This time of year is very difficult for Michael and our family, but we wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you who took the time and effort to write to Michael or financially contributed to his prison account. Your response to him was overwhelming and provided a much needed boost to his morale. We can’t thank you enough for your continued support and prayers which sustain our son more than you will ever know. He can’t physically respond to all the many letters and cards he receives, but he wanted to make sure we conveyed his heartfelt appreciation for your steadfast support.
Here is an excerpt from an earlier letter which Michael had us share with you a few summers ago and the words are as true now as they were when he wrote them:
“Each day I strive to not focus on the bad, but to find the good. I immerse myself in books that take me a thousand miles from this place of concrete and steel. I push forward in my quest of self-discovery and self-observation seeking wisdom to call my own. From the small window in my prison cell I can see a cornfield where a farmer toils in the hot summer air and I find myself longing to walk that field and feel the earth beneath my feet and the sun against my face. My hopes are to someday have my own land upon which I will raise cattle and spend all my waking hours in that warm sun upon my horse whose name only I will know.
Gratitude is not something one would expect to find behind these walls, but it is here where I found it…waiting to teach me what really matters in this life. And while I sleep she gently reminds me how truly blessed my life is.“
Michael’s 1st Parole Hearing has been set for January 9th, 2014, and we hope it will be his last. We will represent Michael before the Army Clemency and Parole Board in Washington DC, and we should hear the results within two weeks of the Hearing. Please say a prayer for the Board’s discernment and courage to examine Michael’s case with an open heart and mind about what a Soldier faces in battle. We know Michael is not a threat to society and will be a productive American citizen who will always hold his head high.
We wish you all a blessed 2014 and God willing it will be the year we will finally welcome Michael home.