Reflecting on military service

My family's trip back to Tennessee, the first in two years, had us comparing our new lives in the military with the life of parish ministry. We found ourselves missing our friends and the area we lived in. DC has some great advantages in things to see and do, but the county surrounding our base is in a high crime area and there are serious doubts about the quality of the schools. We are blessed to have some great teachers for our daughter in school now, but I hear of concerns from folks with older children. But there are huge benefits too. Living on base is like living in Maybury on the Andy Giffith Show.

Last night our neighbors came over in mass to help us celebrate my wife's 40th birthday. A big surprise for her, as she thought I was too busy and had forgotten. One of our neighbors was conspicuously absent, and upon investigation, we found she is in the hospital with complications regarding her pregnancy. We were able to round up the calvary to support her family, even as the neighborhood is celebrating and rejoicing in the arrival at home of another child who a month ago was on a heart and lung machine. We miss our friends, but we have made some great new ones. The neighborhood is overflowing with children, a huge blessing for our own children to have someone their own age to spend time with.

Work continues to be a blessing. The pace is stiff. And speaking of stiff, we had unit PT Wednesday and I decided to see what I can do with a mile and a half. My time is down from last year and I was stiff and sore following, which tells me in the six weeks I have until my PT test I have some training to do. If Stallone can get in shape for his latest Rocky movie, I can do this too as an old man! ;)

I'm going to have to contend though we loosing a few days out from PT. I'm going to get to experience military medicine next week as I have wisdom teeth cut out. The down side is I still have stuff that has to be done, so I suspect I'll be making my way into my office to accomplish a few things, though on some good pain killers I hope. But it is all good.

I was also blessed this week to speak with a friend who is still serving in Iraq where I was deployed. I rejoiced in his promotion and his being able to come home for some time with his family. And O, if you read this, the fudge is on the way. My wife and I shipped him and his unit 15 pounds of homemade fudge. The fudge she sent over last fall left a lasting impression with some folks.