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Jeff's Afghan Diary: Thoughts of Home
August 20, 2007

      Yesterday I called my wife and talked to her for the longest time we have talked in months.  (When I was first deployed, I had opportunities to talk to her for fairly long periods of time, but for the past few months, our limited conversations have been short, due to limited telephone access.)  While it was good to hear her voice again, I realized my thoughts had been far removed from the homefront – I had been focused on the mission at Do China.

      After our conversation, I realized I will have to start thinking more about what’s going on at home.  After all, that’s where I’m going on leave, and that’s where I will return after my tour of duty is over.  There are things going on back home that will require my participation, and I must prepare mentally for them.

      One thing high one my wife’s priority list is selling our house.  My Army pay is not enough to pay all the bills, and while the mortgage company is legally precluded from taking any action while I am deployed, we must plan financially for the eventuality of my return.  We will need to sell our current house and move into something smaller soon after I come back.

      My wife talked about how she has been whittling down some of our smaller debts, and how she feels good about being able to make progress on our credit for our next mortgage.  We want to remain in the same school district we are in so our children can stay in their current school.  In five more years, all of the kids will be out of high school, and we will have more options as far as where and how we choose to live.  For now, we are in agreement that the school district we are in now is the best for our children.

      It’s ironic to think about our choices of schools, while I sit here in a country where many children don’t go to school at all, perhaps even most.  Americans have no concept of how blessed we are to have the educational system we enjoy.  Most school children complain about school (I remember being one of them!), but they have no understanding of how much it gives them, and how much it shapes their understanding of the world.

      I promised I would call my wife again soon.  Thoughts of her have sustained me more than she can imagine while I’ve been here – she is what I long to return to, my soulmate, my cheering section, the person who best understands me.  I love my children, and I will be happy to see them again, but they will grow up and move out.  My wife and I will be together for the rest of our days, walking through our lives like a pair of comfortable slippers, enjoying the trip.

-- Jeff Courter

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The Rev. Charles P. Henderson is a Presbyterian minister and Executive Director of
He is the author of God and Science (John Knox Press, 1986).  
A revised and expanded version of the book is appearing here.
God and Science (Hypertext Edition, 2005).
He is also editor of a new book, featuring articles by world class scientists and theologians, and illustrating the leading views on the relationship between science and religion:
Faith, Science and the Future (CrossCurrents Press, 2007).

Charles also tracks the boundry between the virtual and the real at his blog: Next World Design, focusing on the mediation of art, science and spirituality in the metaverse.  

For more information about Charles Henderson.