Last Tuesday, Air Force Reserve Tech Sergeant Wayne E. Cowen returned from a six-month tour of duty in Afghanistan. When my son and 40-plus accompanying soldiers stepped foot at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base my pride for him, them, and the United States of America soared. This man, my son, just months shy of attaining a 20-year military commitment, exemplifies FREEDOM IS NOT FREE. On June 14, 2017, my son left his 8-year-old daughter, Izabella, his grandparents, me, his aging dog Melishka, his home. Upon his arrival I observed his 30-pound weight loss; a normally vocal man, he was quiet with exhaustion. During his "Welcome Home" dinner he never mentioned sacrifice, his service. But as his mother my heart went out to him as he tried to stay with the dinner conversation. Thank you to everyone who attended the homecoming - your soldier came home safely too. Welcome home. Job well done. Thank you. I love you with all my heart.
Disclaimer: As submitted to the Arizona Daily Star.