Last month, I took this photo as my son-in-law left for Afghanistan with South Carolina's National Guard.
When he returns, Lucy will be almost three, a new baby will celebrate her first birthday and their mother will be relieved. They, like so many others, will have to learn all about each other again.
I remember the days when MY father was away during WWII. I remember when he returned, uninjured. He never forgot the war, nor did he let us forget, but he carried the people of Germany and France in his heart for the rest of his life.
I am grateful for the men and women who do this scary job with dignity and pride and for those families whose lives are forever changed.
And I pray for this father's safe return.