Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Christmas With Our Troops

As some of you know, my nephew was deployed to Iraq on December 17th. His unit is currently in Kuwait for a few weeks before leaving for Baghdad and this is where they spent Christmas. He has been able to call home on a regular basis and send us photos via the internet. I am always amazed at how we have all connected and become friends through our blogs, I am even more amazed that we can keep in close contact will loved ones serving overseas.

My nephew sent these photos of the Christmas decorations in their dining hall and I thought I would share them with you today. To me, they are my favorites this year and indeed a Christmas Miracle. I can remember Viet Nam and not having this kind of access. The worry is still there, but this brings us great joy, knowing that there is some semblance of normalcy and that our troops are not forgotten in our celebration and in our hearts.






And speaking of normalcy, this is what can be found on base:


We are looking forward to next Christmas, and having my nephew home. So is this little guy, my great-nephew born on December 5th:


The proud poppa on the eve of his deployment:


I don't want to forget my niece, who is stationed stateside. She is a drill sergeant and is diligently training our troops before they are also deployed. I am so proud of both of them, but this is the image I hold in my heart:

Happy New Year to all of you and to all of our troops!

I am sharing this for Outdoor Wednesday, so be sure to drop in and visit Susan @ A Southern Daydreamer for links to more thoughtful posts.

Update: Claudia @ Dipity Road has started a new meme, Friday - Finding Beauty. I didn't know about this until just today (January 8, 2010), but decided I really wanted to share this post again with those who haven't seen it. To me this was finding beauty in an otherwise bleak place and the kiss from a father to his newborn son — pure beauty.

36 Thoughtful Comments:

eileeninmd said...

It is wonderful to seeing these photos from your nephews base. Surprising to see a Subway there though.
I wish everyone a peaceful, safe and Happy New Years.

Sunshinemeg said...

Great post friend. It is so important to not forget those who are so strong for us. Love that you showed the base. Hope all is well at the hut!

Quilt Works said...

Thank you for sharing the photos from the base. YOu must be so proud!



...waterfront in my favorite day trip destination!

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Rhonda sweetie...
What a beautiful post you have left for me today. I love it. I always wondered what type of celebration they would have over there, and what a beautiful one it is. They have made it really happy for the soldiers. And a Subway on the base. WOW... They sure have came a long way baby.

My husband was in VietNam for almost 3 years, and he had none of those luxuries. He said the only treat he had was getting a coke one year, and it was warm, but he didn't care, he was so excited to have the REAL THING.

I love the new baby. Just the sweetest little face. I can smell that new baby smell right through the picture. Thanks so much for sharing with me today.

Happy New Year sweetie, it is almost here.

Country hugs and much love, Sherry

Riet said...

What a wonderful post and so good to know that soldiers are taken good care of for Christmas.

LV said...

I am glad you shared these photos with us. I did not know if they were allowed to do this. They deserve all they can get. Thanks so much, and wish your family at home and away the best. Thank you for stopping by my place. Did you notice the red leaves on the tip of the rock?

maiaT said...

Lovely thoughts and photos. Adorable baby your great-nephew, he is a gift from St. Nicolas(December 5th).
I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!
Thanks for the wishes and comment.

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

That is just so wonderful! Handsome nephew, beautiful baby and a subway, how cool! Feel free to use any of my pics that you want! Happy New Year, boy I could use a little beach right now!
Cindy

Barbara Jean said...

Rhonda,
Wonderful Christmas pics.

Many thanks to your family who is serving.

thanks for coming by

blessings in 2010

Barbara jean

PS hope your curtains work in your new home, but if they don't you wouldd at least have an apron. =0)

sherri@lavenderfields said...

So hard for them to be away from home especially this time of year! I wish your nephew and all the troops a safe return. Glad to see they try to make it as nice as they can for them, under the circumstances! All the best you you and your family for 2010! Happy New Year! Sherri : )

Light and Voices said...

Happy New Year from our house to your house. I will keep holding my thoughts and prayers for our troops for their safe return.
Joyce M

Lori E said...

I took a quick peek here this morning before I left for my coffee group. My throat tightened and I didn't have time for a proper comment on such an important post.
I guess normalcy is the word to use but it isn't normal not to be with our loved ones is it. I hope they all know how much their sacrifice is appreciated and their families sacrifice too.
Our Canadian troops get Tim Horton's coffee/food as their "normal" connection to home. It is not enough. Nothing is enough.
How thankful I am that they have stepped up to the plate. I am glad they have the Christmas spirit over there with them. Let's hope 2010 is a safe year for all of them and all of us.
Happy New Year.

Blondie's Journal said...

Rhonda~~

This is my first time to your blog and I got a lump in my throat after the first paragraph. Thanks a lot! ;-)

What a fantastic post. It is so important to keep in mind all of our troops away from home now and everyday. I am so happy you shared the kindness all around taking place at your nephews base. And what a precious baby!! A real cutie!

Here is wishing you a wonderful, Happy & healthy new Year! :-)

xoxo
Janie

Linda (Nina's Nest) said...

Our huge thanks to your family members (and all people) who serve in the armed forces of the USA. Glad to see those pics! Linda

Kate said...

Enjoyed the post! Hopefully the year will go quickly so that your nephew can come home to his son!

Rain said...

I love that last photo! Great fun! Wishing you a wonderfully Happy New Year Rhonda!!!
Hugs!!! xxxx

Bonnie said...

Thank you for your post today. I truly appreciate your time to share it.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Thanks Rhonda for sharing those wonderful photos! It is comforting to know that Christmas is still a part of a soldier's life and that so much is done to make them feel a home away form home. God bless all of them for their service to our country, their dedication and sacrifice!

Your great nephew is adorable ..he reminds me of my grandson who was born a year ago! let's pray they can grow up in a world without war.

Happy healthy 2010 to you and your family!

mbkatc230 said...

Rhonda, what a beautiful post. I've got a huge lump in my throat looking at that brave young man holding his precious baby. I hope they all know how much their sacrifice is truly appreciated by those of us Stateside. I love the pictures of their Christmas, so sweet. I hope that you have a wonderful New Year, and will keep your niece and nephew in my prayers. Hugs, Kathy

cherry said...

What a wonderful post!
Happy New Year

Yira said...

Shell - this is such a heart warming post. I loved all of the pictures but especially the one with the baby... it reminds me of a picture I have of my youngest with my husband who left 2 days after the baby was born, three years ago. So sweet!! Thanks for following me and visiting my blogs.

Terie

Helena said...

Thanks so much for sharing these photos with us! Happy New Year to you!

Gena @ Vintage Rose Studio said...

Lovely post Rhonda!!! and thanks for popping by my blog!
Gena

Nancy Maxwell James said...

Thank you for the sweet comments on my blog. I see your nephew is now in Iraq...and I will be keeping him in my thoughts and prayers. My son is also in the Army (did his 13 month Iraq tour in 2007-2008 and arrived home Christmas Day)...and stationed at Ft. Stewart, GA. Our boys give so much of themselves and need all the love and support we can give.
May you have a Happy New Year...and may 2010 be blessed with good things...especially for our troops! :)

Bunny, The Paris House Designs said...

Rhonda first I want to say thanks to your nephew for keeping our country safe and may God bless him and his beautiful family. Your post is so heart felt and loving and the pictures you shared just warm my heart , they really decorated so beautifully!!
I hope you have a Happy New Year and that 2010 is filled with good health for you and your entire family.
I am so happy to have found you in 2009
xoxo
Bunny

Christi @ A Southern Life said...

God bless your niece and nephew and all of our troops! They deserve our best thanks!

Christi @ A Southern Life

The Quintessential Magpie said...

God bless all of our troops! I loved this post, Rhonda! It just makes my heart swell with pride for these servicemen and women. Thank you for sharing this. My precious (read favorite) cousin is over there, too. He is my heart, and I pray that all of them come home safely.

XO,

Sheila :-)

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

What a post. Wow. WOW.

It is amazing how the internet and technology can at least keep service men and women in touch with their families. When I think of my dad in Viet Nam...it must have been so hard for this young guy so far away from anything and anyone he had known...relying on "snail mail" that eventually made it to his parents, or vice versa.

A toast to the troops this New Year's. I am a huge supporter and will also be wishing for a 2010 that brings peace on earth (it's a hefty wish but I was always taught to dream big. :-)

Happy New Year! Thank you for always sharing beauty. I am glad to have "met" you this year!

Marjorie (Molly) Smith said...

Well I had to run right back over and check it out. I am so glad they are able to have Christmas as usual, even if it's with their Army family instead of their home family. Thanks for sharing with me.
Molly

Thoughtfully blended hearts said...

Thanks for sharing your family members with us...Please tell them how very proud we are of them and thank them for all of us...This family truly loves the military!!!
Loved your post!!!

BailiwickDesigns said...

Our son is also stationed in Baghdad - his second deployment there. He arrived about the same time your nephew did. I too am SO glad we have the internet to keep connected! I know that our son would probably not write letters nearly often enough, but he does send off emails when he can.

It is truly a beautiful thing that our service men and women have chosen to serve our country!

::Jill

ellen b. said...

Very nice! Thanks for sharing this...
It was fun to read the comment you left on my blog, too!
Have a great weekend...

mbkatc230 said...

What a perfect post for Finding Beauty! I just love that these wonderful men and women try to keep as much normalcy and "home" around them in a totally abnormal environment. Bravo Rhonda! Kathy

Sue said...

Oh the wonder of a father's love. Your nephew is providing a great service to his country and to us. Please thank him for this. It is indeed a beautiful photo.
~ Sue

Claudia@DipityRoad said...

Oh Rhonda-- nothing more beautiful that a heart that is so full of love for his family and country.

Thank you so much for bringing this to us. I appreciate your time to include our FFB in your fantastic Blog!

BIG hugs!!

Claudia ♥ ♥

grey like snuffie said...

It's a perfect post for beauty! We have a friend in Afghanistan....a cousin who has been all over the world...I really can't imagine that life...praying safety for your nephew.

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!

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