Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:25 am Post subject: Home for Christmas
I thought I would share this story that was written in one of the local papers about my brother who just returned from Afghanistan:
Wayne County -
LAKE ARIEL— “People keep asking me, ‘What do you want for Christmas?’ And I keep saying, ‘I’ve already got it.’”
Kristina Young’s Christmas present stepped off the plane on December 2nd. Following an 11-month deployment to Afghanistan, Sergeant First Class Harry Young was home.
Kristina remembers arriving at the airport an hour-and-a-half early, anxious to be reunited with her husband. As the soldiers disembarked, she scanned their ranks for a familiar face. He was the last guy off the plane. Kristina remembers the first words she said to her soulmate, “It’s about time.”
Grateful he’s home
“We’re just so grateful he made it home,” she said, crying on the phone. “He had guys in his deployment who didn’t.” She lived with that uncertainty every day. Hanging a banner in their home “Welcome home SFC Harry Young. Forever our Hero,” a tearful Kristina says she wasn’t sure he’d ever see it.
Completely confident in his ability as a soldier, she says, “He’s a soldier through and through” but she was worried about the enemy’s brute actions. “I know who he is. You just can’t trust the enemy,” she said.
Kristina kept abreast of what was happening in Afghanistan via newscasts and computer alerts. “CNN was on a lot,” she said.
SFC Young left Fort Bragg, North Carolina in February, 2008 for Afghanistan and got back to Fort Bragg the day before Thanksgiving. He served in Mehtar Lam, Laghman Province, Afghanistan. As the Operations NCO (Noncommissioned Officer), he worked in the tactical operations center, equivalent to a 9-1-1 center.
Asked if it was a volatile area, SFC Young replied, “We had soldiers that were injured ...Deployment suffered a couple losses ...It’s war and people get hurt and people get killed. But overall, I would say the area that I was in was pro-American. They were supportive. They welcomed us.” Their support was witnessed, not only in their willingness to help the soldiers help them, “but their ability to take ownership of their country, and to do what they need to do to stay the course,” he said.
Asked if his mission was a success, if the job is done or are more soldiers cycling in, SFC Young said, “More people cycle in. Everyone wants to be finite and look at a beginning, a middle and an end to things. But I don’t think our world is like that. As far as our mission there, good things are happening and they’re moving in a positive direction. We’re talking about a country that’s been at war, at a crossroads in history for thousands of years. It’s a tribal society. It doesn’t fit into the molds of America, or Western thinking, but the infrastructure is developing.”
“What I have taken from these deployments is that you definitely learn appreciation for what you have. And when you see stories about Black Friday and then you see, in another country, where their biggest need is a well so they have fresh water or a kid gets excited over a pencil. ‘Mr. Mr. can I have a pencil?’ Those things kind of put things in perspective for you. But the nice thing that you’re starting to see is the country is developing. It’s not just a case of ‘we’re rebuilding Afghanistan.’ Afghanistan is taking ownership and rebuilding from within.”
Asked how he’s changed from his time in Afghanistan, SFC Young said, “I’d like to think I’ve developed better as a person ...back to what I’d said about growing and learning to appreciate things a little bit more. We like to kind of put everything into that two-dimensional, what we see on the news, and it’s a simple A,B,C-type answer where we do this, that does that and we fix this or not. But, I think you get to see a little bit more of the personal ...I equate it to football, even though I’m not a football fan. You have all these armchair quarterbacks that can speak and say how things should or shouldn’t happen in the game. But until you’re actually in the game and there actually running with the ball, I think you don’t have a full perspective of what’s going on.”
“A taste of home”
Asked how often his thoughts turned towards home, SFC Young replied, “I think everyone thinks about home on a daily basis ...You cycle through emotions. There’s days when you’re obviously homesick. You miss birthdays. You miss anniversaries, holidays. But you can’t dwell on that. In order to succeed, you really can’t dwell on those things. What really comes into play is your support channel back home and the support of the community, different groups back home,” he said, like the VFW, Family Support Group, the Brownies and more.
Honesdale Brownie Troop #433 sent him close to 100 pounds of Girl Scout cookies. He in turn spelled out Thank-You in Girl Scout cookie boxes and sent the picture back home. Being able to share the cookies with his comrades meant a lot. “It means a lot. It’s a taste of home,” he said.
Posted: Mon Dec 22, 2008 1:46 pm Post subject: Re: Home for Christmas
Welcome Home And A great job you guys are doing over there.
Loving my family
Alberta Hunting and fishing when ever I get a chance.
PC games of all kinds - takes away time from real hunting.
Custom model making fool - takes away time from real hunting.
This is my life AND I AM CANADAIAN
Posted: Tue Dec 23, 2008 1:59 pm Post subject: Re: Home for Christmas
FOBGoblin @ Tue Dec 23, 2008 12:51 pm wrote:
Thank you to all. Glad to be home.
A lot of gaming to catch up on!!! ''
...and tormenting my 16 year old daughter ''
You must be Mag's Brother, Welcome home friend! So I take it FOB stands for Forward Operating Base Goblin, when you where in Afghanistan? Hope to see you in the server & talk to you in team speak, Merry Christmas!
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