Soldier counts blessings after Christmas return
Jarrod, Kevin and Kim Friloux pose with Gov. Bobby Jindal upon Jarrod’s return to Louisiana after spending a year in Afghanistan. This was Jarrod’s second tour of duty, with his first coming in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2004.
Friloux was one of 120 soldiers that returned to Louisiana from a 365-day deployment on Nov. 23. The soldiers were welcomed home by Gov. Bobby Jindal and newly-appointed Adjutant General Glenn Curtis, head of the Louisiana National Guard. Friloux was part of the 415th MI Battalion, whose mission was to conduct interrogations, analyze intelligence and perform counterintelligence operations in Afghanistan.
"After seeing the way Afghan people live, it really makes me appreciate the comforts of the U.S.," Friloux said. "I’m very thankful for the support of my friends and family during my deployment, and for those who looked after my wife and son."
This is Friloux’s second tour of duty. His first was during Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003-2004. His recent deployment has been especially hard on his wife, Kim, and son, Kevin.
"It was definitely a challenge, getting used to doing the things that he would normally do. But I was lucky to have a great support system of family, friends and other military wives," Kim said. "It is a huge relief to have him home. I am so thankful that he is able to be home for Christmas."
Kim said that her and Kevin counted down the days until Friloux returned home and made welcome signs.
"He was a great source of strength for me during the deployment," Kim said of her stepson. "He kept my spirits up."
Friloux said that he can’t even put into words how wonderful it feels to be home.
"It felt like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders," he said. "It was definitely one of the happiest days of my life. I got to get back to life with my beautiful wife and wonderful son and now I can spend time with family for the holidays without deployment on my mind."
Kim said the family is now looking forward to hosting their first Christmas in their home. They are planning a Cajun Christmas, complete with gumbo, potato salad and dessert.
As for Friloux, he is home for good and will not have to deploy again.
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