Welcome home 2101st members

Published 7:55 pm Friday, January 7, 2011

You’ve missed more than a few birthdays.

That Fourth of July cookout your family has annually? Yep. Missed that, too.

Labor Day weekend? You had to work.

You also missed out on the following things: Spring break, high school graduation, football season, the Iron Bowl, Thanksgiving, progress reports and report cards, Christmas morning and countless opportunities to lie around and do nothing on a lazy weekend.

You missed the New Orleans Saints rise from football irrelevance to win the Super Bowl. You missed Lebron James’ “decision”.

That trip to the beach you missed this past summer was ruined by one of the largest ecological disasters in the history of the world.

On the home front, that list of honey-dos went undone for nearly a year if family or friends couldn’t lend a hand. The grass needed mowing, the pool needed cleaning, toilets needed to be unstopped and diapers needed changing.

You missed all of that; nearly 12 months of “things”, both big and small.

Thursday, the City of Demopolis welcomed some of its most dedicated sons and daughters back home as the 2101st rolled back into town.

There’s a lot of catching up to do.

I can’t imagine being away from my family for nearly a year. Working late is one thing. Working late for nearly 365 consecutive days on the other side of the planet is something else entirely.

Couple that with being stationed in a hostile environment and you’ve found the equation for an incredibly long year.

All of the things I’ve listed above are just a handful of the little things I remember from my 2010. Most, by themselves, are relatively insignificant. But, when combined, it makes up a significant amount of the quality time I was able to spend with my family and friends.

In looking back, those times – those stopped up toilets and dirty diapers – were important and my role in being able to help in those situations is important to my family and it’s important to me.

I didn’t have to miss those moments but most of the 143 soldiers that returned with the 2101st missed them all.

I send out my heartiest “thank you” and appreciation to those soldiers for what they’ve done and what they continue to do.

I hope you thoroughly enjoy your time home and the time with your families as you work your way back toward finding the “normal” you left last January.

I salute your effort and your dedication as well as the sacrifices you and your family have made to make your service to this country possible.

Jason Cannon is the publisher of The Demopolis Times.