Major combat in Iraq is over, but the fighting continues. There are new reports daily of troops injured and even killed in attacks.
It's not often service men and women are able to send letters and e- mails to loved ones back home. But recently, Billie Smith recieved word from her son, 24 year old Patrick, asking for prayers.
Monday, Billie shared her son's moving letter with us.
"Mom, things aren't going well around here, we still have mortor attacks almost every night. Daily someone else is gone that was there yesterday talking to you. The Iraqi don't want us here and it puts us at great risk. We know if we get in trouble most will not assist us to escape or try to prevent our death. I love you mom. Don't stop praying for us over here. we really need our families to not forget. Please take care of yourself. Patrick," Billie reads from her e-mail.
She also explains what life is like for Patrick and the other troops in Iraq," All the over passes almost daily someone is attacked from an over pass or have a homemade bomb that's in the sand that they're driving through on the highway. There's not any place that's safe. I think the children, he struggles with that the most and mass graves that are in Baghdad seeing that and seeing the devestation associated with that. I think it's been very difficult for him. There's so many young soldiers, and my son is 24, to put all that in perspective, I don't know how someone can do that as an adult. You have to have some place to put that information. He is a single parent. She doesn't understand, because she's 4, why daddy isn't home, why he can't come home. She mises him. Her daddy is her life. I believe that prayer changes the fabric of everything and that's what he 's depending on is that people will not forget to pray."
Billie's son, Patrick Vestal, was deployed to Iraq last January. He expects to come home just after the first of the year.