This is Mark, and for those of you who do not know me, I am a Reserve Officer who has served two tours in Iraq. Allow me to share a little of my background and what leads me to this point in our lives.
After my first tour to Iraq in Jan 2003 to Aug 2004, I returned to the United States and was diagnosed with cancer. Upon hearing the diagnosis, I started my cancer treatment, using my medical benefits I earned through the Army, and I applied to the Veterans’ Administration (VA) for benefits. At this time, Laini and I began courting, so I asked her to help me with my cancer treatment since she used to be a Hospice nurse that worked with cancer patients. For those of you who want to know more about us, see the blog, "We Made Our Own Huppah," which my Beloved started to journal about how our story really begins, but I digress.
As I went through my treatment, our love grew and on 13 February, 2005, I formally proposed to Laini, and on 26 June 2005, we were married. During this time the VA was not able to process my application, so I petitioned the Army to activate me once again in order for me to receive treatment. By the grace of G-d, I was once again placed on Active Duty, and went through cancer treatment. In September 2006, I REFRAD, demobilized from the Army, after my cancer went into remission.
After leaving Active Duty, I went back to the VA to reactivate my file. Not giving it a second thought, I started looking for work and decided to try my hand at teaching. After all, we always hear about the teacher shortage, and I always wanted to be a teacher, so I attended and graduated from the Career Switcher’s program at Old Dominion University. That was November, and from that time until I was again mobilized for another tour, I tried to find a job teaching, but none of the schools needed teachers. As time went on, I started feeling more and more down. About this time, we started hearing rumors that I was going to be activated once again for another tour in Iraq.
Now, those of you who know my Beloved, you know that she is a very wise woman. Anyway, one day when I was feeling extremely down, she just told me to go to the local park and pray about our situation. I did as she asked, and when I returned, I told her that I actually felt better. My Beloved told me that as SHE prayed, she could not help, but feel that G-d was going to bless us more than we could ever expect, or imagine. In fact, she said that The Almighty was going to “bless our socks off!” About two months later, two things happened:
1. In May I received orders to report to Fort Bragg for training and deployment to Iraq.
2. In June, the same week of my Beloved’s birthday, I received a check for about $22,000, which was back-pay from September until June. I was also informed that I would receive two more checks for July and August. This money more than helped us to pay our debts off, and set us up for success, as well as enjoy our last few months together without financial worry.
Next entry: Our time together.
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
A little about me (Mark)