Today was a beautiful, sunny day, a fitting day to see so many flags flying from front porch steps and from the tops of flag poles against the backdrop of a clear blue sky. It was hard not to remember that today is Veterans's Day. Listening to the radio, I was reminded of it constantly as my favorite country music station played patriotic songs and read tributes to veterans of America's armed forces througout the day. At church tonight, our mass was dedicated to the veterans of our country. My family, like so many in America, has it's share of heroes. My grandpa and his three sons were Navy. Another uncle was a Marine. My dad served in the Air Force. We've always been darn proud of all of them, and while I had an idea of the sacrifice that they made, leaving home and families and putting themselves in harm's way, I never experienced it first hand. But this Veterans Day has a whole new meaning. In a few short weeks, my brother Matt will begin his deployment to Iraq, as part of the Army National Guard. It's a bit surreal. I'm so dang proud of him I could just bust a button. And I'm going to miss him like heck. He's the youngest of my three brothers. I was five years old the night he was born, and I cried and cried. I cried because I was just sure that since I already had two brothers, God would certainly give me a sister. Little did I know that that pesky little brother with whom I was forced to share a room, would turn out to be one of my very best friends. We live within a mile of one another and I have come to cherish his counsel and friendship over the years. It's amazing how smart little brothers can grow up to be. So, if you wouldn't mind saying a prayer for Matt and his wife, Lois, and their boys Jason and Tommy, I know God will be listening. Matt will head out after the first of the year, and I know that the coming weeks will be quite full, emotionally and physically for him and his family. Please pray for his safety, and the safety of all of our soldiers, as they sacrifice time with their families to go out and guard the safety of others.