says. This struck me as I began to think while they talked about it. Every soldier must have some PTSD coming back home. How do they deal with it? It was good to see little sister and big brother talking it out. Just for the record little sister is 2 years older but about 8 inches shorter than her big brother.
Later in the evening we just talked about everything and nothing. He told me the day went "good pops, good". That coming from a person who does not like the spotlight. Now just more talk and listen until midnight and our soldier racks out on couch, a place we found him on many a morning. Then just mom....and dad...and child asleep. In Jacob's bedroom his son was sleeping. The cycle begins again, another child and perhaps someday another parents worry but, for now, for this one night, this one moment, parents just breath a sigh of relief, thank their God, their child is home safe.
I just wish all of you could have been here. For Airborne Dad and Infantry Dad and the rest of you with sons and daughters "in harms way" I know you know the feeling.
He's off again back to Fayville and ready to do what all of our brave sons and daughters do. Protect us and give us the best county in the world to live in. They are so very special. That's why they are "The One Percenters"!
Please note the addition of two more of America's One Percenters on my Prayer List
Greg Funk, Army
Nathan Petty, Army
Have a great week and God Bless America!