loren Eric Swanson: Wonderful News!!!!! (for now....)

Friday, September 07, 2007

Wonderful News!!!!! (for now....)

Yesterday, while sitting in a meeting in Colorado Springs I took a phone call from my son Jeff, who as a US Army National Guard soldier, was scheduled to be deployed for another year of duty in Iraq beginning October 15th. He's been in the process of getting things in order to leave Ashlie and two-year old Gentry. We've been working on a going away send off and have been feeling sad at his imminent departure. Jeff is one of the hundreds of thousands of soldiers, the brave and courageous men and women who willfully put life and limb on the line as the physical guardians--the soldiers for our country. Jeff was / is ready to do his duty. I, as a father, admire his willful courage--courage being more than a value, but actually doing what is right. Since he returned from Baghdad, 18 months ago, it has been our continual prayer that he would not have to go back. As a Guard member, he's already spent two and a half years in active duty.

Jeff called and asked me one question: "What's the best news I could possibly have?" Of course, with anticipation I said, "That you don't have to go to Iraq!" And when he told me I was right, tears of joy and gratitude welled up in my eyes. "Thankyou God!"

I drove up to Longmont (Liz is in Dallas leading her Leadership Community for churches with strong Recovery Ministries), and walked into see Jeff reading a story to Gentry before prayers and tucking him into bed. It's where he needs to be as a 24-year-old father and husband.

I sent a quick email to family and friends and was barraged by jubilous replys. My mom wrote back, "I can’t remember when I’ve felt so happy. I had been so sad thinking about Jeff going back there again. The first time, well, I remember you saying things like “Oh Jeff isn’t so bad off…he shares a room with another guy, etc., etc., but somehow, it’s different now, with a two-year old son, and a wonderful wife and home life that he’s gotten used to."

Jeff re-enrolled at the University of Colorado and, if he is not deployed by March (the date when he will have completed his six years of duty), he will graduate in May. So that is our prayer. The story's not over yet.

Sometimes grace trickles down from heaven. Sometimes it comes in waves. Yesterday it came in torrents. We are so grateful.


At Friday, September 07, 2007 2:22:00 PM, Blogger Chris said...

That is really great Eric! I am so happy for your whole family.

- Chris McElwee

At Saturday, September 08, 2007 11:49:00 AM, Blogger Joe Cross said...

That's awesome Eric! Praise the Lord. Maybe he could do a short tour of duty with us in Mexico City next summer. Looks like we might have some Student Venture kids down.

At Saturday, September 08, 2007 3:18:00 PM, Blogger steve said...

Hey Eric and Liz,

I am so happy for you and for Jeff and his family. Blessings,

At Sunday, September 09, 2007 6:35:00 AM, Blogger Lyn said...

Hi UE, That's is awesome news! I remember looking at the photos of Jeff & Ashlie and Baby G at the airport after G was born and thinking, how does a Daddy say goodbye to his baby like that? I just felt sick and heartbroken for them and for you guys too. You are all brave to have gone through it the first time and we are praying that this is final and you won't have to go through it again!

At Monday, September 10, 2007 12:32:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Matie!!

Fantastic news about Jeff. Thanks so much for your transparency and including the rest of us in your joy. Did you make it to the Cal/CSU game? For a while, it looked like the Bears would once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After 36 years of Cal fandom, it's hard not expect the worst. But maybe this is the year....


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