Patch is my granddaughter's stuffed animal—shown here.
My son took it with him to Afghanistan and sent home pictures of them together—out on patrol, in his barracks, and standing watch.
Today, it feels so good to say, my son—and patch—made it home safely. After a nine month tour—my son's fourth tour in the Middle East—he is back home with his family.
As a mother I am elated that he is back on US soil. Just knowing he's home brings tears to my eyes. But even more so, I am thankful for the sacrifice he, and the others in his company have made over the last year.
I want to give my heartfelt thanks to all the men and women who have served in our military—past and present. We live in a country where I can walk into any church and worship freely. We live in a country where we can voice our opinions without persecution. And these rights have been protected by men and women who have stood guard over our country.