Staff Sargeant Max Fonua
Staff Sargeant Max Fonua. Photo courtesy of Kira Fonua:

The war rages on in the Middle East but here at home, our war veterans are fighting new battles that are leaving them broke, broken and in some cases, with irrepairable damage. For some its a mixed bag. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), alcohol and drug abuse, Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), homelessness, divorce. The distressful and depressing list of financial, medical and mental woes grows as more and more veterans deal with life issues upon their return home from the war.

It’s not always the case. There are a few like my brother’s in-law Nick and Adam Kolowich. Both have served honorably and without complaint overseas (Nick is on his third tour). Both had no choice but to leave young wives at home to fulfill their respective duties and responsibilities to their country. Both have returned home to raise beautiful young families.

There are many like Nick and Adam, but there is also an increasing number of cases like Jordan Sanford, whose post-deployment story is in today’s Deseret News.

And there will be more deployments. Servicemen and women are leaving their homes here in Utah and around the country at an alarming rate. In fact, the number has not decreased. We see it and hear about it all the time on television, on the Internet and in print media. Though I’m a strong supporter of the military, specifically our men and women in the armed forces, I’m eager to see our troops come home for good.

My friend, Max Fonua will be leaving us soon for the Middle East and his departure is really what prompted this post. I’ve only known Max and his lovely wife Kira a short time now but I’ve developed a deep respect for Max because of his devotion to his family, his country, his church and his community. He’s the strong, modest type who goes about his duties without fanfare and without any expectation of recognition or reward.

In Max you will find an easy smile, a generosity and an eagerness to do good and a willingness to do what is needed to serve others. It’s one of the reasons why I wasn’t surprised when it was revealed to me that Max serves in Utah’s Army National Guard where he is studying to become an Engineer and a Black Hawk pilot. Those kinds of goals can only happen with perseverance, determination and patience and Max displays all of those qualities in abundance. He is a natural leader who prefers do so by example and not through his words.

Staff Sargeant Max Fonua of Lehi, Utah is a hero and a Community All-Star. God bless him and his family for his service. Show Max and Kira your support by visiting their blog: Fonua Family