This Saturday is Armed Forces Day, and this month is Military Appreciation Month. When I got this email, I knew this was the week to share it with all of you:
My 15 year old son belongs to the Civil Air Patrol, which is an offshoot of the Air Force. We had been talking recently about what it means for him to be in the military, the good, the bad, and the sometimes ugly that goes with it. I just received this email from one of our deployed members that sums up what it means to be a warrior, and thought I would share it with you.
From one warrior-raising mom to another,
And here’s the email she got:
A few of you have expressed your thanks and feelings regarding my deployment. Of course, it’s been a resounding “don’t go!” But I would like you to take the time and ask: what would happen if I didn’t go?
The simple answer is that someone else would go in my place. This isn’t an acceptable alternative for me. How could I expect someone else to go in harm’s way in my place?
Another answer, one I believe more important, is this: who would protect my fellow brothers and sisters in arms while they do their jobs? Six years ago, I put up my right hand and swore an oath to defend my country. And that country includes every airman, sailor, soldier and Marine. The job that Oscar [his bomb-sniffing dog] and I have is just that: protecting my brothers and sisters so they might return safely.
When I returned from my last deployment a year ago, I had the honor of flying with an Angel Flight. For those of you who don’t know, an Angel Flight is the designation for an aircraft carrying our fallen service members. It was unfortunate for them to return in such a state. And I knew, in the back of my mind, that if more people like me (and Oscar) were there, that just maybe, these service members would not have to return like this.
The oath that I took is different from the oath you take as a CAP cadet, in that many others stake their lives in the trust that I will keep my promise. Sticking to that promise is important to me. But sticking to your promise is just as important. It shows how you, as an individual, value your own promise to yourself, your community, state and nation.
I know what my oath means: that I am prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice if need be to protect my fellow service members and Americans. I’d like you to take the time to reflect on YOUR promise. What does your promise mean to YOU? Can YOU count on your own promise? Can OTHERS count on it?
Thank you everyone for the gifts, support, and thanks you have given me. Once I arrive in Iraq and get my mailing address, I’ll forward it on. Remember, the best gift is “Chocolate Monkey” or “Swiss” trail mix from Archer Farms, available at Target.
Take care, and stay safe. I’ll see you at the end of my deployment. I expect to see all of you promoted to Cadet 2nd Lieutenant by my return. Martinez, give me five push-ups.
I read the following email from Tina on the air the other day, but it’s such a good story, particularly during this week following Thanksgiving, that I wanted to share it in this forum as well:
I have to tell you about a recent shopping experience I had at the local Wal-Mart. My family and I live in northern New York, just 15 minutes from Fort Drum. This area is extremely “pro-military,” and we like it, even though I can do away with the miserable winters.
Driving to the store, I always pass through the base, and I saw all the “Welcome Home” banners hanging on the fence, meaning that a bunch of soldiers had just come home from Iraq. When we got in the store, I couldn’t help but notice soldiers who were shopping – the look on their faces was priceless! These guys were happy to be shopping, happy to be alive, and happy to be home to family, friends, and community who are aware of their sacrifice and heroism.
My six year old son was sort of oblivious to all of those dressed in fatigues until we reached the Lego aisle, and he saw a couple of soldiers in his favorite section. He said, “Look, Mommy – some good guys!!” “Yes, I see,” I told him. Then he asked the soldiers: “Did you get the bad guys?” “Yes, young man, we sure did,” they assured him.
My son was especially excited that the good guys liked Legos, too!
I got an e-mail recently which just about made me throw up. I don’t throw up easily. I like to keep what’s inside of me there, unless it’s supposed to leave, but this pretty much almost put me over the edge, because my baby’s over there.This is from Kathleen. She says:I hope you inform your listeners about the anti-war protestors in Portland who burned in effigy a United States soldier. I can’t even find the words that would be printable to describe how I feel. Well, I have the words, but let me finish her letter:
A car was allowed to pass through a checkpoint in Iraq, because the car had two children in the back seat. The adults got by the checkpoint, left the car, and blew it up, with the children in it. Continue reading What Kind Of Creeps Would Burn In Effigy A U.S. Soldier?…TrackBack URI
The following is an excerpt from my radio program from last week:Dr. Laura: Jay, welcome to the program.Jay: Doctor, thank you very much for taking my call, ma’am.
Dr. Laura: My pleasure.
Jay: I am an ex-military soldier with a loss of limb, and I’m having a difficult time reconciling between being revered as (quote) “a war hero” and reviled as an oppressor. Friends, family…
Dr. Laura: Who reviles you as an oppressor?
Jay: Believe it or not, my family.
Dr. Laura: You mean your mother and father?
Jay: And my sister as well.
Dr. Laura: Who do they think you oppressed? I mean, how stupid is your family? Continue reading No Intelligent, Rational Person is for War, Except…….TrackBack URI