I got a letter from my aunt, Linda and my grandmother together. My grandmother said Linda was taking a couple of vacation days so she was "home driving me nuts." She also mentioned getting another package together for me in a few days. She asked if I had any idea when I would be getting home. She added, "I know the ones that are here are glad to be home." I didn't know there were units already home while we had barely move at all. I really hadn't heard any time frame yet on when we would leave, but we were still in northern Kuwait and only a few units were making their way back to base camp in Saudi Arabia that I knew of. They didn't want us sitting by doing nothing so they found things for us to. We continued to hunt for underground bunkers and fighting holes that might still have Iraqis in hiding who hadn't heard the news of the cease fire. We would also be helping in finding abandoned weapons cache and alerting the demolition teams who would blow them up in place. I included a picture of one such place. Some of these locations had chemical weapons, but we didn't know it at the time. I'll talk more about that in a future post.
My Aunt wrote: "About the packages, whatever you want, you'll get. Make a list of what you need and want and we'll send it as fast as we can. Bush said you might be home for the 4th of July. Maybe we could have a big cook out, steaks with all the trimmings. The good old summertime, you know it will be 102 in the shade, but it will be great to have you home whatever the weather is like. Hey Bring back a picture of you sitting on a camel or something."
In response to my letter of how concerned I was about my aunt's faith in God, she responded with:
"I love you, thanks for being concerned about me. I am trying to find God. I read the Bible, I pray for understanding, strength, patience and guidance, and I don't know which direction to turn." I won't share everything she wrote but the most important thing for me to know was that she hadn't given up yet. She also wrote:
"I know that I am not the only one who feels like this. Many, many more people feel lost, lonely, and without direction and they don't know what to do about it. You fight a fierce enemy there in Iraq but there is a worst enemy inside most of us. If you can help us defeat him you will have saved more than a country. You will have helped us win our souls. Well I got to go to bed, it's 3:30 AM. I guess it's around 12:30 PM there, hope you had a good lunch. I miss you like crazy and love you, Linda."
I love my aunt, and I believed at the time, and have seen that belief realized, that she would grow stronger in her faith in God. Although our faith may be tested, and many times we fail the test, even in our failures, it can grow. The only time it stops growing is when we stop trying.