Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Beth is HOME!

a sweet reunion

Christmas in February

Hultgren family: Meagan and Eric, Nick and Jennifer, Beth, Ed, & Becky

Last August my cousin Beth, an ICU Army nurse, was deployed to Iraq for a 6 month stint. I'm pretty close to all the cousins on my mom's side because of our triennial family reunions but I've grown a lot closer to Beth since living on the East Coast. Beth is from CA but lives and works at Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington DC. I remember praying her through her ICU classes and going up to DC for her graduation. This past August the realities of her military job set in when she was sent abroad to Tikrit, Iraq.

We have skyped, emailed, sent letters and packages, and even had a few phone conversations during her deployment. Most of her time abroad was low key and uneventful which is a good thing as an ICU nurse, but there were a handful of events that have forever impacted her seeing war first hand.

Beth flew back to the states in late January to debrief and got to San Fransisco area to see her parents the middle of February. Ben and I drove up to the Bay area this past weekend to surprise her and give her months worth of hugs in person. The Sunday we were there all of her dad's family (cousins, aunts, uncles etc.) came over for a Christmas in February together. Beth gave us an American flag and certificate as a gift and tribute, flying it on December 25, 2009 in Tikrit, Iraq in honor of Ben and I. We are truly honored Beth and we are so proud of you. Thank you for the gift, we will treasure it for years to come.

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