A mother's Christmas wish

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone who visited Debbi Brown's west Flamborough home in September might well have labeled her a Christmas fanatic. Her artificial tree was up and decorated and a lone stocking hung nearby.

But the lights on the tree haven't been turned on since early October when her 20-year-old son, Jordan, was home for a two-week visit. And Debbi isn't sure whether she'll even turn them on Christmas Day.

Jordan won't be home this Christmas. He's serving with the 54th Engineers Battalion in Iraq as a member of the United States Army. The corporal in the Marines has an important, but very dangerous job. He's the head gunner on escort convoys that are on constant alert for roadside bombs and snipers.

"He's never more than five feet from his weapons," his mother said. "And the machine gun fire (near his military base) is never-ending."

As a mother, she cannot help but worry about the safety of her son. He has had two close calls already. In one instance, a 600-pound bomb failed to explode near one of Jordan's convoys when two Iraqis with cellphones tried unsuccessfully to detonate it. The Iraqis were captured before they could do any harm.

In a recent e-mail home Jordan told of a another close brush. "Found one of our larger-scale road bombs yesterday. Well I should say, it found us," he wrote. "It blew about 50 metres from us. Quite a shockwave, I must say. Puts quite a shock into you. It turned out that whole road was wired up to blow, but only one detonated which was surprising."

Messages like this are, understandably, worrisome for Jordan's family, which includes his Mom, his Dad, Peter, brother, Justin and sister, Courtnay. But Debbi, who runs a horse rescue operation on the family's Ofield Road farm, continues to look forward to regular messages home from Jordan. She also finds solace in getting gift packages ready for her son.

She sent the first Care package last month and was delighted to learn that Jordan received it at his military base in Ramadi within two weeks. She wraps everything individually and puts it in a shoebox, then ships it off. There isn't a lot of room at the camp for large items, so the box contains things like beef jerky - one of Jordan's favourite treats - cold medicine, cough drops blistex, toothpaste, candy and sugar-free gum.

Debbi plans to send a package every month and she's currently busy getting the December shoebox ready. It will hold much of the same items as the first package except for a silver key chain with a Celtic cross attached. "The cross is for protection," she explained.

"All that I ever wanted was for my children to be happy and safe," she said. Jordan won't be home this Christmas and he missed last Christmas at home, too. He was training in Germany last year. His 21st birthday falls just two days after Christmas, so he won't be able to celebrate that with family either.

"He says he has to look out for everyone in his unit," Debbi said and he has also told her, "I would take a bullet for any of my men." Those are valiant and reassuring words for his comrades, but not at all comforting for his mother.

She's looking forward to the spring when "it's possible" Jordan will get a two-week leave and will come home with his German girlfriend, Victoria. "I'll show her Canada and I'll just spoil Jordan," Debbi said.

Jordan's tour of duty isn't over until March, 2007. Until then, Debbi plans to keep on sending gift packages, stay in touch by email, and say a lot of prayers.

"He's in our prayers this Christmas," she said.

"I pray for all the troops, not just Jordan. They're all young men."

A mother's Christmas wish

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone who visited Debbi Brown's west Flamborough home in September might well have labeled her a Christmas fanatic. Her artificial tree was up and decorated and a lone stocking hung nearby.

But the lights on the tree haven't been turned on since early October when her 20-year-old son, Jordan, was home for a two-week visit. And Debbi isn't sure whether she'll even turn them on Christmas Day.

Jordan won't be home this Christmas. He's serving with the 54th Engineers Battalion in Iraq as a member of the United States Army. The corporal in the Marines has an important, but very dangerous job. He's the head gunner on escort convoys that are on constant alert for roadside bombs and snipers.

"He's never more than five feet from his weapons," his mother said. "And the machine gun fire (near his military base) is never-ending."

As a mother, she cannot help but worry about the safety of her son. He has had two close calls already. In one instance, a 600-pound bomb failed to explode near one of Jordan's convoys when two Iraqis with cellphones tried unsuccessfully to detonate it. The Iraqis were captured before they could do any harm.

In a recent e-mail home Jordan told of a another close brush. "Found one of our larger-scale road bombs yesterday. Well I should say, it found us," he wrote. "It blew about 50 metres from us. Quite a shockwave, I must say. Puts quite a shock into you. It turned out that whole road was wired up to blow, but only one detonated which was surprising."

Messages like this are, understandably, worrisome for Jordan's family, which includes his Mom, his Dad, Peter, brother, Justin and sister, Courtnay. But Debbi, who runs a horse rescue operation on the family's Ofield Road farm, continues to look forward to regular messages home from Jordan. She also finds solace in getting gift packages ready for her son.

She sent the first Care package last month and was delighted to learn that Jordan received it at his military base in Ramadi within two weeks. She wraps everything individually and puts it in a shoebox, then ships it off. There isn't a lot of room at the camp for large items, so the box contains things like beef jerky - one of Jordan's favourite treats - cold medicine, cough drops blistex, toothpaste, candy and sugar-free gum.

Debbi plans to send a package every month and she's currently busy getting the December shoebox ready. It will hold much of the same items as the first package except for a silver key chain with a Celtic cross attached. "The cross is for protection," she explained.

"All that I ever wanted was for my children to be happy and safe," she said. Jordan won't be home this Christmas and he missed last Christmas at home, too. He was training in Germany last year. His 21st birthday falls just two days after Christmas, so he won't be able to celebrate that with family either.

"He says he has to look out for everyone in his unit," Debbi said and he has also told her, "I would take a bullet for any of my men." Those are valiant and reassuring words for his comrades, but not at all comforting for his mother.

She's looking forward to the spring when "it's possible" Jordan will get a two-week leave and will come home with his German girlfriend, Victoria. "I'll show her Canada and I'll just spoil Jordan," Debbi said.

Jordan's tour of duty isn't over until March, 2007. Until then, Debbi plans to keep on sending gift packages, stay in touch by email, and say a lot of prayers.

"He's in our prayers this Christmas," she said.

"I pray for all the troops, not just Jordan. They're all young men."

A mother's Christmas wish

News Nov 22, 2006 Flamborough Review

Anyone who visited Debbi Brown's west Flamborough home in September might well have labeled her a Christmas fanatic. Her artificial tree was up and decorated and a lone stocking hung nearby.

But the lights on the tree haven't been turned on since early October when her 20-year-old son, Jordan, was home for a two-week visit. And Debbi isn't sure whether she'll even turn them on Christmas Day.

Jordan won't be home this Christmas. He's serving with the 54th Engineers Battalion in Iraq as a member of the United States Army. The corporal in the Marines has an important, but very dangerous job. He's the head gunner on escort convoys that are on constant alert for roadside bombs and snipers.

"He's never more than five feet from his weapons," his mother said. "And the machine gun fire (near his military base) is never-ending."

As a mother, she cannot help but worry about the safety of her son. He has had two close calls already. In one instance, a 600-pound bomb failed to explode near one of Jordan's convoys when two Iraqis with cellphones tried unsuccessfully to detonate it. The Iraqis were captured before they could do any harm.

In a recent e-mail home Jordan told of a another close brush. "Found one of our larger-scale road bombs yesterday. Well I should say, it found us," he wrote. "It blew about 50 metres from us. Quite a shockwave, I must say. Puts quite a shock into you. It turned out that whole road was wired up to blow, but only one detonated which was surprising."

Messages like this are, understandably, worrisome for Jordan's family, which includes his Mom, his Dad, Peter, brother, Justin and sister, Courtnay. But Debbi, who runs a horse rescue operation on the family's Ofield Road farm, continues to look forward to regular messages home from Jordan. She also finds solace in getting gift packages ready for her son.

She sent the first Care package last month and was delighted to learn that Jordan received it at his military base in Ramadi within two weeks. She wraps everything individually and puts it in a shoebox, then ships it off. There isn't a lot of room at the camp for large items, so the box contains things like beef jerky - one of Jordan's favourite treats - cold medicine, cough drops blistex, toothpaste, candy and sugar-free gum.

Debbi plans to send a package every month and she's currently busy getting the December shoebox ready. It will hold much of the same items as the first package except for a silver key chain with a Celtic cross attached. "The cross is for protection," she explained.

"All that I ever wanted was for my children to be happy and safe," she said. Jordan won't be home this Christmas and he missed last Christmas at home, too. He was training in Germany last year. His 21st birthday falls just two days after Christmas, so he won't be able to celebrate that with family either.

"He says he has to look out for everyone in his unit," Debbi said and he has also told her, "I would take a bullet for any of my men." Those are valiant and reassuring words for his comrades, but not at all comforting for his mother.

She's looking forward to the spring when "it's possible" Jordan will get a two-week leave and will come home with his German girlfriend, Victoria. "I'll show her Canada and I'll just spoil Jordan," Debbi said.

Jordan's tour of duty isn't over until March, 2007. Until then, Debbi plans to keep on sending gift packages, stay in touch by email, and say a lot of prayers.

"He's in our prayers this Christmas," she said.

"I pray for all the troops, not just Jordan. They're all young men."