Monday, July 16, 2007

It has just been sad...

This has been a tough period for me. I am normally able to grieve and go forward, to stand up for what is right and defend it, to be supportive at all times, but the past couple of weeks have taken a toll on me.

I have written far too many obituaries for fallen American soldiers from Oregon the past two weeks, including our first woman and a K-9 team. I take these very seriously. These are people who have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. They chose to be there. They are better Americans than the rest of us for their willingness to endanger their lives for the rest of us and for the larger idea of what America is. Most Americans don't think that deeply.

An Airman I supported on his deployments committed suicide at his home base. This is the second of the hundreds and hundreds, nay, thousands, I have written to that has died. Many have been wounded, but this death is such a horrid one. The first was Captain Alex Funkhouser. He was the soldier killed when a journalist was wounded. We hear much about her, but how odd that his name was not reported. You can read about his wonderful life here:

The Minnesota Redbulls, extended last winter are FINALLY coming home. While they are excited to be in the outprocessing phase, they are anxious about the return after close to two years of being away from their homes and families. Their early return group has suffered tragedies at home: Captain Carta was involved in a freak car accident on the way home from the airport, which cost the life of his eight year-old daughter, Stephen Major and his family were victims of an arsonist who set their home on fire on the third night he was home - thankfully, he, his wife, the two year-old and eleven month-old twins escaped, but they are homeless, and SSG Sheda was brutally murdered in his home town. You can read the details at my friends blog, You can read in the comments an idiotic commenter who wanted to parse and debate the story in a tribute to a fallen friend.

An Airman fighting for his life who was shot in front of his home by an anti-war activist on Independence Day. The idiot murderer wanted to make a statement - the press has made a statement by failing to report the story. You can read about it here:

My Republican Senator is leading the charge for tucking tail and running away in Iraq. Congress, in general, is made up of self-serving people who will say and do anything that they think will keep them in office. Few of them represent their constituents or listen to them. Fewer still are willing to stand up for what they believe in - if they believe in anything at all. They have no long term vision - they think and act in sound bites to immediate impulses. Yet, we vote to return them to office.

Half of Congress is rooting for defeat in Iraq and Afghanistan and starting to root for a major attack on our soil. Why? To embarass the President. To win big in 2008. Damn, you all need to be Americans first!

On top of that, America is far too selfish to care about anything or anyone outside of their own little orb of self-interest. We used to be better than that. We have turned into quitters and defeatists. We have no respect for what is important. Christians will ram their religion down your throat as long as you don't ask them to obey the Golden Rule or to Love Thy Neighbor. No one thinks twice about hating - hate the President, hate the Military, hate those who don't hate. And, they are much too willing to spew their hatred anywhere they can - some of it has ended up on my blog. I am not talking about disagreement. I am talking about vile hatred and vile language and vile thought.

For my anti-war, anti-America 'friend' who recently wrote to me and asked if any of the troops I have written to have died - YES, but for those who haven't died, more often than not, those they loved have. They have been wounded - some critically, some not so badly. Most have come home with scars that can not be seen. I have had a First Sergeant sit in my living room and weep over the death of two of his men. I had a medic who would write to me in detail about her experiences in unedited candor. And, they are volunteering to return to the war zone. In the past couple of weeks, I have been contacted by over a dozen of the troops we have supported who are either back in war zone or are headed back in the next several weeks. Save one, their spirit and outlook is amazingly positive and strong.

For my aunt who thinks the military is beneath her, you should get down on your knees and praise God that men and women are willing to fight and die for the luxury of your life and your arrogance. Isn't it funny that you can be so disrespectful to them, while the opulent luxury you live in was provided by them? And, it more direct ways than most - my uncle was a weapons system designer and aviation designer.

When SPC Tom Tucker was kidnapped and murdered, I swore I would always pay tribute to those without a voice, those who have given so much to our country, to each of us, that they would never be forgotten. The untimely ripping of their lives out of the fabric of America will change us - change us in ways that we may never be able to identify. From some survivors comes a need to do something greater in their lives, for others, it becomes a destiny of destructive despair. We need to remember the full price of freedom. WE OWE THESE PEOPLE - we owe them for everything we take for granted, for our hopes and dreams, for our successes and joys. The returning warriors, the wounded, the fallen, the families of those men and women - WE OWE THEM.

I am past angry. I almost felt a hopelessness seeping into my soul, but then I think of these marvelous young men and women who still believe and it would make me a traitor to them if I loose hope. I was just feeling sad... very sad.

Then, a comment by a father to his son on one of my tribute pages, an announcement of an upcoming birth from a soldier we love and care about, and the circle of life continues and we regain hope, we find joy again, and purpose. I just wish we could all root for America.


Melodie, "Operation Spirit" and BFS said...

Dear Cynthia,
I feel and hear your cry out to the world of your anger, frustration and disappointment. I too, often feel that way. The apathy towards our troops while we hop in the car to get a dairy queen or a burger. Everytime, I decide I "NEED" something I stop myself to ask if I buy this what will I not be able to do for one of my soldiers? I pay $30.00 for a haircut, I have cut back to 2-3 times a year. I pin it up the rest of the time. I look at that $30.00 as 4 care packages I can not send. To me, it is worth the small sacrifices (they are small) to support our troops.

The people who you say are Christians? Jesus told us that by our fruits we shall be known.We live in a country that has abdicated the throne of Grace to an ala carte Christianity. A gospel centered by man, not Christ. SO, I seriously doubt claiming the name Christian fits. I have met the lion in sheeps clothing many times in my service to my King. I dont understand a lot of the time but I know God is still on the Throne.

And now we will cut and run and leave mass genocide open to the people we told we were going to help.

Patroitism is empty today for most people. They are too busy busy busy achieving and acquiring possessions, never content that when they drop dead will belong to someone else. How much do you really need?

Yes, wasnt it a delight to learn of the new life for one of America's favorite (okay at least books for soldiers)soldiers? I am honored to be able to meet them next month in Columbus Ohio. We are having a party! I am sure we will all cry a lot!

And thank you for your support of Sgt Carlos Acostacastro a soldier who loves to wear his uniform is how is signs his name. Sometimes, I want to ask him and my son, WHY?
Cyn we, you and me do what we do because we know it is the right and just thing to do for America's children.
Carlos wife was in a terrible car accident yesterday. She is okay, but the damages, broken cell phone,ticket etc will cost money they really dont have. I have taken that to the Lord in prayer for help to arrive for them.

I sat and cried last Saturday night because I knew he would not win. I thought Why would he not have won? It should not have even been a competition! Today, I buy coffee to send to help fulfill a wish of his to keep coffee for he and his co-workers. I just shouldnt have had to do it.
And then through all of the Vote For Carlos and our emails. . he tells me he is proud of me and he doesnt have a mom he wishes I was his mom. I must be the best mom! I just dont know why God keeps giving us these fine troops!
I mean afterall we arent at war or are we?

Flag Gazer said...

Mel -
Thank you...
...for your support of me and of the troops
...for being the caring and kind person that I am proud to call friend
...for loving Carlos as your own.
...for all of the kindnesses you give to others.

May God's blessings be with you.

Mike said...

I can't be there, so, like you, I am doing what I can here. And that means supporting each and every servicemember overseas. We sent them over there and we owe them more than we can repay. May God bless each and every one of them, and all of those who suffer and weep with them.

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you, Mike - wonderfully said.

Ron Simpson said...

In the words of Sean Hannity, YOU are a great American. I cannot put words to how much I respect and admire you for what you do and who you are. Thanks for being so great.

Flag Gazer said...

Thank you - that means more to me than you know...

Thank you for being my friend.