In truth, I’m not sure why I feel led to share this. I guess deep down my hope is that through sharing, it will diminish the burden Diane and I will bear as parents of a deployed soldier who leaves behind a wife, a toddler, and an infant.

Zach & Jenny, Malachi & Hazel Anne, Nov2017

Zach & Jenny, Malachi & Hazel Anne, Nov2017

A secondary hope is that the story will give yet another face to the War on Terror, to personalize it, for people that might come into contact with this page. A LOT of people have been touched by this War ever since 9/11. We HAVE to do this. Together.

1LT Zach Wise, Ranger, Kandahar Area, Afghanistan, May 2013

1LT Zach Wise, Ranger, Kandahar Area, Afghanistan, May 2013

Zach was deployed to Afghanistan for most of 2013. As a Dad, I learned a lot. I’ll never forget when he Skyped us asking for special prayers as he was going to be in harm’s way the next day and for 24 hours. He would let us know when the danger had passed. We didn’t hear from him for 4 days…

I’ll also never forget when we got the phone call from Ft. Bliss, TX where his unit was deployed from. “Your soldier has left Afghanistan, sir.” Oh what joy we shared.

Airport Reunion with Mom, "A Flood of Emotion"

Airport Reunion with Mom, “A Flood of Emotion”

In the meantime, Zach got married and started a family. Diane and I sold our long-time house in Ohio. Kelle, our daughter, graduated college and started her life in Cambodia. And we moved to Boston. With precious few moments of discussion with Zach in the ensuing 4 years, I knew I wanted to handle the next Deployment differently. One thing was for certain – I would make a pre-Deployment video with words of encouragement and favorite bible verses from a cloud of witnesses.

I will also be staying in more regular contact and sending more of my specialty – a batch of hand-made, Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookies.

As time goes by, I’ll update this page in the Comments – for all the same reasons above.

“Go get ‘em, Z!” – Todd, his Best Man

“HOORAH, Wiz-EE!!!” – College Soccer Coach