By Paula @ Holiday World

It’s not often we get a phone call from Afghanistan, but a very special one came today.

Joe Yeager is stationed there. He was supposed to be home by now, but there was a delay.

And today is his wedding anniversary.

Joe had plans to bring his family to Holiday World to celebrate.

His question: Could we somehow get a greeting to his bride and children? (Now before everyone else starts planning signboards and announcements: we do not do this. There are so many birthdays and anniversaries, it would be pure insanity trying to satisfy everyone.)

But Joe Yeager is serving our country. And his family sacrifices daily; they miss him a lot. They had plans to be together today, their special day.

So Joe figured out the NBT (Next Best Thing). Rick, our graphic artist, whipped up a quick sign and affixed it to the back of a “sandwich board.” It was placed by the entrance gate in the hopes Joe’s family would see it as they left for the evening.

And they did.

Yeager family

That’s Deborah and one of the kiddos. (He looks kind of shy, doesn’t he?)

Here’s her story: We met several years ago, right after my dad and I moved to Corydon (Indiana) from California. I went into a store to rent a movie and asked the clerk, “What’s fun to do around here?” Her future husband replied, “Absolutely nothing — except Holiday World. Wanna go?”

Real smooth, Joe!

Back to Deborah: I told him I had a boyfriend, but thanks anyway. A year or so later, I was working at Subway and he came in. We each thought the other looked familiar, but it took us a minute to remember. All of a sudden, we both said, “Holiday World!” and started laughing. This time I said “yes” when he asked me out. So Holiday World has always been “our place.” After we got married a year ago, we even honeymooned here. Joe left for Afghanistan soon after. He’s due home any day.

And guess where they’ll be heading soon after? (We couldn’t possibly make this stuff up!)

God bless our servicemen and servicewomen all around the world. And the families who love them. And miss them.

Happy Independence Day to us all!
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