The following was written by my nephew's wife. He is a US Army Special Forces officer and we are so very proud of him. His lovely wife is a great addition to our family. When I received this email, I knew it had to be put on this website. Tonya, thank you for your contribution as a supportive and loving wife. We are so glad you are a part of our family and I am proud to call you my niece. Thank you for allowing me to publish your letter. Loving prayers, pk

Hi everyone -

Haven't spoken to some of you in a while, so just wanted to fill you in on what's happening at our house ...

Scott deployed to Afghanistan in January. We expect him home in September. I am in touch with him regularly, and he is doing fine. Hairier than when he left (he has a HUGE beard and much longer hair), but doing great!

Ethan will be 9 months old on June 3. He is almost 21 lbs, and absolutely adorable! He's eating baby food and learning to sit up on his own.

I am on summer break from the nurse practitioner program, but classes start up again at the end of August. I am not working right now, unless you count looking after an infant, a 120 lb dog, and a household as a sort of job. ;)

Max the Great Dane has calmed down a lot. No more chewing on furniture, walls, shoes, armchair railings, books, magazines, cans of Mace, TV remotes, etc., etc. He spends the majority of his days napping, sunning, and begging for cookies. Coco (or Cujo, as some of you may call her) has moved to another family. She is apparently being pampered there and is quite happy. If anyone ever finds themselves in our area, please call me!

I am sending this out on Memorial Day weekend, and I have to get on my soapbox for a minute. Please bear with me ...

Before marrying Scott, I thought of Memorial Day as just another day off. It was a weekend to party, go to the lake, have BBQs, and just have fun. I had a vague idea that it was to remember the military or something like that.

Well, things change. I now have a husband who is fighting in Afghanistan and many friends and neighbors who are currently deployed as well. The thought is always in my mind that some of these men might not come back. Please remember the service men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice as you all enjoy your holiday. I know it's not like me to get this emotional, but again, things change when you have the love of your life in a war zone.

The thought of never seeing Scott again makes me physically ill. But this is the life and career that we CHOSE. No one was forced to enlist or join the military. It is a CHOICE. And it is my CHOICE to stand by Scott. I know that some of you, my friends, do not agree with war and what our country is doing. That's fine. That's YOUR choice. I am just so glad that you were born in a country that will allow you to express your views and opinions so freely. Politics and religion are the two topics that can tear people apart.

Let's just agree to disagree. I must say, however, that if we all had the opinion of a certain Ms. Cindy Sheehan, maybe we shouldn't even bother with a military. I am thankful that there are people like Scott who choose to serve so that we can sleep safely in our beds at night, so that we can express our views freely, and so that Ethan can grow up in a safe and secure place. OK, I will get off my soapbox now .... No matter your opinion of war, respect and honor our soldiers, please. That's all I ask.

I love and miss all of you.


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