Family appreciates kindness toward son in military

Posted: Wednesday, August 18, 2004

My family and I would like to express our deepest and most heartfelt thanks to all of those folks who supported our son, Ben Ruzicka, during his 15-month deployment to Iraq. Ben returned to Fort Polk, La., on July 8.

There are so many of you who demonstrated your support with packages and letters that I cannot begin to name everyone without risking leaving someone out. Friends, as well as total strangers, went out of their way to make sure that our son received a regular dose of home. We would receive encouraging phone calls when our vigil at home was in its darkest hours. To each and everyone of you, we can only say "thank you."

I was fortunate enough to be able to be at Fort Polk for his arrival. I can only say that I have never experienced a moment like that. As the soldiers walked into the gymnasium in their faded but clean desert camouflauge, the crowd exploded with cheers and applause. Young mothers with newborn babies wept with relief. Mothers cried like mothers always do for their sons. Even a few tough fathers shed a tear or two.

Our son is now home, but let us not forget those who still remain. They still need our continued support for the tough job they are doing.

As for Ben; he re-enlisted and will be heading to the First Armored Division in Germany in February and possibly back to Iraq.

Again, to each and everyone of you; thank you from the bottom of our hearts from the Ruzicka family.

Doug Ruzicka, Anchor Point



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