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A few weeks ago I shared that being an adult was nothing like I expected.

Today, I repeat that sentiment. I didn't know that adulthood required so much courage.

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This past week, the members of Charlie Company left again. It was terrific that the soldiers and their families got to spend a few days together, and most of them came home for a five-dayfurlough. But here's the hard part: the moms and dads and spouses and children had to let them go ... again.

I don't know how they did it.

Clearly, these soldiers have brave families. One of the dads summed it up, "This time it's for real."

This time instead of training and field exercises in New Jersey, these soldiers will go on oversees assignment.

At least one of the moms commented that even though he had only been gone a short time, her child had changed. Now, when you're talking about a young man in his 20's, change is inevitable. But what mother looks into her not-quite-grown son's eyes and expects that war will be what shapes his adult life?

Everyone who signs up for the National Guard understands that there will be sacrifice, but did the rest of us know what they were signing up for? When you send the National Guard, you send a community to war. The usher from church goes, along with the people who fix your computer and the coach for the softball team. Did we understand that one day we'd turn to talk to our neighbor, co-worker or relative only to remember that they are on a mission far, far away.And who would have ever expected war to come to Morris in the 21st century?

The conversation about war is particularly difficult during this season. So, this year, I offer the most sincere and heartfelt wish for peace on earth and goodwill towards men.

For everything there is a season,

And a time for every matter under heaven:

A time to be born, and a time to die;

A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;

A time to break down, and a time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;

A time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to throw away stones, And a time to gather stones together; <

A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;

A time to seek, and a time to lose;

A time to keep, and a time to throw away;

A time to tear, and a time to sew;

A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate,

A time for war, and a time for peace.

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