GATTMAN, Miss. (WTVA) — Jerry Blaylock of Gattman represented this country in the armed forces for more than two decades — first with the U.S. Marine Corps, then with the Alabama National Guard.
It was during his time in the National Guard he was called for duty during the Second Iraq War as a welder.
"I actually got to teach some of the locals how to weld and do a little bit of machinist work to help them better themselves," said Blaylock.
Blaylock is fully aware of the sacrifice made by men and women who wear the uniform, but he's also aware of the sacrifice made by those who are at home while their loved ones are away.
In Blaylock's case, it was his wife Ellie who was at home during his overseas service.
"She had to be back here to brunt the force of the bills getting paid, getting the animals to the vet," added Blaylock.
His deployment to Iraq lasted for about a year.
Blaylock said it was hot there and it could be sad to lose someone you had met just a week earlier.
But he added the return home was a sweet one.
"The airlines that we flew back on played 'Sweet Home Alabama' for two hours. After a while, it got a little old, but man, it was sweet that first hour," said Blaylock.
He doesn't have to say it, but Jerry Blaylock is proud of his service to his country, and he's proud to be a military veteran.