Our son-in-law, an Air Force Staff Sergeant, has been at (Army) Ft. Riley in Kansas for almost two months getting combat and other training prior to deployment to Afghanistan. He still has more than a months training to go before he leaves. He got a four day pass and his father drove there to pick him up and bring back to Arkansas. We had him for dinner last night and had a great visit. I am very pleased and proud of his attitude and equally pleased that both he and our daughter choose well for their life mates.
He has already had tours in Iraq and Kuwait (140 degree daytime temps ). Both times he came back with a boatload of awards and commendations. This tour will be different though. The Air Force is expected to perform patrol and protective service for their base. Meaning, even though his job is something technical, he will now also be a combat soldier. Understandably, we aren't thrilled about that. I gave him a knife, and Arkansas whetstone, to take along for the 'just in case' situation. It is a standard K-Bar Marine knife. But, this one was used in the Pacific theatre in WWII by a family friend and given to me when I was just a small kid. According to the friend, it was used in hand to hand combat against the Japanese. (I know the details but they are not important for here.) I have had this knife for more than 60 years. Now Andrew has it. The sheath is dry and crumbly, I'll buy a new style nylon one to send to him for actual use. When he returns, I'll make a shadow box display for it. We are praying he won't have to get Taliban blood on it and will return home unscathed.