My Soldiers and Their Bolgs
Every day I log onto my blog and go to the military blogs of some of my favorite sites and find out how they are doing. What’s new with our troops in Iraq! Occasionally, one or two, sometimes several, will not have a post. I don’t get too worried when this happens. I know sometimes a soldier may not have had time to post anything. So even when more than one hasn’t added anything new, I know that isn’t usually a “big deal!”
On the second day of no posting I start to get concerned. Now I know one of two things may be in the wind. The troops are in a new campaign against the terrorists or there has been a battle with severe injuries or deaths. My first worry is there are injuries or deaths. But I prefer to remain positive. So I convince myself that all is well. The troops, for security reasons, will post after the campaign is over and it is OK for them to post again.
But as the day goes by I can’t help that nagging empty feeling in the pit of my stomach that says maybe the blackout is in force again until next of kin have been notified because we have lost one or more of our troops. I start scouring the Arabic news nets and looking through the American nets. Maybe there is a clue to be found out there if I look hard enough.
But as I begin my search to reassure myself all “really is well,” I think to myself, those sick bunch of terrorists are able to do the self same thing I am doing. I also know that is exactly what they are doing. That they even have better means than me to discover the information they seek over the internet. But there is a major difference .
The terrorists are looking for news, information, and “intelligence” that they can use to kill “my” soldiers! Then I catch myself. Wow, that’s heavy! When did these troops become my soldiers? After a little thought on the matter, I realize they have always been my soldiers! They belong to all Americans. They are or husbands, wives, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, or some other significant person who left home as our loved one, but soon lost their oneness and became our troops.
Maybe that’s why when Michael died, I turned to the blogs in my grief at his loss. I didn’t want any of these troops to be “our troops” any more. I wanted them to have back their oneness. It is too easy when they are the troops to not feel the same pain at their loss as we feel when they are still looked at in our minds eye as individuals.
I think if our politicians and media could bring themselves back to seeing each of our troops not as a unit or regiment but as the individual men and women they are maybe they could see more easily how much what they say and print hurts our troops as individuals and then collectively as a unit. Maybe then they could begin to see that concern for troops’ morale and the accomplishments they have made have been placed on a back burner.
Even those people who stand outside the gates of our bases when our men and women come home and protests the war seem to have forgotten the individual soldier. Do they really think that what they are doing is what is best for our troops? As they yell bring our troops home, don’t they realize that our enemy is sitting somewhere in a cave with the most sophisticated communications equipment available and thinking to himself, hmm.., I have found their weakness. Play on the American emotion. Threaten the American politician’s political ambitions.
If Osama bin Laden has learned nothing else from the American resolve, he has learned that if he plays on our emotions and public conscientiousness, he can make us do anything! He can sway support from our President’s policies. He can affect our Senatorial and Presidential races. He can make us go home with our tails tucked between our legs like the dogs he thinks we are!
All he has to do to accomplish this is send in more suicide bombers. Increase the number and frequency of attacks. Make sure that these attacks kill many troops instead of one or two. Because, with America’s isolation mentality, the people will rise against the president and demand he bring our troops home. They don’t belong over there any way. Iraq isn’t our problem! Give up and leave Iraq.
Well what about those who have already died? What will we tell “their” families about the deaths of their loved ones? Since some feel we should have never gone their anyway, will we tell their children that these men and women were not heroes? That they died for nothing. Will these same self righteous people take time with these children and take them to ball games or hold them at night when they are too upset to sleep? Will these people tell these children their moms and dads died for nothing?
When Al Qaeda comes to America and bombs our trains and public facilities, what will these same people then say? Why didn’t the president protect us? Will the media and these same self righteous groups of people also tell our kids when war is no longer “over there” where we don’t belong, that the reasons our streets lay in shambles and destruction is because our president didn’t do his job? Will these people remember then that they fought him every step of the way as he tried to protect America by stopping the enemy while they were not on American soil?
Again my mind goes back to our troops. Again they go back to the missing entries I expected to find on the blogs of “my soldiers!” I remember the men killed in the units from Ohio and Georgia. I am saddened by the loss of more good soldiers. But, I am even more saddened by the media and political usage of their deaths. Again these troops are no longer individuals. They are a now weapons in the arsenal of words railed against a president trying to protect our country.
Then I wonder how many of our young men and women died in vain because the media and a handful of Americans and politicians ate away at the morale and spirit of our fighting forces. How many have died because these same groups of people gave the enemy the push they needed at a given moment in time to make one more desperate effort to kill our troops when they might have given up.
I am saddened that again our country is allowing a few people to speak for the “silent majority” because that majority is complacent in its position.
Day two has moved into day three. There is no longer a doubt. There have been deaths. Rumors begin to trickle out of Iraq. I check my soldier’s blogs again. Praying that none of “mine” were among the dead. All the while, I am consumed by guilt for my selfishness. What makes my soldiers anymore important than any of the other soldiers over in Iraq? But I already know the answer to that question! By reading their blogs, and sharing their fears, hopes, dreams, and aspirations our relationship has changed. Likewise, in giving them support, encouragement, sharing back with them my own personal thoughts and feelings they are no longer “the troops!” They are my troops!
I pray for them. I worry about them. I feel their pain. I feel their success. I cry for them when they suffer losses and are consumed by grief. I worry with them when they worry about their families. I suffer in silence with their families as they too wait through these blackouts. I know that my worry and the many other feelings I share and have for these troops and their families are not the same as those of their families and they themselves. But that doesn’t make them any less real. However, there is one major distinction. While I realize our troops all serve as volunteers, that doesn’t remove the very real pain, suffering, and loss they and their families experience. If it were not for these brave and selfless men and women, we would have lost our rights and freedom a long time ago.
So I feel honored to share with these soldiers and their families what they endure on a daily basis. I hope that in those times when they or their families feel most like giving up, they will know that there is someone out there who cares. Who suffers with them. Who waits in silence with them. Someone who mourns with them!
Once more I check “my soldiers” blogs. Thank God there is a post! When I go to bed tonight I will say yet another prayer of thanks. Tomorrow, the cycle will start all over again. The thought of giving up my soldiers blogs is not an option!
To each and every soldier, especially those deployed, I offer you my undying gratitude for all you and your families have sacrificed for me and the rest of our country. Thank you and God Bless you all and your families.