Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Memorial Day Thoughts...

As I said earlier, I kind of want to post my thoughts on Memorial Day. My view of Memorial Day has changed quite a bit from pre- Michelle going to Iraq. Since my sister has gone to Iraq I have developed a whole new view on Memorial Day. Michelle has shared interesting tid-bits with me about what she has been through in Iraq (well, at least what she can share without getting into too much trouble). Since my sister's accident on April 22nd. I have seen the war in a whole new light. Realizing that the people who get injured over there have families back here that will never be the same. That has made me kind of look at Memorial Day a little bit differently.

People always say Happy Memorial Day. However, i am not really seeing anything "happy" about it. I mean, the reason for Memorial Day is to remember those that have died fighting for our country. Also, to remember those who have just fought for our country whether they will injured or not. Even when you are not injured in war or not, there is still a great amount of mental anguish that you go through from being in war. Although I cannot speak from personal experiance, i speak from the perspective of having a sister who, at only 20, is serving our country in a very hostile enviroment. Even before the accident, after she had been over there about a month, I noticed quite a change in her attitude and just a change in her period. She doesn't seem like the same person who left for Iraq. She takes things a lot more seriously and just has a whole new perspective on life. She also had seen so much stuff in such a short amount of time that it has really changed her completely. Then after the accident, well the change has been even more dramatic.

So as Memorial Day rolled around I began to think about what exactly Memorial Day is. After having a sister serve in the Army and head over to Iraq, my perspective has totally changed. When i was still living at home, before I got married, whenever Memorial Day would roll around, I kind of looked at it as a chance to get together with my family and just hang out. This might offend some people, but i never really thought about the meaning of Memorial Day. Sure, I knew that it was to honor those who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom and to honor those who are currently serving our country. But, not to sound ungrateful, I just didn't really seem to care about it. I was just happy to be able to not have to work for a day and still get paid for it. I was just happy to have a day off of school. It was just a reason for me to hang out with family and friends, eat lots of food, and just generally be lazy for a day. I knew that the day was to honor our military but it just didn't mean that much to me because i didn't really know anyone who had served in the military.

However, after everything that my sister and fellow soldiers have endured durning this war, I learned to look at Memorial Day in a different way. There is really nothing 'happy' about Memorial Day. There are currently people in Iraq getting hurt, killed, taken hostage and everything else. I don't see anything 'happy' about that. There are hundreds of people who have missed the birth of their first child, first days at kindergarten, high school graduations, college graduations, weddings and holidays, birthdays, anniversaries and many other special moments in life because they are off fighting a war. I don't see anything 'happy' about that either. I have realized that there are a lot of everyday things that I take for granted. I have the comfort of sitting at home in my comfy chair watching television. I get to sleep in my nice warm bed every night. I get to get up everyday and take a nice warm shower. I get to call and talk to my family whenever i feel like it. I get to go and hang out with family and friends anyday of the week that i feel like. There are people right now, in Iraq, who probably haven't talked to their family at all this week, or even within the last two or more weeks. They don't have nice warm beds to sleep in. They don't have the option of taking a hot shower every morning. Heck, my sister says that she is lucky if she gets a shower once every other day. Our soldiers in Iraq can't just pick up a phone whenever they feel like it and talk to their family. They have jobs to do that take them far away from a phone. They can't hang out with their friends back home, except for their friends that are serving with them. They miss out on a lot. They sacrifice a lot. I thank them for everything they are doing right now. It takes an incredibly strong willed person to endure what they endure every day.

Now when i think of memorial day, I think of those people who are currently serving our country. They don't have the pleasure of grilling out with their family. They just have those yummy MRE's (yummy isn't exactly the word I would use but I will anyways). I also think of those people who have died during this war and all the others. Young people who will never get to experiance the joys of getting married, graduating college, having children. People who never got to say goodbye to their loved ones back home and who left children, grandchildren and spouses behind, grieving. Memorial Day has taken on a whole new perspective to me. A rather somber one at that. I don't really see anything especially happy about memorial day.

Monday, May 30, 2005

Oh and Check this out!

Mustang 23 a good post for memorial day. I kind of feel the same way as him. I mean I really don't feel Happy about memorial day given the fact of everything that has taken place over the last couple months. I mean how happy can you be about people who have died while fighting for our freedom. Doesn't make me feel happy. So yeah, go check out Mustang 23's site!

Mustang 23 perspective on memorial day

Memorial Day

this being memorial day i can think of nothing more appropriate then posting some links to the articles that were resently published in the Chillicothe Gazette about Gavin J. Colburn. His ultimate sacrifice saved another life (my sister's) and taught many of us the true meaning of friendship and honor. We salute you Gavin J. Colburn and the many others who have made the ulimate sacrifice in the name of Country! God Bless and God Speed!

Perspective on life, leadership made Gavin a great person

Ultimate sacrifice saved friend's life (the acrticle featuring my thoughts)

House statement honors hero

Colburn's words hit home (Gavin's friend Adrew West shares his thoughts)

Death leaves grieving fiancee

Thanks you to all of our soldiers for what you do each and every day. You are all heroes! I wish you all a safe return home!!

I will post more later on how my whole perspective on memorial day has changed. It is rather interesting.

~April M. Shah~

Friday, May 27, 2005


I just wanted to send a quick appoligy to Andrew West for being so out of contact!! This is a public appology to Andrew. He has been so wonderful helping me deal with everything and I have been a slacker. Hopefully he reads this. Although i did email him about it. Good luck in basic Andrew. I will call you before you leave.

Everyone pray for Andrew as he is going to start basic training. He leaves on Wednesday. i am so proud of him for doing this. Especially after loosing a great friend. He still persists. Wow, i don't know if i would be able to do the same. Good luck andrew. Keep in touch. I will call you before you leave.

April M. Shah
~Philemon 6~

Just wanted to share this with you all...

Here is something i would like to share for memorial day...

please check this out

Tahnk you to all of our soldiers for standing up for our country and what you believe in. I am eternally grateful to all of you!

April M. Shah
~philemon 6~

Update on Michelle...

So after posting this last night, and then somehow losing it, i have decided to post this update again.

Yesterday i get this email...

I am a reporter from the Chillicothe Gazette, and I stumbled across your blog today while looking for information about Spc. Gavin Colburn.. We're working on putting together a series of stories about Gavin for a special section for Memorial Day, and from the looks of your blog, your sister is the one whose life he saved. I'd really like to talk to you and, if possible, your folks. If you could drop me a line as soon as you get this, or just give me a call at the number below, that would be great. We really want to show the community that's still mourning his loss what kind of a person he was.

Thanks so much, April. Take care.

Daniel Prazer
Staff Writer/ Pike County Reporter
Chillicothe Gazette
So after getting this email, i realized that it has been a while since i have updated on this subject in quite a while. Things have gotten so busy lately that i haven't really thought much about updating. So here is my update on everything related to michelle.

My parents went to Gavin's viewing a while back (man it has been that long since i have updated). I didn't get the chance to go because of work issues. So, I decided that i needed to send something to Gavin's parents to let them know exactly how i felt and everything. It took me like a week to write something and a few days to decide to actually mail it. What was said in the letter will always stay a private matter. I stood at the mailbox for about five minutes debating whether or not to actually send the letter. I mean, the viewing and funeral were over and his parents are probably trying to move on. How would i feel if i was them? Would i want to be reminded that my son is no longer alive because he sacrificed his life so someone else could live? Tough decision. But i decided to mail it. That was on May 4th (i think) that i finally sent the letter. I haven't heard anything back from Gavin's mom (who i mailed the letter to). I don't expect to hear anything. I just hope that she realizes that i didn't send the letter to remind her of her loss but to let her know that i am praying for her family. I wanted them to know that their son was just an amazing person and i will always remember his sacrifice. I can't imagine making a split second decision like he did. To either sit back and have both of them get killed or to try to protect my sister in hopes that she would survive. Knowing full well that he wasn't going to make it either way. I am thankful for the decision he did make but it is still hard to deal with. Knowing that he had to die so that my sister could live. Just hard to take in, even to this day. I don't know if i will ever be okay with the situation.

Michelle is doing better. I think she is still working on that slide show of Gavin. Hopefully she gets that done soon. She said she was re-emailing it to me a couple of weeks ago but i still haven't recieved anything from her.

We were talking on Yahoo IM almost everyday before she went on R and R. Yesterday i get online to see if she was back yet and there was a message saying that she was back from R and R. However, she said that she wouldn't be able to talk on Yahoo IM anymore because they got a new commander and he doesn't want her chatting anymore while she is at work. So now i am back to not hearing from her for days at a time. That sucks. Talking to her everyday was kind of helping me heal in a way. At least i knew that when she was online, she was safe and sound. Now i am back to worrying about her everyday.

For those of you who don't have family members or friends in Iraq. It is tough. Really tough. You might hear from them two days in a row and then hear nothing from them for a week or more. That is difficult. Especially when you turn on the t.v and all you see and hear about is soldiers getting killed or wounded in Iraq. You start thinking "wow, i haven't heard from so-and-so in a few days. I wonder if they were hurt in that bombing or that accident?" It is just rough. You just pray that at some point within the next couple of days you will get a phone call or an email or anything. Just to know that they are okay.

Before the accident, I was confident that Michelle would be safe. Whenever we would talk she would say things like "oh I am just bumming around today, waiting on orders." I had just gotten to the point where I was okay with her being over there. Thinking that she would be safe and nothing was going to happen to hear. Then the day of the accident came and that totally changed my whole perspective. Now i realize that she is very much in danger. Whenever i would hear about someone getting killed in Iraq I would think "wow, that is so sad. I can't imagine what their families are going through." Then by the end of the day or even by the end of the hour, i would completely forget about it. Heck, at least it wasn't someone I know. Now i realize that everyone who gets injured, killed or hurt in anyway over there, they are someone's family, friend, mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, uncle, cousin, husband, wife, girlfriend, boyfriend, class mate. We tend to write the killed in action off as some statistic. But these people should never have to be a statistic. They are human beings who have family back home who have to deal with the loss. Everyone needs to remember that the next time they see on the news that another u.s. soldier has been killed. That person belonged to someone. That person was someone's family. When it happens to your family that is when it hits home. Eventhough michelle wasn't killed, someone else was. It totally changes your perspective on the whole thing. To hear about someone getting killed in Iraq and just walk away from the television or radio and not think another thing about it... well i will never do that again. Now i know the pain that the families of the injured and killed go through (to some extent). I don't think anyone should have to endure that kind of pain. They are not just some statistic. They are human beings. When Gavin was killed and the news said that he was the whatever number of person to be killed in Iraq since the war started, that crushed me. He isn't a number, he should never have to be a number. He is a person, with a family that has to deal with his loss. I wouldn't want to be known as a number when i die. Just remember that then next time you hear about someone killed in Iraq, they had family and friends whose lives will forever be changed by the loss. They didn't have a chance to say good bye to them before they were killed. They went months without getting to see their loved ones face and now they are gone. They might have not even had the chance to talk to them in a week and now they are gone. That is rough. Man....just keep that in mind.

Okay, enough about that. Sorry if that was a little depressing. Just got carried away. So Michelle is doing better. Still having back problems and knee problems. But those will heal eventually. She did get her hearing back, thank God. I was hoping that she would eventually get all of her hearing back. I am so proud of her for just hanging in there and doing what she needs to do to get through this and get back to work. We are all awaiting the day she gets to come home. According to her, they (her unit) will be coming home in October. She will miss our birthday (we were born on the same day two years apart) but we will definetly celebrate when she gets home. She just needs to hang in there until that day. She wants to come home so bad right now. She says that she wants to come home before then. But if she does she will have to go back and finish serving her time there. I keep telling her to just hang in there until October and then she will be done with it. Hopefully for good. But with the Army you never know.

If you get a chance (whoever might be reading this) just send her an encouraging message. She enjoys getting letters and email from people. Even if she doesn't know them. Everyone over there needs all the support they can get. Her email address is as follows:


Please don't be rude and send hateful emails. She needs encouragement. So yeah, if you get the chance just drop her a note and let her know that you support her and that you are praying for her.

Okay, i have got to stop this blog before it becomes a book. I get carried away sometimes. But hey it helps releave anger and frustration. It also helps the healing process. I will post more later. If they guy from the Chillicothe Gazette sends me the articles/articles, i will make sure to post some excerpts here for you all to read and enjoy. Talk more later!

God Bless,
April M. Shah
~Philemon 6~

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Is this working

I am just checking to see if this blog is actually working. I have posted a couple of things today and none of them are showing up. Why? someone please tell me!

Wow i haven't updated in a few...

okay so i am a slacker. Go ahead, say it, "April, you are a lazy slacker!" At least that is what michelle would say if she were here right. So time for an update on everything. hope you all a ready for a big long post...

where to start...
Well, my air conditioning finally got fixed after how many days. Let's see, oh, almost a month after they said they were going to fix it. It was supposed to be fixed the night after the incident, but apparently it had to go to corporate first. Then they were supposed to come Tuesday and fix it but that never happened. Someone else's hot water heater broke down and they had to go take care of that, which is understandable. So they finally came out Wednesday and fixed it. I don't care anymore, it's done. End of story.

Vacation sucked. It rained everyday, our tent leaked, it was like 40 degrees, we forgot our sleeping bags so we froze all night, i accidently brought my broken camping chair (which means we through the good one away when we moved instead of throwing away the broken one), we forgot our brand new cast iron skillet (meaning no eggs for breakfast), we ate our wedding cake (because it was our one year anniversary and everyone says that you have to eat your year old wedding cake on your anniversary) it tasted like crap, trust me people don't ever eat year old cake even if it has been frozen, and then after a trip to Pittsburg our car decides that it doesn't want us to go home, so the battery dies. GRRRR! So to make matters worse. We get the car jumped but it won't hold a charge. So we have to get a new battery put in. There goes $100 that we weren't planning on spending. But hey we got to spend the night in a heated cabin at the campground because the manager felt sorry for us. Then I get home and the computer decided to just die while we were gone. We lost everything, almost, my smart husband got most of the stuff back. But still, we completely shut off the computer before we left to make sure that something like that wouldn't happen and it did anyways. I swear i need a vacation from my vacation! All in all, it was nice to get away for a while. But trust me the next time I go camping it will be in the summer (like August) and it won't be in Pennsylvania. The only time i will go back to Pennsylvania is if i am not camping (sorry those of you who live in Pennsylvania but you have crazier weather than Ohio)!

Well, I will let you guys read this for a while. I will update you all on Michelle in a seperate entry because i am sure you guys will be tired of reading this. Hope you all have had a better couple of weeks than i have. I am not really complaining. I thank God for everyday, but i just wish our one year anniversary would have gone a little better. Okay maybe i am complaining a little, okay a lot.... sorry.

Michelle update to come in a few minutes. I need to take a breather!

Saturday, May 07, 2005

To make my day complete

I will elaborate more on this tomorrow sometime. But to make my day complete my windsheild on my car somehow got a huge crack in it over night and... i get home from work and the cops are all outside of my apartment. Someone freaking ran their truck into the side of our apartment!! !WTF!! I will talk about this more tomorrow. BAD DAY!!!!

Wow scary

I just realized from reading my last post that i sound a lot like my mother and not like a 22 year old. I knew this would happen one day :(

Good afternoon...I think

It is May Days here in lovely Fairborn, Ohio. I live at the center of all the stupid drunkin parties. Wonderful! (not really). So i get home last night from work at about 10:30 and there are a thousand (maybe more) drunkin teenagers wondering the parking lot of my apartment complex. Not to mention the 20 or so fairborn police officers and sheriffs, who by the way were also blocking my mailbox. GRRRR! I have nothing against drinking and getting drunk but please, if you are going to do that don't be stupid about it. I am doing 35 down the street to my apartment complex and this group of college kids just walk out, without even looking, right in front of my car. If i would have hit them i would have probably got cited for it seeing as i should have know that there would be a bunch of stupid drunk college students out wondering the streets. So yeah, i had a good day up until that point. I had to get up early this morning and of course the shouting of people outside really didn't help me get much sleep. So i ended up waking up later then what i wanted to. I can not wait until this is all over Sunday. If you are going to drink, please just congregate at someones house. DON'T WANDER THE STREETS AT MIDNIGHT!!! Unless of course you are coheirent enough to actually look for moving cars. Onto a different subject.

I get home and was going to talk to michelle online last night. For some strange reason she wasn't online. I even got home earlier then what i told her i would be. I wonder what happened? Must have had something come up. Just hope everything is all right. I was really worried because when she says she is going to be online, she is always there, but for some reason last night she wasn't. I finally just calmed myself down and just thought that maybe she got off of work early and was actually either a) getting some much needed sleep or b) getting something to eat. That girl, i swear, she is back to not eating. So i am guess i am going to have to send her some cookies. Some of you know what i am talking about there. I keep explaining to her that she needs to eat so that she can get to feeling better and so that she can be able to perform daily functions but for some reason she just won't eat.

Also, she has had very little sleep since April 22nd. She said she just can't sleep due to the fact that everytime she closes her eyes she only sees the accident. When she does get sleep, she only sleeps for a couple of hours and then says that she wakes up screaming. I don't know how we are going to handle this when she gets home. She really needs to start talking to someone about all of this. But, stubborn as she is, she won't do that either. Any suggestions on what i should do to help her? I just don't understand why she has to go through this. No one should ever have to go through what all our soldiers are going through over in Iraq. It is just rediculous. Hopefully it will be over soon and our soldiers will be home safe and sound. Until that day i will just have to continue praying for their safe return home and ask for God's guidance for each soldier.

So i sent a letter to Gavin's mom on Wednesday. Boy was that hard to write. I stood at the mailbox for about 10 minutes debating if i should actually mail the thing or not. I mean, the funeral and everything is over and i am sure that she just wants to move on from all of this. I hope that my letter doesn't upset her! So any of you who read this, just pray that Gavin's mom understands that i didn't send that letter to upset her. I did it because i wanted to let her know how thankful I am for what her son did for my family and for my sister. I will let you know if i hear anything back from her. Although, i am not expecting to.

Well, i got to get ready to go to work. I will write more later!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

So people actually do read this.

So i get up this morning, eat breakfast, and debate whether or not i should get online (i am a bit of a computer addict). I decide that i would get online just to check and see if my sister had emailed me anything. So i open my email and there is this letter....


I left you a message on my blog about your new blog.

you are doing a good thing in helping your sister through this mess. she needs support from home.

thanks for what you are doing

Mustang 23
Assumption of Command
http://assumecommand.blogspot.com/ "

Interesting, I didn't think anyone but Michelle had read this, or for that matter would read this.
So I click over to the site and this is what I read...

Click here to read full story

Wow interesting. I didn't think anyone would really care to read that post. Considering it was the length of a novel. I am surprised someone actually read that all the way through. Thank you to Mustang 23 for actually taking the time to read that.

If you really want homemade cookies i need an address to send them to. You deserve them :)

Seriously i actually enjoy reading his blogs. They are interesting. I thank him for posting.

Onto other subjects (well sort of)...
I have been talking with Michelle on Instant Messaging every chance I get. I will take this time now to apologize to her for not getting back on when i said i would. Had every intention but sometimes stuff happens. It is just nice to actually be able to talk to her more now. At least when I talk to her on a somewhat daily basis I know that she is okay. Just a note, if you and another person are sharing pictures over IM make sure that you know which ones you are sending. Sometimes if they are not labeled by words it can be a little confusing.

Michelle seems to be doing much better. Well, at least I think so. I know this is hard for her but she is actually taking it so well. I am proud of her for hanging in there and doing what she needs to do to get the job done. I know that it is going to take her a while to get back to normal, but i feel as though she is making progress. She is currently working on a project which is a slide show about Gavin. I am proud of her for doing that. I think it will help her in the healing process. Hopefully she gets whatever was wrong with it fixed soon. She had sent it to me but the pictures that she downloaded to the pages wouldn't show up. The only thing that showed up were her introduction slide and her credits slide. So i have no clue what is wrong. I probably could figure it out if I was there with her but, unfortunatly, I am not. So hopefully she can figure out what is wrong on her own, or maybe someone there can help her. If anyone knows how to use Microsoft Movie Maker, email Michelle and give her some suggestions.

Also, I have recieved quite a few emails from people who have left messages on this site. This is a website where people can go and leave messages to Gavin's family and friends. It is really wonderful.

So as i was saying, I have recieved quite a few emails from people who have left messages there. The support has just been amazing. I thank everyone for sharing their thoughts and feelings and just being so supportive. One person that I have been keeping in touch with on an regular basis (well as often as I can) is a Mr. Andrew West. This guy has just been amazingly supportive and helpful. He is really interested in meeting Michelle when she comes home. He is just the sweetest person I have met. It has really helped me deal with the whole incident.

Andrew started a memorial site for Gavin that I suggest everyone should go check out. It is located here. It is just a wonderful site with lots of stories and memories of Gavin. Please go check it out if you get the chance.

If you can't tell I love linking things. Just thought I would add that. Anyways, I got to get going. Got to go back to work today, had yesterday off. Last day off for the next four. Next week I am on VACATION for four days. Can't wait. I will update later.

April M. Shah
~Philemon 6~

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

First blog

Hello anyone who might read this,

I am starting this blog just to kind of keep some people up to date with what is going on in my little world. So where to start?

Well why not start where my life seems to be at right now. My sister SPC. Michelle E. Pfister is currently fighting in the war in Iraq. On April 22nd my family got the call that you never want to hear, my sister had been injured in an accident while on a convoy :( For those of you who haven't read it I suggest you go here. This person has done a wonderful job putting everything into perspective. I am thankful that he has written this. I just happened to come across it while searching the internet to see if any new stories had developed about it. This story is what kind of made me decide to start a blog.

What am I talking about, you might be asking. Well on April 22nd, as previously mentioned, my sister was involved in an accident while on a convoy. PFC. Gavin J. Colburn was drving and my sister was in the passenger seat. While on the road they hit an IED, for those of you who don't know what that is, let's just say it is NOT a good thing. Gavin had promised to my family from the beginning that if anything happened, he woud make sure that my sister was alright. They were both only 20. If you read the link above, you have probably already figured out that Gavin did not survive this incident. My sister would not have survived it had it not been for the fact that Gavin protected my sister from this blast. I will be forever grateful for that. At the same time I am deeply saddened that he did not survive. Gavin is truely a hero for what he did for my family. Not only for that but also for being brave enough to go and serve our country at such a time like this. All those soldier's over there are heroes in my eyes. Not only that but their families back home are heroes for continuing on everyday, not knowing what their family member is going through. Wondering if they are okay or if they will get that call saying that their family member has been injured or even killed. I hope to never get that call about my sister. Just hearing that she was injured tore my heart to pieces. No 20-year-old should have to go through what she went through and is still going through. None of our soldiers over there should have to be going through this.

I could rant about this subject forever, but i will spare you all the pain of having to read all that. All that i have to say is this...

Gavin- thank you so much for keeping your promise to my family. I will never forget what you did. You were, are and will always be an amazing young man. Your life was taken way too soon. I wish that you were still alive today so that i could thank you properly for saving my sister's life. You will always live on in my heart, my thoughts and my daily prayers.

Gavin's parents -thank you for raising such a wonderful man. He was a genuine, pure, amazing, and wonderful person. I wish i could have gotten the chance to meet him. I hope to one day meet all of you just so i can thank you for raising a son who knew the true meaning of friendship, life and honor. You as well will always be in my thoughts and in my prayers.

Gavin's family- I know that you are hurting over this loss. Just take comfort in knowing that Gavin died doing what he was trained to do- protect and serve. While we do not understand why, just know that it was somehow all a part of God's plan and one day it will be revealed to us what His plan is. I will be in prayer for you as well.

All our soldier's- THANK YOU! Thank you for all that you do each day to keep our country safe. Whether you are currently fighting or not, you all deserve a big thank you. I can't imagine being in your shoes. I wish those that are currently fighting a safe return home. I wish for all of you the comfort of knowing that there are lots of people who support you, look up to you, think about you, and pray for you each and everyday. I don't want to imagine what life would be like without all of you out there protecting our country in various ways. Whether it be at home or away from home. You all mean so much to me. I am not just saying that because i have a family member currently serving in Iraq, I am saying that because, even if i didn't know anyone serving over there, that is how i feel. You all do such an amazing job and sometimes don't get the credit that you deserve. I wish there was some way i could thank each and everyone of you. But for know just know that i appreciate your sacrifice, and i am in prayer for all of you each day.

For all those who don't have loved ones serving in Iraq- just keep them in your prayers. Even if you don't agree with us being over there, just remember that there are people over there sacrificing their lives to protect us. I don't care if you think we should be in Iraq or not. The fact is, we are there, and there are men and women of all ages who face things that we will never have to face, each and every day. They are constantly in danger of being injured, killed, taken hostage, and a million other dangers. However, they aren't giving up. They are out there doing what they were trained to do, in hopes of coming home safe and sound. It takes a real self-centered, selfish person to not understand what they are doing for us. You may not agree with it but the fact is, it's happening. There are people, like myself, and many others out there, who wake up everyday wondering if their family memeber or friend is safe. Just keep our soldier's in your prayers. It doesn't matter what you think about it. Just for once put yourself in there shoes and think how you would feel if you were over there. Because, whether you want to believe it or not, there are men and women of all different ages (18,19,30,40 and so on) over there fighting for our country. It amazes me what some people are willing to do for their country.

Sorry about the rant there at the end. It kind of all stemmed from a conversation i had with a friend about the accident. Keep in mind they don't know anyone serving in Iraq. They told this, and i quote, "well i don't think we should be over there anyway. Also, your sister and this guy signed up for the army at a time when they knew that they could be shipped to Iraq. They knew the dangers going into this and yet still chose to do it anyways. I am sorry that your sister lost her best friend but she has to realize that they knew that this was a possibility. I feel sorry for her but then again I don't, she knew it could happen and it did. She will just have to move on." WHAT THE F**K!!! How f**king incosiderate. This person acted like my sister asked for this to happen. I am sorry but my sister signed up for the army during a time of war because she wanted the opprotunity to serve our country. Not because she knew that she could get hurt and thought it would still be a good idea. Plus, how would the person who said this feel if their best friend got killed in, let's say, a horrible car accident. I am sure she wouldn't be like, "oh my friend knew that when she got her driver's license that there was a possibility of her getting killed in a car accident. So we all just have to move on." No i am pretty sure that they would be quite upset. GRRRRRRRRRRR!!! That is all I am going to say about that. I will post more later.

Also, please check out the following sites:

http://www.without-colburn.com/ - Wonderful memorial site to Gavin created by a wonderful person, who i am honored to have the privilege of getting to know.

http://speedtothefront.50megs.com/ - the website for the 542nd TC which is the unit that my sister and Gavin are serving in. They are all wonderful people.

Thank for taking the time to read this. I know it is kind of long. Just had a lot to say.