This photo was taken when SGT Mark returned from his second deployment in Iraq in Dec. 2007. The banner in the back of Green Ramp, the cavernous warehouse on Pope AFB where paratroopers deploy and return home, says it all:
"Sleep well tonight....The 82nd Airborne is on point."
Two brigades are currently deployed, one is returning home and the fourth is standing by on QRF - quick reaction force - meaning it is prepared to deploy to any where in the world in 18 hours.
The service and sacrifice that our military and their families are making in these "long wars" is hard to imagine. So for this holiday season - and every day for that matter - please keep them in your prayers. There are nearly 200,000 now deployed and another 35,000 about ready to join their ranks.
So today, I thank the 82nd, the 10th Mountain and all those others who stand in harm's way. Godspeed.