Monday, January 6, 2014

Life Will Be Changing Soon

In April of 2009 my husband left for Afghanistan as a colonel in the United States Army.  His position was with LOGCAP.  The management of the contracts which supported the war efforts in Afghanistan became his responsibility.  His background as a project manager along with his personal drive, commitment, integrity, and devotion to the sacred duty involved in the work he did earned him the Bronze Star, as well as many other honors. 

After eighteen months as Deputy Commander of LOGCAP, Afghanistan, he went to Iraq to work with the transition of the contracts and services provided for the military, over to the Department of State, as our troops withdrew from the country, and diplomats replaced them .

Finally in March of 2011, he returned home to Sealy, and went back to work for BAE Systems, where he held his civilian position, and retired from the military after thirty years of service.  He loved every day of the thirty years that he served, and retired from service reluctantly. He quickly realized that the plant where he held a civilian position as a Program Manager, and where  the MRAP vehicle was produced, was winding down. 

He had done excellent work with the transition, and not only did I realize it, but the State Department did as well, and they offered him a temporary position, which later became permanent.  Of course this didn't completely thrill me, because it meant that we were to spend more time apart. The evidence of his value in the processes involved in supporting those who work to preserve the ground gained, and the fledgling government which replaced a tyrant in Iraq, was made clear when Randy was awarded the Contracting Officer Representative of the Year Award, and after only six months on the job.  I knew when I married him how uniquely talented he was, and that he had spent his life in service, and would always be called to do so somewhere.  I also knew that there would be periods of separation, but I didn't have any way of understanding how difficult those separations would actually be.  They have proven the most difficult and challenging times of my life.

The separations were equally difficult for him, even as he flourished in his work, he missed the ranch and the comfort and support my physical presence provides.  It is the greatest joy of my life to care for my husband, and I have always felt I was born to be his wife, his support, and his help mate.  As my husband served, I came to know many people from the Middle East, and developed such respect  for them, and the fascinating lands from which they came.  The Cradle of Civilization still struggles to rise to its' destiny.  When the opportunity for me to join Randy in Kuwait was realized, I knew we were destined for this time in our lives together in Kuwait. 

There is so much work to be done, and we will be returning to Soldier's Heart Ranch, which will always be our home, when this service comes to an end, and so preparations for a caretaker must be made.  For now I am constantly planning, and preparing, as June is the time frame of the move. While I am so excited, at the same time, the beauty of the place where we live, the wonderful times we spend with family and friends, and so many other blessings in our lives here, will be missed.

As we prepare for the move, I will be searching for information to prepare myself for the opportunity of a lifetime that is coming to me.  I will learn as much of the history of Kuwait, and countries of the Middle East, and the customs and culture where we will call home for the next several years as I can.  I will share our journey in this blog, to the end that we can share our blessing with others, and promote the understanding between people of the Middle East, and those of our own country.