'Independence Day is every day'

Relatives of those serving in the military discuss what July Fourth means to them

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The Fourth of July holds special meaning for the Quick family.

On Independence Day 2001, Gregory Quick, then 18, was shipped off to Kuwait to serve in the Army.

Along with Gregory, their other son, Raymond, 27, has served in the Army in Kuwait in November 2002.

As the Quicks get ready to celebrate America's birthday today, their sons' service makes the day

a little sweeter.

"I realize now a little bit more about the blood and sweat and tears that goes into the word 'freedom,'" said Sue Quick. "For one thing, it means I couldn't be prouder to be an American."

While the Fourth of July holiday is a nice reminder of her sons' efforts at freedom, Sue's pride is apparent everyday.

Pictures of her sons displayed on pins on her shirt, prompt conversations about Pfc. Gregory Quick

and Pfc. Raymond Quick everyday

at work.

"I think about them every minute," she said.

Because of her son, Spc. Talon Jayne serving with Army troops in the Middle East, "Independence Day is every day," said mom, Tarryn Jayne.

The prospect of him still serving overseas since February also is

a little sad.

"It makes the Fourth of July kind of bittersweet," Tarryn said. "We'll have our flag hanging from our camper."

Leslee Durham, mom of Marine Levi Durham, who's still serving in Kuwait as a tank mechanic, relishes the freedom her son is

defending.

"He was one of the ones on the front lines," she said. "That definitely makes me appreciate the sacrifices that have been made for America."

As an added Independence Day bonus, Levi returned to California in time to meet his wife, Jill, and son, Clay, who was born Wednesday.

Pfc. Raymond Quick is expected home in November and Pfc. Gregory Quick is scheduled home later this summer, said Sue Quick. Spc. Jayne may be home in the fall, said

Tarryn Jayne.

During July Fourth, and all through the year, the Jaynes' answering machine message is testament to what military families might endure.

The heartfelt message to their son says: "If this call is from Baghdad, we're really sorry we missed you. We love you little buddy and we're praying for you. See you soon."

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or by email at ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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