Loxahatchee military family celebrates 4th of July in honor of loved one away at Afghanistan

Local family honors Afghan soldier on the 4th

LOXAHATCHEE, Fla. - The 4th of July holiday is a day to celebrate the nation's birthday, but for military families who have loved ones fighting overseas it's a little different. One of those families is Loxahatchee's Silvernail family who is missing Army Spc. Matt Silvernail.

Like many houses on Independence Day, the nation's flag waves in the wind outside the front door, but at the Silvernail house there's also a yellow ribbon waving that's wrapped around the tree in their front yard.

"We're supporting him until he comes home and it will be on that tree until he is home with us," Amanda Silvernail said.

Amanda and Katie Silvernail are talking about their brother, Army Spc. Matt Silvernail, who has been in Afghanistan since February.

"It was scary," his sister Katie said after first finding out her brother was going there.  "Didn't want to accept it at all. He's got two kids and I just didn't want to accept it."

His kids, Seth and Reiley, always miss their Dad, the family said. As much as this family misses the army man they know as "MJ", on this 4th of July they honor and thank him.

"It makes you remember that there are people out there that are fighting for us," Amanda said.

But that fight is expected to come to an end soon.  Two weeks ago, President Barack Obama ordered more than 30,000 troops out of Afghanistan by next summer.

"I'm very excited that he could probably be coming home earlier than we thought," Amanda said about her brother. "But on the other hand you know, do it when they're ready too and that way we don't have to go back in."

"It's not just about if the war is good or not," Katie said. "It's just I support their troops and that's really important to me is getting them home with their families."

But until then, with fireworks in hand, they will celebrate the day their brother and his brothers and sisters in arms make possible.

"Pray, fireworks and celebrate everything I can for him," Katie added.

"We hope to hear from him soon and hope to see him soon," Amanda added. "Hopefully he comes home soon!"

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