I just want to write a quick note to recognize the devotion and support that Karen and Karis has shown me over this last year. It has been a long year and this deployment was especially tough on us. Over the last 8 years, we have had to live with the shadow of the military hovering over our family just waiting to pull me out of my life. I have been gone a lot over those 8 years and it has been harder on Karen and Karis than it has been on me.
Karen, has kept the home front going and has ensured that my abscence had as little adverse impact on Karis as possible. Karen has recently accepted a position of an English/Literature teacher for our local Jr. High School. As a result, she has had to give up her Kindermusik business and she will have to stop teaching piano lessons. These have been tough decisions for her to make. The one constant in our household has always been filled with music and filled with children coming in and out. I have enjoyed that very much. The music will be less prominent in our home, however, we will have Karis to make sweet music on the piano and the violin. So, I want to recognize my wife and my daughter for putting up with this lifestyle that I have devoted myself to. I have always had two families, my wife and daughter and the other my brothers and sisters in arms. I have treasured the memories of my military life and I praise the Lord for the opportunities that the Army has provided me. But I think the time has come for me to step aside.
I am looking at retirement within the year that I return. I will be eligible for promotion to Lt. Colonel in 2011, but if I accept that position, I would be obligated to 3 more years. I just don't think that I have that in me. The rank of Lt. Colonel is very difficult to achieve as we only have one slot available for it and I am the next in line to receive it, but I think Mike Roscoe would be a better candidate for that position as he still has 10 years of service left. So, I am hopeful that he will get promoted and carry our rather young profession forward. He is an awesome representative for the Physician Assistant profession and we will all be proud to have him as the senior PA in the State of Indiana.
I look forward to returning home and setting new goals. I am also excited to be able to spend time with Karis as I have not been able to spend as much time with her as I would have liked. She is growing up so fast. I don't want to miss anymore of her youth.
So, tonight I want to thank Karen and Karis for hanging in there and for supporting me through this deployment and for enduring the last 8 years. It takes a special person to be a part of a military family.
Well, I pray that you are all well.