|SPC Caleb M. Watkins, we are so proud of you and so thankful you are again safe at home with us!|
From the days of the Revolution, my ancestors have fought for the liberty we enjoy as Americans. Even before those days, they fought in the old countries alongside their family and neighbors for what they believed to be the right way. From the Highlands of Scotland to the Irish fields and the English moors, my ancestors maintained the battle for freedom. They boarded the great ships bound for the New Country to find liberty and were thankful and happy to fight alongside their neighbors once here to guarantee their families could live in that liberty.
In the battles of the War Between the States, my ancestors fought on both sides of the conflict, each believing they were right in their fight. From the fields of France in World War I to the French and Belgian forests in World War II; from the Korean and Vietnamese peninsulas and into the ancient lands of Mesopotamia in the 20th and 21st centuries...our family has continued the battle for liberty and to defend freedom.
|Cpl. Van P. McDonald in Germany.|
So, when my youngest nephew, Caleb, joined the Tennessee Army National Guard, he carried on a proud tradition of service to his country and a commitment to the battle to defend America and liberty around the world. When he completed his AIT at Fort Leonard Wood, MO with excellent marksmanship awards and the Top Gun certificate for his class of recruits, he carried on the tradition started by his Papaw Mac over a half century earlier.
|Our Caleb with his niece, Allyson, as he prepares to leave Hardeman County for Fort Bliss, TX and then Afghanistan.|
We were no different than the other families, we are proud of our young man and so very thankful he is safe at home again. His journey has been a trying one, with many unexpected ups and downs along the way, but he is a better man for his experience and we are better for having prayed him through it. When he walked through that door and we saw his face and heard his voice there live in the room with us for the first time in so long, it gave us joy that is indescribable. When his Momma ran to him and they embraced for that first time in months, tears flowed throughout the room. Our son was home again and our family tradition of defending freedom has once again brought honor and pride to us.
|My sister, Charlotte, with her son SPC Caleb M. Watkins after he surprised her with his homecoming!|