My friend, chiropractor, and church member, Josh Eldridge, just left for Afghanistan. The local paper just wrote an article on Josh and what he and his wife had to sacrifice in order to fulfill his committment to our great country.
Here is the story from The Greeley Tribune:
It’s war again for Greeley chiropractor Joshua Eldridge, but unlike other soldiers who are sent overseas, this time it heavily affected his profession — he closed up his business.
Sgt./Dr. Joshua Eldridge is in training right now and will soon be in Afghanistan, in military intelligence. The last time he was in the Middle East he was in Iraq, working with the unmanned aerial vehicles used for intelligence gathering.
His assignment in Afghanistan likely will be similar.
Eldridge and his wife, Sara, were the owners of Rocky Mountain Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Clinic in Greeley, but because he will be gone for more than a year, they decided to give up their business.
“I’ll be in Afghanistan for more than 400 days,” Eldridge said before he left last week. “And we can’t maintain our business for that long.”
So, the Eldridges tried to sell the practice first and had a buyer who had to pull out at the last minute. They contacted their bank, who had the loan for the practice.
“We worked with the family to get out of the practice,” said Tom Prenger of the Bank of Colorado. “We helped to move his equipment out and sell it, and helped to close it altogether.”
Prenger added, “It’s important to help people who protect our country. We owe them something for what they do.”
For Eldridge, it’s his second trip to the Middle East. “I was 25 years old and had just finished my doctorate in October 2002,” he said. “I was sitting on my brother’s patio, and we were watching news and the fighting going on in Afghanistan. I felt a little guilty of not helping, so I joined the Army.”
He spent four years in the active Army, fought in Iraq, and got out in 2006. He is now in the National Guard. The Eldridges moved to Greeley a little more than two years ago and set up the practice. They also have three children, ages 4, 2 and 4 months.
While Eldridge is overseas, Sara and the children will be living in Washington state with her family. He will return in 2011, ready to start up a new practice.
Eldridge said he doesn’t know whether they’ll return to Greeley after his deployment. “But the people of Greeley have been a lot of help to us, and we won’t forget them. They have been incredible.”
Giving up the practice is sad, Eldridge said, but he knows how important his duties are. “This is probably my last deployment,” he said. “There are similarities between Iraq and Afghanistan, and I’ll be working intelligence with the 82nd Airborne. They don’t send in the 82nd unless they’re very serious about the war.”
Josh and Sara are amazing people. We miss them, but think about them often, because we now own their two labs, Lucky and Belle. 🙂
Please put Josh and Sara on your prayer list. They’ve joined the countless number of men and women who are making significant sacrifices so that others can experience the freedom we enjoy in this country.