Congratulations to Laurie Blalock, our July Project Homefront essay winner! Read her winning story, or click here to enter your own essay.
Believing strongly in the inherent value of serving one's country, my husband, Keith, served nine years on active duty and then immediately joined the 321st MI BN (Army Reserves) based at Camp Bullis, Texas.
In May of 2009, Keith received news that he would be deployed to Afghanistan. Although his deployment came unexpectedly, he was ready to serve his country even though this meant leaving his family and the job he dearly loves as a business education teacher and varsity swim team coach at D'Iberville High School.
Deployment is difficult for family members at the best of times, but especially when you are not surrounded by others experiencing the same trials and tribulations as you would be living on a military installation. For this reason, Keith encouraged me to become involved with the Family Readiness Group (FRG). He was especially concerned about the soldiers in his direct chain of command as many were single or newly married and being deployed for the first time.
I began as a telephone tree volunteer and newsletter chair and then was asked in December to take over as the FRG Leader for 105 families of Headquarters Company.
I am extremely proud of my husband, Sergeant First Class Keith Blalock and his service to our country. He is a wonderful example to his students and his community of the commitment everyday men and woman who serve in the Reserves and National Guard have to service above self.