A Lilburn woman wants to make her son-in-law's birthday something he will never forget. She's hoping Lilburn will open its arms, as well.
See, Sgt. Zach Dees is a South Carolina National Guardsman en route to Kosovo, where he will be stationed until August 2013. His 29th birthday falls on the second week of September.
His wife, Sarah, who graduated from Brookwood High School, was told that he could not receive packages until the unit gets to its final location. Undeterred, Sarah Dees turned to her mother -- Ann Rambow, a Lilburn resident of 15 years -- to help figure something out.
"We decided to lift his spirits by starting a card campaign," said Rambow, who teaches fifth-grade students at . "It was Sarah's idea, and I decided to help.
"I want to do this because Zach is a good man and an excellent husband for my daughter and a great father to his girls. I would do anything to make his time away easier."
According to Rambow, this is the third deployment for Zach Dees. He was deployed to Iraq beginning in 2002 for 15 months and again beginning in 2006 for another 15 months in Afghanistan.
Rambow said she can see that the deployments are tough on the family, especially the children ages 8 and 3.
When the 3-year-old is "asked where her daddy is, she replies, 'He is at the Army,'" Rambow said. The older daughter also tries to be a big help to her mother, she added.
"They miss their dad and my daughter misses her husband," she continued. "The wives of this unit are supportive of each other, but it doesn't take the place of having their husbands at home."
Zach Dees is sacrificing for the good of so many, that organizing a birthday card campaign is the least the grandmother believes she can do.
Want to be a part of the effort to send Sgt. Dees a mountain of birthday cards and other words of inspiration? Here's the address:
Sgt. Dees, Zachary B.
TFF-JRD-E KFOR 16
APO AE, 09340