Below is the text of an email I recently sent to my church Pastor. It pretty much speaks for itself.
For just about a year, Beth, the boys and I have been regular attenders at the Duneland Community Church in Chesteron, Indiana (www.dunelandchurch.org). The church services are very contemporary and we've really enjoyed being part of the church family there.
Last fall, Beth joined a bible study called SisterChicks. Made up mostly of women our age, many with kids of similar ages to our own, the SisterChicks have become a great support group for Beth. This is just one more example of that.
"Pastor Neil, please feel free to share this email with the Church.
As many of you know, Beth and my 2 boys were recently able to come down to Texas and spend 4 days with me before I head overseas. They were accompanied by my Father and Beth's brother.
We were able to spend 4 wonderful days together while staying with my Dad's sister and her husband in Dallas. We went to the Dallas Zoo, did some shopping (mostly getting stuff for the boys as usual) and had a wonderful night out for my birthday.
On the evening of our 4th and final day together, we all piled into my Aunt's SUV and headed back to Fort Hood for another set of Good-Byes. After showing Evan some "Army trucks" and "real Army men", I was dropped off at my barracks where we hugged, laughed and cried.
After saying our good byes, my Dad drove everyone the 2 1/2 hours back to Dallas so they could get ready to fly back today (Saturday). After a nice easy flight home, my family arrived back at out house to find a few things moved in the yard.
When Beth opened the door and turned the lights on, she found that the Sisterchicks has descended upon our home. According to Beth, the Sisterchicks did 10 loads of laundry, cleaned everything in the house and even stocked the freezer with 10 days worth of dinners from Pompalanos.
Never in my life have I felt like I do now. I am so thankful for DCC and especially to the Sisterchicks for all the support they have given to Beth and the boys in my absence. They have helped with everything from checking on our cats while we were gone (which is how the Sisterchicks got into the house this week) to helping out when Beth had to take the boys to the Dr/hospital, to just being there when Beth needed someone to talk with.
In a very short period of time, I'll be leaving Fort Hood for Kuwait. From a base in Kuwait, the roughly 600 soldiers in my unit will be escorting convoys of food, fuel, parts, and equipment north into Iraq. It's great to know that while I'm deployed forward looking out for my troops and keeping them safe, that DCC and the Sisterchicks are looking out for my family back home. You don't know how much that means to me and what kind of weight it helps to lift from my shoulders.
I'll try to email as often as I can. I would have contacted you before now, but the pace of the training here any my hours spent working have limited my opportunities to email many people. As I get overseas and we begin our regular routine, I should be able to email more. Hopefully I 'll also be updating my weblog more often too. You can follow the story of myself and my soldiers here at www.couragewithoutfear.typepad.com
Thank you for everything, Micah"
For any of the Duneland Church reading this; Thank You.