12 September 2010

11 Sep 2010

So every year today is very hard for me. For some reason this year, it has been even harder. I always cry, I always pray all day, I always think of how hard it must be on the families to not only have lost their loved ones but to have lost them so publicly. I woke up this morning to a happy baby, got her out of bed and fed her, cuddled with her and then turned on the computer. When I signed in the first thing that I saw was a video that my cousin posted about 9/11, I watched it and a few others and cried a lot. Then I thought about how the people who lost their loved ones must feel, wives, husbands, sons, daughter, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers. I thought about all the people who have been affected by 9/11 that did not know anyone there. The people who just feel for them, like me. I thought about what I would do if I lost my little girl or my parents to something so horrific. 

After about an hour of prayer and pondering, we continued with our day. We went to the CARE fair that our post was putting on to prepare us for the deployment . As I walked around, smile on my face, I looked at all of these soldiers walking around with their families. I thought about my own husband and how he feels that he is doing nothing right now because they are just cooks and just in the field or garrison. Then, about the fact that I talked him into signing a infantry contract and for the first time since we made that decision, I got a little scared. When we decided that he should go infantry it was (and still is) because we wanted him to have some training since he likes to go out on missions and get into the thick of things and because we wanted him to feel like he was doing something. We thought about the fact that he got hurt as a cook and therefore is NOT invincible and could still get hurt regardless and we decided that it would be the best decision to make for him to go infantry. As I thought about all of this and all of the soldiers who have stood in my very footsteps who never made it home, I began to just be overwhelmed by a sense on anger coupled with immense pride. I was angry because who could have so much hatred for a whole nation as to want to kill innocent people? Who could want so badly to make an example out of themselves that they would hijack and crash a plane into a building and kill thousands with no recognition that they are human beings? Did God skip over the hearts in their chest? I don't understand. And pride because not only do I get to be a wife to Justin, but I get to be part of something that not everyone understands. To be in the Army, in any fashion (Soldier, spouse, child, etc), is HARD work. 
To be a soldier and go to foreign lands and be in harms way is an immense burden that no human being should have to carry but so many do. It is to truly leave everything that they have been taught about not hurting people and instead go away and do what they have to do. Whether they have to go shake hands with people who could hate you, sew their friends up, or kill insurgents, they do it. They leave their families and miss giant chunks of their children's lives all for very little pay and sometimes not a lot of respect.They turn their hearts off to everything while they are there for a whole year or more and then come home and have to learn how to be "normal" again. 
To be an Army wife means to, not only support your husband and be fully reserved yet empathetic while your husband tells you the tales of the things that he has seen, done, and experienced but also to be a single parent over half of the time. To support them all even though your heart is being ripped to shreds too. And to wipe away all the tears every time Daddy leaves and help them to come back together and be comfortable again once they come home. To pray every night that they will come home safe because life without them is just unimaginable but a very real possibility. 
For a child to love their parents is an instant bond. They know the moment they see you that you are going to protect them. They want, as young children, to be protected by us. To come to their parents and have their boo-boos kissed and make everything right in the world. They didn't ask to be a Military kid. They didn't ask to have a parent who is only home sometimes; who works ridiculous hours when they are home and who is in the field or deployed over half of their lives. They learn how to cope with Daddy not being home and learn how to go back and forth between one parent and two.
I have always loved that Elizabeth Stone quote, "Making the decision to have a child- it's momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside your body." I can not even imagine the agony that it must be to have a child go off to war. I can not imagine Piper ever being anywhere but under my protection or ever feeling a second of pain. So to be the parent of a service member must be the worst feeling in the world. When Justin is deployed, I spend every minute of that time with a knot in my stomach and I didn't birth him. We have an amazing love and connection but it is nothing like a mother's love. 
After the CARE fair, we went to lunch and on TV was the news of course talking about 9/11 and showing that horrific footage. As we were sitting there Amber said to us that we shouldn't have any of the Muslims in the US which just hurt my heart. If that is the rule, then what about all of the other countries that we have been at war with before and now their people are US citizens? What of the Germans? Should we condemn them because of what their ancestors did? Well no! Of course we would not do that! We are to love them anyway. Not all Muslims are awful and believe in those ways... some of them, I am sure a lot of them, in fact, believe in peace. 
As I was thinking about all of this, I was just overwhelmed. I am so grateful to all of the service members who are fighting for our freedom. They are amazingly giving people who deserve all of our respect. I am also grateful to everyone who has already served and has put their lives on the line in the past. (i.e. my dad and grandpa and John). Also, to all of the Fire Fighters and Police Officers who risk their lives every day on our own streets dealing with the "hoodlums" in our own country. I pray that nothing like 9/11 ever happens again and that we can finish our duty in Iraq and Afghanistan and have all of our troops come home for good! 
****Also, please note that our troops may be "pulling out of Iraq" but that does not in any way mean that they are safe. If they get to actually leave, they are likely to go to Afghanistan instead. They can change the name of the types of units that they are sending there but these people are still in harms way everyday. They are still doing their jobs and protecting us and putting our lives above their own everyday. 
Sorry this is sooooo long but I had a lot on my mind today!