Our family loves to attend the annual Memorial Day Parade in downtown Sarasota. Usually Michael takes part in the parade as an honor to his brother Kyle who served in the Marines and then the Army as a Kiowa helicopter pilot. We lost Kyle on January 13, 2006 in Iraq. This year Michael opted to spend the day watching the parade with us rather than walking and we really enjoyed the time together. Here are a few pictures from the day and also a picture of Kyle with his helicopter that he sent to us shortly after arriving in Iraq. We are so lucky to have known and loved someone so brave and willing to fight for our freedoms.
You probably already know our story, but here is the short version for those that don't. Michael and I met in 6th Grade at Sarasota Christian. We started dating as Juniors in high school and we were married Dec. 30, 2000. We had our first little angel Trace on July 18, 2002. Our second, Austin, on November 26, 2003, our third, Ethan on March 2, 2007, and finally...... our fourth, Reece, on Nov. 10, 2009. In between all of that Michael started working as a Sarasota County Sheriff's Deputy on Sept. 11, 2003. He is currently working a School Resource Officer and is really enjoying the change from patrol. I am lucky enough to get to stay home with Ethan and Reece, now that our older two are in school all day! We have had our share of trials over the last few years and as hard as these things were to get through, I think it has made our marriage stronger and helped us realize that we can survive anything.