We received an early Christmas gift this year—it was a phone call. On the Thursday before Christmas I left my cell phone in the car while we went into the mall to walk for some exercise. When we came back to the car, I discovered we had missed a call from our older son, who we hadn't talked to for nearly two months. He promised to call again on Friday, so I carried the phone with me when we went to the gym to work out that morning. Sure enough, as we worked our way around the circuit training room, the phone rang. It was Doug.
John and I went out in the hall to talk. We were on the phone for over 20 minutes while he told us about his life and living situation in Al Habbaniyah,
In addition to the joy of hearing his voice and learning more about life there, it was good to see that in this deployment he wasn't calling collect. In the 21+ years he has been a Marine, we have received collect phone calls from a lot of very remote and distant parts of the world. But hearing his voice, no matter where he is calling from or how, always gives us a greater assurance he is doing OK.
It is a lonely Christmas for Doug, without his wife and two daughters. It is difficult for all of them. For the many thousands of