Dan left for Iraq the day after Thanksgiving. It was the first deployment for our family and we honestly weren’t prepared for what this might look like. He left the steps of our front porch after many hugs and kisses from us and walked alone across the parade field, saddled with equipment. So many what-ifs raced through my mind, knowing this was a defining moment that would change our family forever.

Do you know what got us through those long months?

The neighbors around us.

The group that met in our home.
The church we attended.
The school where the kids went.
A larger group of folks that didn’t fit into a particular box.

These folks carried the burden, not for us, but with us. They took the kids to special events, brought meals, mowed the lawn, took down the Christmas decorations and dried my tears when the news looked bleak.

All across the country, willing warriors go from their homes to protect and defend.  And truth be told since it is more commonplace in our area, we tend not to notice in the midst of the busyness of our own lives.

Next Friday, gather with us and those in your group to serve those who protect and defend our country and who come home to a very different reality that involves brokenness they didn’t leave with. We will be putting together over 1,000 projects that we hope will express our love for these and others we call our neighbors.