Be thankful this Thanksgiving

Published 6:13 pm Wednesday, November 23, 2005

By By Adam Prestridge
There's a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. If you're reading this column, then you're obviously in good health and if you're not in particularly good health, you must be doing better today. Life is a precious gift and everyone should cherish it every morning when you awaken and are able to step foot on the bedroom floor.
Besides health, the freedom our country offers its citizens is somewhat taken for granted each day. Just watch the evening news at night if you don't agree with that statement. There are several countries throughout the world that persecute its citizens. Those people can only hope for the freedoms we have on a daily basis.
For many of the residents of Atmore, this Thanksgiving will be especially heartwarming since the return of the 711th Signal Battalion, which was stationed overseas this time last year. The families of those troops were blessed by the return of their loved ones and surely they've given their thanks time and time again. Tomorrow's just another opportunity for them all to be able to fellowship and acknowledge that blessing.
As for my family, this will be the first Thanksgiving ever that we haven't at least been blessed with a short visit from my brother, U.S. Army Cpt. Alan Hicks. There's been times when he's had to work the holidays because of his job as an organ procurement specialist with Alabama Organ Centers in Birmingham, but he's always made that extra effort to stop by whether it was earlier or later than the rest of the family.
A few months ago, he informed us that he had the opportunity to come home either Thanksgiving or Christmas, but opted to wait until the first of the year in order to let his troops visit home. It's a noble thing for him to do, but as a family member it's hard to swallow that kind of news. We're proud of him for his decision though.
It's always a blessing to receive that much-anticipated e-mail each month letting us know for sure that he's alive and well. Pop receives a phone call each Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately didn't hear from him this Sunday because the phone lines were down. He did e-mail his wife, Tina, and had her call and tell us Happy Thanksgiving and that he would try his hardest to call home tomorrow.
In life, there are a lot of ups and downs, but you've always got to train yourself to take the good with the bad and make the most out of life. That's what Alan's doing. Even though he misses his family and wants to come home, he's going to do a superb job while he's in Iraq and we're sure when he leaves he would have made a difference.
Life is hectic at times and with the ever-growing demands at work and at home, people sometimes forget to take a moment and express their appreciation. So tomorrow, be sure to not only bless the cornucopia of food before you, but take turns around the table and express to your family what you're thankful for.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Adam Prestridge is publisher of the Atmore Advance. His column appears weekly.

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