Friday, April 16, 2010

Landmark Moment

My baby sister went to her Senior Prom last weekend. She is the youngest of the ten kids in our family. If I am a little mournful that there will be no more Proms after this one, then I can only imagine how my mom must feel! Only don't feel sorry for us yet. As long as my little sisters are still single, and so far they are, I still have a couple of dress-up days to look forward to. Those are some of my favorite days!

Here's Easter!

Easter is our Gordon holiday. Our Montezuma's Well tradition is almost set in stone now, and I am a sucker for a good tradition. Especially one that includes a practically gourmet pot-luck. When you combine a pretty park with some gorgeous weather and a bunch of kids and a bunch of eggs, it feels like Spring is finally official. I always get excited to start a new season! All the fun went by in a flash, but I did manage to take a few pictures of the kids.

Excuses, Excuses...

I would like to blame my absence from this blog on the new (and time-consuming) calling I got four months ago. I'm serving in the Young Women's program in our church, and I totally love it. Here is one of the very cool ways that it takes up all of my time. We recently did a service project for a military family who lost their father in combat in Afghanistan. We were able to get a few bags of his clothes and uniforms and make this quilt to give to his wife and three young daughters. I didn't get a picture of the girls tying it, but here are a couple of me finishing the edges.

I was so honored to be able to get to know this soldier and his story. I felt a strong sense of reverence when I was handling his clothing. As cliché as it sounds, I really am so grateful for the people who serve our country in such a selfless way. It's impressive to know that they opt to do the jobs that we would avoid at all costs. They really are heroes. Here is the story of our soldier, Tommy Rabjohn:

Phoenix police Officer Thomas Rabjohn #7803 was known to his Central City Precinct colleagues as quiet and even-tempered and calm. At 39, he was one of the older officers on his squad and enjoyed mentoring younger officers. Sergeant Alex Ortiz spoke warmly about the guy he considered family, “Tom was like a father figure to a lot of officers; he may not have had a lot of years on the department, but he came with life experience that a lot of younger officers don’t have.” Ortiz continued, “He would always tell kids who were thinking about being police officers to ‘keep their butts out of trouble!’”

Thomas Rabjohn knew he wanted to serve his country and, after his graduation from Tolleson High School, he joined the Marines. After serving his country, he returned to the valley and soon after, joined the Phoenix Police Department. Despite his age and his job in law enforcement, the man who married his high school sweetheart and always seemed driven to protect others, joined the Coolidge-based Army National Guard and eventually was deployed.

On Saturday, October 3, 2009, while serving as a team leader with the 363rd Explosives Ordinance Detection Company assigned with the 82nd Airborne Division, 741st Battalion, Regional Command East, in the Wardak Province, Afghanistan, Staff Sergeant Thomas Rabjohn died from wounds sustained during combat actions.

His commanding officer, Command Sergeant Major Robert Parr called from Afghanistan to share that he knew Tom personally and had spent several hours talking with him the day before the tragic incident. He explained the events of October 3rd during the phone call that Tom’s unit was assigned to a forward operating base supporting a field artillery unit. They were located south of Kabul; his unit responded to assist the field artillery unit with trip wires that were arranged across a roadway. Attempts to use the EOD robot and a hook/pulley line were unsuccessful, so Tom donned the bomb suit and disabled the devices he and his team had located. He removed his suit to conduct a post blast assessment and located an additional explosive device. He was able to warn two of his team members who were able to create enough distance to survive the bomb blast that occurred seconds after Tom’s warning. Tom was killed immediately. The details of the incident are still being investigated, but Sgt. Major Parr indicated, “Tom Rabjohn is being called a hero for his efforts to save his co-workers.”

All who knew Tom Rabjohn agree he was a man who cared deeply for his family, his community, and his country and wanted nothing more than to protect them all. He returned home from Afghanistan with the eight soldiers that were killed in the Taliban attack on U.S. forces October 3, 2009. Officer Rabjohn is survived by his wife, Nikki and daughters Kylee (14), Koree (13), Kelsee (12); parents Thomas and Patty; his sisters June and Nancy; and, his brother, Brian.