Archive for August 26th, 2009

Letter to a Soldier 6/21/08

Sat morning 0602.  I’m sitting in bed, I’ve had a lot to think about and I just put my knitting down.  I’m making myself a pair of socks.  The cats are strewn about the room 2 on the floor by the window, 2 lying next to me more or less-Boodha flipping his tail-now on my lap investigating my activities, purring-content as always.  It occurs to me that his contentment is not unlike the feeling civilians get knowing that the armed forces are there-doing what they do.  He doesn’t usually think much of how his world stays comfortable, food, water, a clean box and the freedom to play and cavort.  His biggest decision of the day “the black or purple mouse?”.  He only gets vocal when his comfort is lacking-when their is no food in the dish or when they are sick and need care.  So it is with many sporting their opinions pro or anti military-until their comfort-their freedom-is challenged.  Possibly especially the freedom of speech?

I want our soldiers home (to the US) too.  I want them here guarding our people, serving our citizens-but we are ok for the most part.  We have the freedom to shout about the poor decisions of government with little or no thought of whether expressing an anti-presidential opinion will endanger our own lives.  And as long as the protestors are shouting-we can all take comfort in the knowledge that at home we feel safe to do so.

That isn’t always the way life is, is it?  Where you are there may be justifiable fear that expressing an anti-government opinion could get you or your family killed.  My point?  Exactly.  As long as people here are loud and opinionated you can take comfort in knowing we feel safe enogh to express our individual views at the tops of our lungs (not me, usually-but protestors)-and that they can do that BECAUSE you are doing this.  Only because they feel safe to do so.  Most civilians-myself included are naive about the military and what effect your presence around the world has on our daily lives. 

That has changed for me since last Wednesday when the (IA) Guard began working to protect our city (flood of 2008; aka 6 days in June).  Standing with us to sandbag, protecting barricaded areas in an attempt to protect people from their own stupidity-well try to.  Some folks are just determined. 😦 idiots.  And yesterday I had an opportunity to work face to face with them.  They are here to protect a bridge-not the homes or possessions of civilians-the bridge-and a few more pieces fell into place for me.  That while the individual may believe that it is him or her you are serving the truth is you serve the greater good of the nation and that we are expendable-that’s not to say we are unimportant or irrelevant-but that we all are called to sacrifice for the good of the nation.  It was an honor.  Words cannot express the deep gratitude and appreciateion I feel for all of you-members of the services-and now I have a few people-faces-to recall when I remember you.

Be safe.  You have my deepest apprecation.

Boodha chose his favorite-the purple mouse.

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