Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and Easter will be waiting for him at home, in the rooms that his family will leave decorated for each holiday that Vogt has missed while in Iraq. Kathy Hall and her husband, Vogt's stepfather, Jack Hall, will leave "Darren's tree" standing until he comes home, they say.
They blanketed the tree in red, white and blue lights, and decorated it with ornaments bearing Vogt's name and the dates of his absences, miniatures of the Statue of Liberty, eagles and other patriotic gestures. They covered the 6 1/2-foot-tall fir in yellow ribbons, and will leave the wrapped Christmas gifts to and from the soldier under the tree until he comes home, Kathy Hall says.
"It's kind of like having him home," she says.
And the holiday open house at which the Halls welcome hundreds of friends and family members each year will be postponed, once again, until Vogt can be a part of it.