While dad is away on his fourth military deployment, wife, Mary, and daughter, Abigail, 11, are teaming up to help other children and families strengthen relationships at home and with parents serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
A veteran Navy chaplain confided the surge of emotions and thoughts experienced as his helicopter landed amidst fierce enemy fire. “My thoughts immediately turned to loved ones far away. Had I told them everything that needed to be said? Had I let them know how much they meant to me? Were we complete with each other?” At a PAIRS Retreat, hundreds of deploying soldiers and spouses talk about death and loss as they learn to more fully embrace life and each other.
The funeral of Scott Jirtle, 29, reminds us of the daily sacrifices of military families and our sacred trust to the loved ones they leave behind.
PAIRS team arrived in Nashville Thursday to share skills and strategies for resilient relationships and families with nearly 300 soldiers and spouses from the 101st Airborne Division, the only Air Assault division in the world. We returned to our homes in South Florida Sunday having learned lifelong lessons in courage, valor, faith, service and sacrifice.