Joey Gillis, my cousin, circa '95 or '96. Photo taken in Mississippi.
Sgt. Joseph T. Gillis, Marine, 2007. Photo taken and sent via email from Iraq.
Between Iraq and Afghanistan, I believe Joey is on his 4th deployment overseas. Needless to say, I am proud him. I want to also publically thank him for his generosity towards my family. Joey has been through some real ups-and-downs in his life, but I can assure you he has grown into a damn fine young man.
Joey is not the only relative I have serving in the military, but he is certainly the closest. And I realize I often "forget" what he's really doing for his country. Sure I read the news and know what's going on, but I personally find it easy to get so wrapped up in my own daily life that weeks can pass without me giving it much thought. I've sent letters, but not as many as I could have, and I've not sent enough emails, and I haven't ever gotten around to sending him a care package. I don't even know if I've ever mentioned him on this blog before, and I feel ashamed of that. So in honor of his serving our country, I will keep a picture of him on the sidebar of my blog to serve as a reminder of his continuing sacrifice for all of us.