Wednesday, May 27, 2009
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Because of this job, we get to meet some truly wonderful people. One of them was kind enough to share something that they had written, and give us permission to pass it along. Thank you very much for that.
Even though she gave us permission, I have removed the soldier's name for PERSEC reasons, but other than that, it is unaltered.
"My son-in-lawn has been home one week. He is half way through his two week R and R. A week from today he heads back to Iraq. Two weeks out of a year to be home. Two weeks to throw a baseball with his 11 yr old son. Two weeks to play with his six month old baby. Two weeks to be with this ten yr old daughter who is caught between dolls and lip gloss. Two weeks to do the normal day to day things with his wife. Two weeks out of 52.
I was thinking today of what he is going to miss in the remaining nine months of his deployment. He will miss watching his baby take his first steps and dive into his first birthday cake. The baby will babble "Da-Da", but he won't be there to hear it. He will miss the baby's first Halloween and Christmas. During this year the little girl will perhaps box up her dolls because she is now too old to play with them and his son will turn twelve and maybe decide he wants to play basketball or get a cell phone. He will miss sharing his day with his wife or the simple pleasure of watching television with her. He will see them on a computer screen- thanks to modern technology. A GOOD THING, but a poor substitute.
There are those who say to me "Well, he chose to be in the military," How true. But, what if he and the thousands of other men and women of the armed forces had not chosen this way of life? What would happen? What would it mean for this country if no one wanted to be a soldier?
How wonderful it would be if we had no need for the military. However, considering the history of mankind, I seriously doubt that the United States of America or any other country would be willing to be military free. So, if these men and women did not voluntarily go into the armed forces, a draft would probably be ordered. Men would be asked to serve, whether they wanted to or not. And I have a feeling that it would not just be men, but women too, who would be given the opportunity to go to war.
(My son in law) is much on my mind. This is not his first deployment. He was deployed for 15 months, home a year, and now is deployed again. That's a lot of time to be away from one's family. A lot of homesickness and a lot of missing.
And what is it like for those left behind? Children miss their father. A wife cries because she misses her husband. They all try to help with the chores and mom goes into "Super Mom" mode. She works full time as a nurse, takes care of the children, cuts the grass,cleans the house, runs to the doctor with a sick child when she is sick herself, and sleeps alone. Her number one helper is thousands of miles away. All of this, counting the days until this deployment is over- knowing that it is likely that in one year , they will do it all over again.
And what is (the soldier's) mother feeling during the year her only child is in Iraq? I was fortunate to be at Ft. Hood the day he deployed the first time. He was put on a big, shiny white bus to be taken to the airport for the long flight to Kuwait. I watched his very brave mother's stoic face crumble as her son looked down at her from the window of the bus. As the bus started to leave, she started running beside of it, She ran until she could not keep up with it anymore and dissolved into tears. "I am so angry" was her mantra. Sacrifice.
Yes, he chose this life. I wonder why. I wonder if he would do it again. Whatever the reasons for the choice, we owe him and every other man and woman in the military a debt of gratitude. The next time you see a soldier in uniform, THINK- really THINK- about the sacrifice he or she is making, And think of the sacrifice of the family left behind during a deployment. Because if it weren't for them doing their job- it might be YOU doing it. Or, it might be Your son- or Your daughter making the sacrifice."