This is Jon's first deployment as an Aircraft Commander. For the non-military, he sits in the left pilot seat and is a leader on his plane to make decisions that are in the best interests for his crew. It is a position that is worked up to. His last deployment, he sat in the right co-pilot seat. Easy to get, right? :) I knew this would be a nerve racking day for him and I truly was nervous for him too. Jon has always wanted to be an Air Force pilot. I knew that. But as we were sitting down last week and talking, he said I'm doing what I have always wanted to do. "What's that," I asked. My husband, much braver than I (it's easy to see) says, "Help lead brave men/women into combat." What a calling in life? I know he is not the only one with this calling... these amazing souls fill our armed services. I am lucky to call one of them my own. As I watched my husband take to his roll and begin working out all these details that I know he was worried about, I watched him confidently lead. I couldn't have been more PROUD. In all of the heartache that I have felt today, PROUD is an emotion that has overwhelmed me. I hope that I have half of the heart and bravery that Jon has in life.
So, I am beginning this new phase of a new normal for the next 4-6 months. I appreciate the kind words and thoughts that have flooded me today. I am blessed beyond measure. I am re-doing a bible study I had started some months back that is called "Tour of Duty." It is meant for military wives who are dealing with deployments or preparing for them. I'll be sure to share some blessings from that as I begin.
Please be in prayer for the 10 guys on Jon's crew as they make their way to the Middle East and their families left behind. Also, 80 other guys from Jon's squadron will be joining them and leave next week. Please be in prayer for these deployers and their families, as well.
Live. Laugh. Love.