Friends and family across the country are saying prayers their loved ones will come home safely. One family in Northcentral Wisconsin found a way to keep the home fires burning, literally.
For the Smiths who live in Marathon, a bonfire that began as a spring-cleaning project quickly turned into a show of support Saturday for U.S. troops overseas.
"There was a lot of debris laying around that needed to be burned," Jeffrey Smith said about how the idea originally started.
Smith said things changed when the President announced the U.S. was going to war.
"We're doing it to show the U.S. and anybody who can see the bonfire. This is for our troops, for our children, for our soldiers," said Smith.
Smith is a retired staff sergeant with the U.S. Army. His youngest son, 20-year-old Timothy Ryan Smith is in the navy. He's serving as a photographer's mate second class on the U.S.S. Constellation, stationed just outside Iraq.
Smith says planning the bonfire makes him feel closer to Tim, and it's comforting to be able to send a message of support to everyone who can see it, and also to his son, wherever he may be.
"Tim," Smith said with tears in his eyes, "just do what they tell you. Behave. Be careful. Come on home. We love you."