Saturday, August 22, 2009

It has been quite a long time since I've posted anything on here. Quite a lot has transpired in our lives during that time, so I will attempt to share here with you most of what's happened in our lives since that time.

In June, Tyler returned home from Army/National Guard basic training and training as a 'track vehicle mechanic'. In July, Tyler came home from a weekend drill with the unexpected news that he will be deployed on Dec. 6th to Iraq. I can't say that the news surprised us. though it did catch us off-guard, as we hadn't anticipated that we would have to bid him farewell again so soon. As a dad, my heart hurts for my son, and I am afraid for him. He's going off to fight in a war that we neither support nor believe in.

I am also very, very angry right now with the National Guard. Last October when Tyler made the decision to join, he was only 17 years old, which required mine and Leisa's signature/permission in order for him to join. We only did so after receiving the ironclad assurance that, in the event of deployment, Tyler would be as safe as he could possibly be in the specific line of work that he'd chosen. Well, back in July, when he reported to his new unit for the first time, he was told that his training as a mechanic would not be utilized. Instead, he was going to be taught how to drive a "Stryker" vehicle, as their deployment mission is "Convoy Security and Troop Evacuation". I have spent a lot of time on the phone speaking with higher-ups within the National Guard ranks, expressing my feelings regarding their breaking the contract that he signed when he joined guaranteeing him training in the job that he selected. For them to be able to pull him away from the job that they trained him for and placing him in another job classification without the proper training is a.) breaking his contract, and b.) placing him in direct danger that could very well result in his death. Tyler isn't trying to get out of going to Iraq - in fact, he's said on more than one occasion that if his comrades were going to have to go, that he was going to go with them. However, he has told me that he's scared to death, for which I do not blame him at all. He just wishes the same thing that I do: That he would be doing the job that is outlined in his contract.

Tyler is still dating Holli - it's a relationship that has now lasted for over 2 years. Tonight, Tyler took her on a riverboat dinner cruise. He's so romantic when it comes to her. He even went out and bought a new suit for the occasion! He's such a good young man - any girl will be very lucky/fortunate with a guy like him on their arm. I remain very proud of him.

Hannah took the summer off from college, and spent the greater part of 2 months traveling around the southeastern U.S. I was quite surprised that she was able to find her way to obscure towns, as well as finding her way back again. She is now enrolled full-time for the fall semester at WSCC in Morristown. She makes excellent grades, and will do well in her future life.

The rest of the family (Leisa and kids) are all doing well. Leisa, if you recall, had gastric bypass surgery just over a year ago. Since that time, she has lost 156 pounds! She looks & feels great, and we are all so very proud of her. And honestly, I never thought that she would lose so much weight. I have never seen her this small. When Tyler saw her in March at his basic training graduation from Ft Knox, he didn't know who she was! What has made everything around here so drastically different and difficult is the fact that she now has more energy than I do, and is constantly on-the-go. Leisa and the kids are now gearing up for another school year.

I have just about gotten over all of the physical effects of the motorcycle wreck of May. There were 2 bones that were among scores fractured that were the source of great concern for us and the doctor. We were so glad to learn on July 31 that the bones had begun fusing together and are in the process of finally healing. We are now 3 months out, and I have yet to receive a penny from the at-fault's insurance provider. This has cost me a lot of money in terms of work that I've had to turn down, so we have suffered greatly from an economic standpoint. We've agreed on part of the property damage, and they agreed over 3 weeks ago to cut me a check, but thus far, that check remains unseen.

We still attend and are members at Rogersville Baptist Temple over in Rogersville, Tn. Although I haven't been able to attend as much as I'd like due to the accident injuries, I still feel that we're in a truly wonderful church with a pastor whom I love very dearly. The families who make up the church are all equally as nice too. I think the world of all of them, and cannot see us ever going elsewhere for spiritual nourishment.

Take care, God bless, and let us hear from you on occasion.

Scotty & Family