Sometimes I get an idea from a blog my friend Dena has posted. This morning she wrote about the war in Iraq. www.blogsbydenaharris.squarespace.com
Of course, being a mother of a Marine, I responded. I have to agree with her, we all feel somewhat distanced from that war most of the time. My son, now having finished his service in the Marine Corp, works for a major airlines and is doing quite well, thank you very much. Uncle Sam helped him through college and molded him in areas that I, as a single mom, could not. He's an upstanding citizen and a good person. And when I think of all the other mothers whose sons are now serving their country in a war-torn region of the world, my heart just sinks. I could've been in their ranks had the war started a few years earlier.
Sure, having money for college is nice, but I think most mother's would prefer the safety of their sons and daughters, to the benefits their children are awarded should they live through four years in the military.
Still, I was moved by Dena's blog this morning. It's difficult to think about what these guys are going through. Okay, yes, I know the boys in WWII went through unspeakable horrors, as well men and women during the Korean War and Vietnam. Talk to any veteran that's seen action. If they're willing to relive it, they'll tell you what the young men and women in Iraq are going through. They've been there. They know.
But the rest of us? We sit in our protected homes and lives and tend to push all thoughts of Iraq out of our heads. Nobody wants to think of it. It reminds me of how we reacted to the war in Vietnam ... we ignored it until it up and slapped us in the face. Until Americans are faced with terrorism on our own soil, we have this innate ability to turn away from terror overseas.
Problem is, what do we do about it? Not much. Some write letters, protest, march on Washington ... but can we really stop it? How does the ordinary citizen bring peace to the world in a day or a month? Feeling a bit helpless? I suppose the best thing we can do is ... pray. Pray for peace, pray for our sons and daughters, and pray that the men and women we elect in Washington have our best interest at heart.
Do they really? It's anybody's guess.
A depressing subject, which -again- is why we avoid thinking about it. We turn the channel, or skip over the evening news from Baghdad, or throw away the section of the newspaper that reports another soldier killed. A soldier whose family lives in our town. A soldier who will be laid to rest in his family's church cemetery. It's Vietnam to me ... all over again.
I support the troops ... I pray for them ... I also want to bring them home, even if we have to put different men and women in office to do that.
Blessings to you and yours. And safety.