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Thank You

March 28, 2007

In my former life, I was a military spouse. It was an interesting existence–sometimes fun, more often empty, lonely, disconnected… sad. It was hard to watch loved ones get deployed to God knows where and wonder every time if they would really come back. In the beginning of that life, deployment was every couple of years, with ample time at home. By the end, it was a month at home and a year away, like clockwork. If they weren’t headed off to Iraq or Kuwait, they were sent to Korea or Germany or Somalia or Haiti, and the rotation was continual. I don’t know if that had to do with the drawdown that Clinton was so fond of or just the sheer number of countries to which we were sending our servicemen and servicewomen. Either way, it was hard–hard on the servicepeople, hard on the families they left behind, hard on the communities that suffered in their absence.

I got something in my e-mail the other day that I would like to share. Maybe you have seen it before, maybe not. If you have, it’s probably worth another look. If you haven’t, you should.

It’s called If I Die Before You Wake.

You don’t have to agree with the war in Iraq, or the “action” in Somalia, in Haiti, in Bosnia. You are welcome to believe that it is about oil, or money, or land, or political gain. You can believe in your heart that we have no right to be there. You can believe that the world would be better off if Slovadan Milosovich or Saddam Hussein were still in power, if genocide continued. You can believe that terrorism is still “far away” from us and won’t touch American soil again any time soon. You don’t have to agree with the decisions that our government has made.

But you do have to remember that those decisions were made by our government and those are the folks that should bear the burden of our opinions. Our sons, daughters, husbands, wives, aunts, uncles, dear friends, Mommies and Daddies pledged to fight for WHATEVER our country thought was just and right. They have given up their time, their hearts, souls, families and, often, their lives to do what most of us would never do. They have sacrificed it all for a pittance of a paycheck, because they believe in the good, old U.S. of A. and they deserve every ounce of respect we have to give them.

Perhaps I am more emotional about the subject because I have seen it up close and personal myself.  I remember vividly the tears rolling down scared, sad faces as a battalion prepared to deploy.  I remember the children reaching out chubby, little arms for one last hug before Daddy got on a plane.  I remember the mothers buckling down for another year of single-motherhood, not knowing for sure whether their husbands would be back.   I remember the fear that we all lived with every day they were gone. 

I am thankful that they do the job they do. I am grateful that they chose to defend our right to free speech, to bear arms, to practice religion freely.  I am grateful that they stand watch and allow each and every one of us to sleep peacefully at night. 

To all of our servicemen and servicewomen… thank you for all that you have done, all that you will do, all that you have already sacrificed, and all the sacrifices still to come. My prayers are with you. May God bless you and keep you.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2007 2:38 pm

    What in incredible video. Thanks for the link and for stopping by my blog.

  2. Christine permalink
    April 2, 2007 3:52 am

    What a fantastic video. I echo your sentiments.

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