I've written on this blog before about my friend Sherri and her husband, Patrick.
Patrick's been in Iraq ever since I've known Sherri. In fact, she moved to D.C. to live with her in-laws and work during Patrick's deployment. Marine 1st Lt. Francescon has been serving near the border with Syria in operations like Iron Fist and Steel Curtain.
About a month ago, Sherri started a public countdown to his arrival back in the states. "Just 26 days left!" she'd tell us, and no one had to ask what she meant. Everyone knew what the 23rd of March was.
Sherri traveled down to Camp LeJeune, N.C. to meet Patrick. As a result of what must have been the most excruciating flight delay in the history of mankind, Patrick didn't actually arrive until March 24th at 3 a.m.
But now he's home.
I haven't yet had the privilege of meeting Patrick, but I know exactly what kind of man he is through the wife he left back home. She is strong and cheerful and optimistic and inspired by her husband's mission in Iraq. She never stops thanking others for supporting her when what we have given her is so little in comparison to what she has given her country. I know that Patrick is the same.
We are lucky to have both of them serving our country. Patrick will likely go back to Iraq, though no one is quite sure when. When he does, I don't doubt that he and Sherri will continue to be strong and optimistic and cheerful and inspired. I hope they'll inspire all of us to be the same. They deserve no less from us.