2007-12-05 / Front Page

Grier family to celebrate a patriotic Christmas

by MCL staff writer

Shannon, Allie, and Haley Grier Shannon, Allie, and Haley Grier The Grier family of Colquitt is having a different kind of Christmas this year --one they will not be forgetting for a long time.

On July 6 of this year, Sergeant Robert Grier, along with other soldiers from the 1/131 AR CO. B, from Hartford, Alabama, left for Fort Dixon, New Jersey, for extensive training. After the training as convoy escorts, Grier and his company left for their tour of duty in Iraq on September 8.

Grier, before being deployed, was employed as a deputy sheriff with the Miller County Sheriff's Department. He has been in the National Guard for 18 years and attained the rank of sergeant. He and the other members of the company will be deployed for 10 months before returning home.

Even though fighting for our country was something Grier never feared, this time of the year is always the worst when it comes to being away from your family and loved ones.

Grier said in a telephone call to his wife recently, "I miss you all so much, but being here in Iraq makes it all worth fighting for our freedom in America."

"And even though, he is missed every day, with the holidays approaching, he is missed even more," stated Grier's wife, Shannon, and his two daughters, Allie and Haley.

"Christmas will just not be the same with him not home with us," Shannon said.

But to try to make the best out of it, she and her two daughters decided they would have a patriotic Christmas. They will dedicate the tree to their husband and father, along with the other members of the Company B.

The tree, standing by the fireplace in their home, is decorated with red, white and blue lights. Along with the lights, red and blue balls adorn the tree with the name of every soldier from Grier's company. These balls were hand-painted by his wife and two daughters. An American flag adorns the top of the tree, serving as the star.

Wrapped in camouflage paper, the gifts under the tree are waiting to be opened on Christmas morning while the camouflage stockings are hung by the chimney with care, all in hopes that Sgt. Grier will return home safely.

In helping to cope with her husband being away, Shannon serves as chairperson of the Hartford 1/131AR Company B Family Readiness Group. The group meets monthly to help give support to family members who are struggling with their loved ones being away. "Being a part of this group is very encouraging for me. When I leave a meeting, I don't feel like I'm the only one going through this. It helps to talk to others who have loved ones fighting for our country," she said. Shannon, Allie and Haley would like to wish all the troops a very Merry Christmas and hope that everyone likes the Christmas tree. "We love all of you," stated the Grier family!

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