Sunday, March 2, 2008

One Year Ago

One year ago today...a memory that will never fade or disappear. I remember the details so vividly. The weather was quite gloomy and the emotions were the same. I really didn't know how I was going to be able to handle Chris being in Iraq. My stomach was upset and my nerves were shot. It seemed like my eyes kept being drawn to Chris...I guess I was trying to capture the image while I could. Watching the busses pull away was like someone tugging on my only son was off to war.

Each and everyday as I pull out of the driveway, I see our yellow bow tied around our oak tree and realize that another day has gone by and we are one step closer to their return. The bow is faded and worn by the weather but still serves it purpose...much like our troops. With one year behind them, I know they are worn and tired and very ready to return home. However, they still do their jobs with pride and enthusiam. They never give up!

I started writing this blog as a way to keep my family and friends in touch with what was going on with Chris and the rest of the Soldiers. I must admit, it has become a deep passion and has served as my way of coping with Chris being deployed. Many of you have expressed that Footprints In The Sand has helped you as well, and that is my motivation. This deployment is not easy on anyone but together we have coped and managed to deal with it. I passionately research every day to find out what great things are troops are doing and it gives me a sense of being a little closer to Chris. Joey and I laugh that one day I might actually find a picture or a mention of Chris in an article and I would probably faint! I remember how exciting it was when I found Nick and Bill in the Chicken Wing contest!!!! It was so nice to see them having a little fun.

Today I reflect on all the emotions that we have experienced the past twelve months, all the anxious moments, the anticipation of an email or phone call and the excitement when we get one, the thrill of sending packages, the hesitation when the phone rings, the fear when their is a "Breaking News' story, the proudness when we get special news, the faith that God is watching over and protecting our Soldiers and the patience that this will all be over soon.

It is my hopes to either take all the pictures I have used in the blog and produce a slide show to share or possibly turn the blog into a printed version to pass down later on. This journey is not over yet, but we are definitely on the final chapter. Thanks to all of you that have been on the journey with me through this blog...for all the comments and support. Very soon our Soldiers will be back on American soil and this too will have passed. Until then, we will continue to support them and have faith. God Bless our Soldiers and all their families!


Joanne said...

I am one of the people who appreciatae your blog. I don't know where you find all of the stuff you do, but it has helped me a great deal. I also tell other people about your blog. Keep up the good work. And yes they will all be home soon.


Dottie San Martin said...

Joanne, thank you for the wonderful comment. I'm so glad that Footprints has helped you. This is my contribution to the war and I look forward to several more months of sharing my passion and helping as many others as I can possibly reach!

Airbornedad said...


Your blog has been a big help to me even now after my son's been home. I never want to be complacent about what is going on overseas because you never know when he has to go back.

A side note: I finally got the coffee out yesterday. Should be there in two weeks.


Dottie San Martin said...


You and Gayle's continued support is awesome!!! I will let Chris know that coffee is headed their way!! I hope all is well with Mark and he is getting settled back in to the luxaries of this wonderful country.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for all that you have done keeping us informed. We drew on your strength at times. My son just finished his R & R at home twol weeks ago. Now we count the days till he is back. I showed him your blog and he recognized Chris from when he was at COP Cleary. Now he is at COP Salie. Soon to be home.

Lou Costello
Vietnam vet
Proud Army dad

Thank you Dottie

Dottie San Martin said...

Mr. Castillo,

I am so happy that this blog has served as strength for you. It is my honor and pleasure to write and maintain Footprints In The Sand. Please allow me to take this opportunity to say Thank You for serving our country. Vietnam has not been forgotten! Please keep reading and walking with me. through the sands.

Anonymous said...

Dottie I thank you for this blog. It has kept us all connected to the news,accomplishments, and yes some tragedies of our men and women. You kept it up even when you were fighting you own illness. You are an amazing woman and friend. For all your dedication and hard work I salute you. Hope to see you soon when we are hugging our boys.

Lidia PAM of Anthony