ALBANY, GA (WALB) - WALB and Montlick and Associates would like to recognize the Heroes Among Us.
Each month, we will spotlight an active duty man or woman, a veteran, or a fallen hero whose service to our country goes beyond the battleground.
For Marine Corps veteran Jonathan Whitlock, the sacrifices of going to war were more than simply putting his life on the line.
"He will go out of his way to make sure that you're taken care of," Marian Whitlock said of her husband. "He loves our kids. He likes to play with them. He's very into sports so they're very into sports."
The Marine deployed to Iraq in 2003, not knowing if he'd make it home to meet his unborn child.
When taken back to the moment he found out his wife was pregnant with their first child, the couple got emotional.
"He said, that's my junior, that's my junior!" Marian said as she described the moment she shared the news with Jonathan.
"I was overwhelmed. I was happy, but overwhelmed," Jonathan explained.
But, that moment was bittersweet.
"9/11 happened in 2001, and I knew at that point, he's going somewhere," Marian said.
Jonathan was in the Marine Corps infantry at the time.
"The day that he left, I think I cried all day," said Marian.
In 2003, just after finding out he and his wife were expecting a baby boy, he deployed to the Iraq War.
"Being pregnant and not knowing, is he going to come back from war because I knew what his job was," Marian explained. "He had to do his job for his country."
While her husband was in the war zone, Marian was diagnosed with gestational diabetes.
"It kind of got me emotionally, because I know that I needed to be there with her to help her fight this battle herself, and I couldn't," Jonathan explained.
As difficult as that time was, the couple said they feel blessed the new father was able to make it home from war safely to witness his son's birth.
"I was like, he's finally here, and this is mine. This belongs to us," Jonathan described. "I can still feel it right now."
Fast forward 15 years and Jonathan, Jr. is almost 15 with two younger brothers and a sister.
Jonathan's four children idolize their dad, especially because of his service in the military.
After serving 10 years in the Marines, he hasn't given up on serving his country.
Now on the civilian side, he rebuilds military weapons at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany.
"I feel like now, I'm back where I need to be," Jonathan explained. "I feel like, almost like I'm back in the Marine Corps again."
It's clearly in Jonathan Whitlock's nature to be a shield of security for the most important things in his life.
"He was protecting the country then, and he's still protecting us now," Marian said.
If you would like to nominate your military hero to be featured on 'Heroes Among Us' on WALB ABC, click here.