My husband has been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom 2 since February 14th, 2004. He is not due to return home until March of 2005. Of course, I have sent numerous care packages and letters. However, I thought long and hard as to what to send him for Christmas, knowing that he has limited space and that he is already getting ready to return home.
He is a huge Washington Redskins fan, so I ordered a plush NFL logo stocking to send to him. Instead of candy and cookies, I decided to put “Memories” in the stocking. The “Memories” will include the following:
I am making our home-movie into a DVD of our Christmas Tree being decorated with red, white and blue ribbons as well as a huge Yellow Ribbon on the top with a picture of him right in the middle of the huge yellow bow- he is our Hero, our Angel. In the DVD, our six year old is singing what Christmas songs she knows, and our six month old infant is sitting nearby watching intently. Our tree will stay up until Daddy comes home so we can hang our 2004 family ornament together.
Speaking of the six month old, she was born while Daddy was serving his country. He has the home movies of her birth, but I have taken lots of pictures. I am printing out a wallet-sized photo journal of her, one picture for every week since she’s been born that he has been away.
I also will include a copy of our itinery for our planned “second honeymoon” upon his return. We are going to take an adult vacation and the kids will stay with the Grandmas. We have not really had any vacation without kids, since our oldest daughter is his step-daughter.
Knowing that he will be returning home in a few months, I included a “voucher” book that I made myself. It has all sorts of “vouchers” for things that he can cash in on. Hugs, kisses, movie night in sweat pants, getting the babysitter to stay with our kids so that we can go out on a date, cooking together, an afternoon with each of our children for just Daddy and each individual child, an afternoon for Daddy and his daughters, a promise that he’ll one day be able to see the Redskins play a live game, etc. There are 365 vouchers in all because his orders as part of the 1st Infantry Division 3rd Brigade 2/63 Armored Battalion were to deploy for 365 days. He will end up being gone from home for a little longer than that, though, I’m afraid.
And last but not least, I have written a love letter to him, telling how very proud I am of his duty and his service, how much I love him, and how much I support him. I detailed what made me fall in love with him, and I also listed why I was able to remain faithfully his for an entire year in his absence.