Hey all, know it's been two days since I last posted. I have been working pretty hard at things at home, so haven't had a lot of time on the computer.
I was talking to a friend today, when something she said struck me. She said people sometimes get too into the news and should turn it off. , they would find they would be less worried and better able to just focus at home. I agree in principle, but something kept nagging at me. So, I figured I would think it out on my walk. It took me a bit to realise what it was, but when I did I understood why I didn't quite agree.
You see, For years the news was a harbinger of my husband's itinerary. Whenever I was under the mistaken impression that it wasn't, I was usually corrected in short order. I remember one time while we were stationed in Germany, Liberia was being dragged into a civil war. "Not our problem' I thought. We are Europe, I bet 3rd group gets handed that crap bag. Next thing you know my husband is on standby to pull American citizens out of Liberia. You name it, if it went wrong my husband had to be involved. Kosovo, check...Bosnia, check, Iraq, check check check and check. My husband spent at least half of our married life in some other country. Every night, I would sit down and watch the news. Just to see what was happening where he was. I still remember the riots in Grozny, my praying he wasn't there only to find he had been smack in the middle and had a nice little cut on his scalp from a thrown Molotov cocktail for the trouble. Watching the news made me closer to him. My husband and I have a very 'passionate' marriage, we are both passionate people. When it's on, it's on, when it's off there is a loud, brutally truthful fight. We haven't had one of those in three years. We agree on a lot more than we disagree on these days. Even when we were going through a rough patch, and I felt I didn't know him at all. When he was deployed 11 out of 12 months...when he forgot how old our child was, when he was so wrapped up in his work he forgot to call for weeks. I was always proud of what he stood for. Sometimes I wasn't married to a man, I was married to an idea. The idea that you free the oppressed, sometimes at a great personal cost. I was most proud of him when he was gone over Christmas and had to stay in an abandoned slaughterhouse that had been turned into a morgue in Bosnia, where he handed out food and gave vaccines to the local children. No less than three elders offered their daughters to him in marriage. Sometimes the news is all military wives have. You would think I could shake the habit now. My husband has been retired for three years after all. But for me, watching the news is like looking at a scrapbook. Many places for me have faces attached. These are people my husband and my husband's friends have helped. Some of my husband's friends never made it back...some died on the side of the road, doing what they believed in. I still have cousins in the marines, deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. My cousin Gary was in the fight for fallujah, before our president bowed to political pressure and pulled out...at the loss of many lives, and then went back in. I care about politics because the policies our government puts forth not only affects you and me and our country, but the hopes of millions around the world. The rights and privileges we retain because of our military, are not only for ourselves, but for our children and our children's children. So we must take care in what we allow our government to do, what laws they pass and what rights they usurp. The veil that separates our country from every other country in the world is a thin one. Evil did not simply appear on September 11th, it was always there. That time the veil was torn and we were treated to the horror and injustice that occurs daily in many parts of the world. For me Our constitution, our liberty is not soaked in unknown blood. For the military, the blood and sacrifice has a face. They are inscribed in our hearts and minds. They didn't just die for their families. They died for our country and our constitution. When I turn on the news and see these faces in Afghanistan, I see Kelly Hornbeck, my husband's former Team Sergeant, who was killed by an IED. I see my cousins Gary and Jeremy. I see my husband and the faces of the wives who would stand in huddles at family support groups, worried, not knowing when their husbands would leave or when they would return, or sometimes,if they would return. I see the people my husband told me about, the Iraqi Christians who are persecuted daily, the translators who are targeted in Iraq after the teams leave. The dog the team had at their safe house, the one my husband wanted to bring home, that was killed because it had been tainted by infidels. You see, I left my childhood home a long time ago. There are bits of me scattered in the places I have lived, and pieces of the people I met are still with me. My home is no longer just one place, it can't be. In that kind of life, you make friends who can become closer than your family, because they know things about you your family will never know. They have sat with you and laughed with you, and cried and waited with you. You can swap stories of how your child called the wrong guy daddy and laugh instead of cry, because you are in it together. These places and people are things you never forget. Once you care about these people and these places, you always care.
So, I did my walk today. 3 miles and 1700 calories. I hope you all had a great day as well.