Geroge Orwell

We sleep safe in our beds at because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

And Waiting, and waiting, and........

As I sit here on Sunday night waiting to hear not if, but when my Warrior will leave for Haiti memories of a different departure come haunting back.  January 2007.  Deployment to a much more serious place with a different mission. Then we had just enough notice to leave home and get to Fort Bragg for about a 18 hour goodbye.  Now, I have plenty of time to get to Fort Bragg but no firm departure.  This deployment is serious however, thank G-d, hopefully more humanitarian and not as dangerous.  Having said that anytime an American Warrior hooks up so to speak he/she takes on the role of person in charge.  That in and of itself can and is often times dangerous.

While waiting, I scanned my email and received this from the President of Gretchen's Chapter of Blue Star Mothers.  Yes, they still keep me in the loop and for that I am grateful.  That being said I am posting this as with many, many of us we have sons and daughters leaving sometime for Haiti but we must never forget our American Warriors still in Iraq and Afghanistan.  This my friends is what it is all about.

 The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's, but he has never collected unemployment either.
   
    He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student,pursued some form of sport
    activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and a 155mm howitzer.

    He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk. He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him,
    but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must.

    He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional.

    He can march until he is told to stop,or stop until he is told to march.

    He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient.

    He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry.

    He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts.

    If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.

    He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands.

    He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job.

        He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay, and still find ironic humor in it all.

    He has seen more suffering and death than he should have in his short lifetime.

    He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed.
   
    He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away ' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.

    Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
   
    He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding.
    Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood.

    And now we even have women over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so.


God Bless Them All!

Pops

3 comments:

AirmanMom said...

Please keep us posted. My prayers are lifted for you, as always.
Blue Star Mothers is a remarkable organization and I am pleased to hear they include you. We are all parents of soldiers, we are a family.
God Bless.
~AM

MightyMom said...

waiting...

ABNPOPPA said...

And still waiting. Reportedly slept in his Hummer last night......waiting .......on the call.

Thanks ladies I appreciate your support.

Pops