SUBMITTED BY: STEVEN G.
A Family Story
To start off I would like to say thank you to the American Patriot family for giving this opportunity to veteran’s for a chance at winning a family stay at one of their luxurious cabins. My family is one that has had very many struggles in our life. My wife and I have been married for seven years and we have three lovely children together. Our oldest daughter will turn seven years on her next birthday. Our middle daughter just turned five years old a couple of weeks ago. We have a new lovely addition to the family he is our only son. He is 9 months old right now. He is constantly getting into everything now since he is crawling.
My Family story starts seven years ago. My wife and I had just gotten married and my unit was set to deploy to Iraq in 2005. We had to go to mob site to do our training in order to get ready for combat. We left for the mob site and our first daughter’s due date was 8 weeks away. I was a nervous wreck. Not only to be a newlywed but also I was going to be a father for the first time and I had to be away at training for most of the time for our pending mobilization. I can remember the day that she called me and said that she was going to be induced on 30th November 2004. We did the right channels in order for me to be able to get home in time for the delivery of our first child. But, it took a little for the paperwork to work through the channels. My wife was going to the hospital the next day to deliver our first child and I still had not heard that I could go home on emergency leave orders. They finally came through and I was able to book my flight. My buddy drove me to the airport and I had been talking to my wife and my father at the same time. I told them that I was on the way and that I would be landing in Louisville Kentucky airport at a certain time. My father had agreed to pick me up and take me to the hospital. When I finally made it to the airport I had ten minutes until my plane boards and I am in the air. I am racing through the terminals to make it to my gate. When I make it to the gate I am waiting and waiting. I keep pacing back and forth almost wearing a hole in the floor at the airport. They come over the loud speaker and tell everyone that the flight to Louisville, Kentucky is cancelled because of engine problems. I had to go to the desk and they rescheduled my flight. So, I called my father and told him that my flight was rescheduled and he said I will tell Kassie and I will be waiting on you at the airport. I did not know what to do next so, I proceeded to walk around the Airport. I saw the gift shop and I went in and bought my Grandmother something because she was on my mind. After I left the gift shop I was walking past a gate that said “Last Call boarding for Nashville Tennessee.” This was the same airline so; I walked to the counter and asked them if they had any empty seats. I explained my situation to them and they said do you have any luggage? I replied I just have me and I really need to get home. They said that the only seat that we have is in the very back of the plane. I replied with please let me have it. I was able to board the plane. I called my father and he was already at the Louisville Airport and I explained to him that I was now going to Nashville, Tennessee. He said do not worry about it that he would meet me at the Airport. He reassured me that everything would be fine and that I would make it back in time for the birth of our first child.
While on the plane I had a very nice conversation with a salesman from Nashville. He said that if my father was not at the airport that, he would drive me and meet my father somewhere in the middle. He was trying to help me out and I really appreciated it. He could tell that I was nervous and I was thinking about my family very hard. By the time that we were landing in Nashville the whole plane new my story because the salesman had told the stewardess. Everybody was very supportive on the plane. Everyone was so kind and let me be the first person to step off of the plane. As soon as I got off of the plane I turned my phone on and called my father. I told him that I just stepped off of the plane and I asked him where he was. He said that he was walking in by baggage claims. I finally seen him and we proceeded to make our way to his vehicle. He drove me to the hospital which was located in Glasgow, Kentucky which is about an hour and a half away from Nashville. We called my mother in law and checked on my wife to see how she was doing. Everything was going good with the delivery so far. My wife was holding on waiting for me to get their before she delivered. So, we drove as fast as we could to get there. When we arrived into Glasgow I seen a police officer and he gave us a police escort to the hospital. When I arrived at the hospital two hours later our daughter Briley was born. She was a very healthy baby and my wife had done a great job. She had endured labor for 14 hours waiting on me to get there to her. I can never thank her enough for waiting for me. That was truly a magical thing to see when your child is born. I was able to spend 3 whole days home on my emergency leave but, then I had to return to my mobilization training. We were able to come home on a Christmas break for eight days. So, if you are keeping track I was only able to see my daughter for 11 days in her first month of her life. We had to return to our mobilization site on New Year’s Day. Before too long I was shipping off to Iraq to do my sworn duty to this country. It took some getting used to but, I managed very well in a foreign country. I was constantly thinking about my family and the new bundle of joy that we had. I was able to come home on leave about the middle of our tour. That was 15 days of well-earned rest and relaxation. I was able to spend some quality time with my family. This will bring the total number of days that I had seen my daughter to 26 days. That was some of the best two weeks of my life spending them with my family. While I was overseas she had her first birthday and of course I missed it. But, on the good side we were coming back home. The unit had a coming home ceremony on 24 December 2005. That will be the best Christmas present that I will ever get. I was finally reunited with my loving family.
Time had passed and we decided that we wanted to try to have a little boy. But, we had another girl and we named her Brooke. She was very beautiful. She had Platinum blonde hair and blue eyes when she was born. She was the talk of the hospital. Not one person had ever seen a child that had hair that color. We had people coming in our room that we did not even know just to see her hair. She has been a great blessing to us. She taught us how to multitask more than we thought that we could.
We had finally gotten the news that we were having another baby. We found out that we were having another one on June 5 2010. I will remember this day because my Grandmother that had raised me was in the hospital and it was not looking good for her. I remember going to the hospital to visit her and tell her that we were having another baby. She loved children very much and they made her day when they were around. When I told her because she was asleep you could see her eyes start to move just like she was trying to wake up but could not to tell me that we were going to have a baby boy and that everything was going to be fine. She had always said that we had 3 children 2 girls and a boy. My Grandmother passed on my wife’s birthday June 7, 2010. I will never forget that day either but, we just have to remember to celebrate their life. Braden finally made his debut in our family in January 2011. He had been a much needed blessing for us. On my wife’s side he is the only grandson in the family and you know that he is spoiled just a little.
Things have been very tight for our family. My wife went to college while I worked to provide for our family. I did not mind doing this because she was improving her education to try and help our family. She graduated with a degree and was able to get a job. But, from the toll of going to college and now working all of the time we have not been able to spend quality time together as a family because of all of our busy schedules. I am constantly gone working for the military and my wife has been working late hours for her company. When my wife gets off of work the kids are ready to go to bed and Braden is usually in the bed already. We both are missing out on a lot of quality time with our children. We have taken one family vacation to pigeon forge and stayed in the cabins. The girls love staying in the cabin and just spending time with mommy and daddy. When we were able to go there we were not being pulled out for work reason. We were just able to spend time together as a family. One thing that we have always wanted to do as a family is to go to pigeon forge at Christmas time and see the lights. We as a family love Christmas not because of the gifts but, because of what Christmas stands for. At Christmas time everyone is able to spend time with their family because it is a family time of year. Christmas is one of the most magical times of the year and we are wanting to see the cabins during this time of year. Please consider my family for this vacation. I would love to hear my kids laugh and see them smile, and also take my wife for a well-deserved vacation. Thanks again!!!