Yesterday we woke up at 4:30 and went to the airport to see Jake off. He's had to take a private contracting job in Afghanistan and will be gone for at least 333 days. I have to admit it was harder than sending him off with the military to Iraq and Afghanistan. He's only been home for 10 months since his last deployment. At least when he went with the Guard he was surrounded by friends and comrades. Yesterday he walked away alone.
Grace was such a trooper. She had soft tears running down her cheeks and kept her head buried in her blanket. I know this year will be hardest for her and Heather. I can't imagine having a baby 3 days ago and then watching your husband leave for a year.
However, she and the girls belong to the Pogue family. We can fight among ourselves with the best of them, but when it comes to protecting our family, we're the best. There's nothing we won't do to help. If Heather needs me to come over every day I don't work, I'm committed to doing that. I want Jake to know that he only needs to take care of himself while he's gone - his family will be our top priority.
Home from Afghanistan...
Leaving for Iraq...
I wanted to put a picture here of the whole "new" Whittaker family but didn't have access to any of the new pictures.
We love you son. Take care of yourself and know that we will be thinking about you every. single. day. I know that in the long run, this job will serve you well and you will reap great benefits from it. Be safe.