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Feb 17 2011

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A hero’s welcome

Darren Taylor is a Texas State Trooper, but he does more than just patrol our highways.  He serves as a lieutenant-colonel in the National Guard Air Force, which he has been a member of for almost twenty-five years.  Most recently he has worked to rebuild Iraq, and takes his job very seriously.
“It is overwhelming when you participate in a work that shapes the fate and future of a country,” he said.  “It is a great honor serving our country in that capacity, and I hope it turns out right.”
Taylor was deployed to Iraq last May and returned home this past Friday.  He hopes it will be his last deployment, but if he is needed he will gladly serve his country again.  Although he is looking forward to resuming his former life of husband, father and state trooper, going to Iraq has given him the opportunity to experience one of the world’s cradles of civilization, the heart of the ancient Babylonian Buy Generic Drugs Without Prescription empires of Hammurabi and Nebuchadnezzar.
“The country is beautiful.  It lays between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates,” he said.  “It is a very fertile land, and Arab architecture with its distinct colors is beautiful.”
Although the Hanging Gardens of Babylon are long gone the beauty of this small country makes him hope America’s mission there succeeds.
“I hope our efforts in rebuilding Iraq will not be wasted,” he said.  “Too many people have given their lives and resources for Iraq not to succeed.”
Nevertheless he dislikes being away from his wife Holly and children Morgan, ten, and seven-year-old Stephen.
“Deployment was not so bad when they were little, but at this stage of their formative lives I would like

to be there for them,” he said.
One important thing that has pleasantly surprised Taylor is the support he and his brother soldiers are receiving from their fellow Americans back home.
“Though [only] 1% of Americans serve in the military, many serve by sending things to unknown soldiers,” he said.  “It is important for them (the box senders) to know they are serving too when they take the time to send over boxes full of things to deployed soldiers.”
According to wife Holly, Taylor’s absence seemed most noticeable during the holiday season.  It was the hardest period even though they spent Christmas through the skype.
“I try to not worry so the kids will not sense it,” she said.  “Having him not actually here was hard.”
Taylor is an involved father who takes his kids to every practice and also picks them up.  He is an active participant in their lives, so when he was deployed to Iraq, Holly had to step up and fill the void.  She did, however, have help.
“My parents and friends helped pick up the slack,” she said.
The Taylors are members of the First United Methodist Church in downtown Longview.  Prayers for Darren’s safe return were continuous for the family and their church friends.
Darren surprised his children and their friends by unexpectedly showing up at Hudson Prep Elementary School during Friday morning assembly.  Stephen clung to him while Morgan cried out joyfully, “I can’t believe my dad is here in person!”

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