Today, to see dear friends before they moved, we returned to our roots. Fort Stewart, GA. It all started here for us, this little family.
It was here, on this backwoods post that Sara and I started life together. When I got back from the first deployment, we met on a tiny dirt parking lot away from the noise of a returning Division and re-affirmed our commitment to make this thing work. 17 years later, we’re still going strong.
Our oldest was born here. We thought we had more time but she surprised us all by coming a few weeks before my second deployment. She somehow knew that she and I needed some time together before once again doing the duffle bag drag to the Surge.
We got serious about debt here. We paid off our last loan during that second deployment and have not been in debt since.
I was able to pastor my first CONUS congregation here. The Multicultural Gospel Service at Victory Chapel. I learned how valuable and important garrison chapels are to the community. So many memories.
Most of all, I learned about the commitment of Soldiers here, in the mighty Rock of the Marne, the 3rd Infantry Division. We took the kids to the parade field where I marched out to the sounds of the band when I returned home. There is a path that now surrounds the parade field. It is called the Warriors Walk. When last we were here, it had one sidewalk and the trees were saplings. Now, they are trees creating a tunnel to walk through and read the stones of those who left from that field and did not return. So many stones.
I remember many things from Fort Stewart GA. It is where I learned of love and the love of country.
Till we meet again…