Looking Back

It was one year ago Friday the order of attack came. Many of us watched as President Bush declared war on Iraq.

In the days following we learned our family and friends were being deployed overseas for Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Two local soldiers spoke with us. For 25-year-old Matthew Reeves the Tampa Bay Bucs are still the Super Bowl champions. Reeves, Florida National Guard, said, “I'm still living at beginning of 2003, not 2004 it's like everyone's moved on a year and I haven't." Specialist Reeves' time warp began in the war torn country of Kuwait where he awaited official word America was at war.

Reeves’ 14-month tour of duty took him to Baghdad and back fresh off the battlefield he says it all seems surreal. Reeves, said, “I haven't been able to watch the news since I came home, I turn away actually. I want to get my bearing back at home first.”

When the order came to attack 25-year-old Sgt. Charles Drake was in Uzbekistan as part of his 8-month tour of duty. Sgt Drake, 351st adjutant general postal company, said, “longest 8 months of my life, last two weeks took forever.”

Now, this third generation Sgt. spends his time taking care of man's best friend, but felt honored to serve his country.

Reeves has been home less than two months and Drake returned in August.

These are just two of the many men and women who served our country.