Hoping you had a great Sunday today. Mine was rather normal. Got up early, we went to church, took a friend to lunch, ran some errrands, planted some flowers. It was a great Sunday.
But for my niece's fiance, Captain Tim "Otto" Collins, I'm guessing it was anything but great.
You see, he's in Afghanistan. He's on his sixth tour. Yes, sixth.
My niece and Tim got engaged right before he deployed. I haven't even met him yet. But boy, do I love him.
I received an email this afternoon that he had sent out to all of his family and friends. We haven't heard from him in quite a while as email is not always something he has time for. I think other things are more pressing.
Here's a snippet:
"Earlier that morning, July 19, 2012, Marine Corporal Joshua Ashley, 23, was killed during combat operations in the Helmand River Valley. Cpl Ashley was a Military Police Dog Handler. He was killed by the same type of Improvised Explosive Device (IED) that he and his dog "Sirius" had successfully discovered many times before, saving the lives of the Army Special Operations Team he was attached to. This was his Ramp Ceremony before being transported out of Afghanistan to Dover Air Force Base.
He ended with this:
"All that we ask from you is this: Don't forget about the daily struggles of the countless wounded warriors you have never heard about that fight like hell to heal like Colin Smith, Derek Herrera, Dan Crenshaw, Dan Cnossen and Matt Lampert. Don't ever forget about the ultimate sacrifices made by real American Heroes like Jenn Harris, Jared Landaker, JT Wrobleski, Richard Gannon, Ronnie Winchester, Kevin Shea, Kyle VanDeGiesen, Matt Freeman, Brendan Looney, Travis Manion, Matt, Ryan, Sky and so many others. Forever appreciate and never forget what they have done for us. I never will."
OK, I'm planting flowers -- and God knows what he and the other men and women he serves with are doing today. Though I pride myself in taking nothing for granted, I'm very sure many things slip by me. Like taking a hot shower every day, taking a walk by the lake. Even air conditioning.
I don't mean to be a Debbie Downer, but just wanted to pass this on to all of you. May it serve as a reminder to include those amazing men and women who have been wounded far from home as well as those family members who have lost someone who is irreplaceable.
And please keep Captain Tim "Otto" Collins in your prayers too.
I can't wait to meet him.