One Year Anniversary – Thoughts and Reflections

How could I have missed this. One year ago December 8, 2004, I started this blog. My first post was “Arrival at Parris Island”. Most of my posts that month were about my memories from my early years in the military.

I have made many changes here since then. Both the appearance and the material have changed. Frankly I haven’t found my “niche” yet. But, I’m working on it. I still haven’t figured out how to use the Blogroll. I have names on it but I don’t see what its supposed to do! Then there’s the trak backs. I still haven’t quite grasped all the protocols for using it. But these are the techie problems.

The biggest problem I have had is with regard to substance. I have visited many other blogs for ideas. But it seems to me that if I am not careful here I can lose my own identity or uniqueness. I believe this is very important. I have also scoured the internet reading on line news papers, pdp’s, research resources, histories of the Middle East, terrorism, Osama bin Laden, Islam, and many other topics. American politics, customs, 9/11, the “Commission” report, and news stories at home.

But my greatest source, my most accurate source, my most meaningful source is our troops. I wanted to know if my nephew died for a just cause. He did! I wanted to speak up for soldiers like I never had the chance to do for Mike if the media and politicians turned this into a fiasco like they did during Vietnam. I wanted to talk about all the good our troops are doing and make sure that people saw our troops for who they are, people, like you, me, and Mike. I wanted to help make sure that those who didn’t come home alive like Mike were not forgotten. That no matter how they died, their families knew that someone recognized their pain, their sacrifice, the huge empty place in their hearts that would forever be there.

But I have found it hard to keep my emotions in check. It has been hard to write encouragement in posts while another part of me wants to scream out at the unfairness of Mike’s the death. It has been hard to try to be up beat when I feel like crying. It has been hard to tell our soldiers how good a job they are doing when I know that at any moment they too might lose their life. But though my feelings haven’t changed much at all where Mike is concerned, his death is still very much as painful as it ever was, I find that I have become attached to many of these brave young men and women whose blog I have the honor to read and post a comment.

When they lose a brother or sister, I cry for them. When they feel down, I worry about them. When they report on all the things they do out of the goodness of their hearts for the Iraqi and their children, I feel immense pride in them. When the press continues to write biased and one sided reports on them I feel like those Mom’s at a little league game whose kid was called out when clearly they were safe. But I want to call them much more than four eyed geeks or a blind bat. I want to shake the crap out of them. I want to find a way to send them to Iraq for 3 months, even 3 days. Let them eat MRE’s, choke on dust storms, dodge snipers, watch their vehicle explode around them, or watch their buddies die in their arms as their life’s blood drains onto the dry sand beneath them. But I think to myself no one deserves to have to go through this or ought to have to go through this. But if they do it ought to be for more than proving a point to a bigoted reporter or editor.

That’s when I thank God that we have men and women who face their fears, their loneliness, their isolation, their depression, their loss of comrades willingly because they want to keep America safe. Because they have more faith and confidence in the good of America than those who stay at home and do nothing but destroy our morale, our sense of purpose, and our sense of safety. Because while others talk about “having a plan” for what ought to be done; or, put down those who take a chance and implement a plan, our men and women in the armed forces “do it!” They put their lives, their personal freedom, their comfort of a home life, their comfort and everything we all cling to for dear life as necessities in our mundane lives on hold to protect our right to be mundane.

I have gotten much more from this blog than I have given. For that I sincerely apologize to all our troops. I wanted to be able to offer much more on your behalf. But my failures in that respect were not from lack of trying. I also wish I was a better writer. I’m working on that.

However, none of this changes the fact that our troops are in Iraq for the right reasons. They are doing a great job. The majority of Iraqi want them there until they can stand on their own two feet. The safety and welfare of our country, and I am certain in my mind, the world, depends on our staying the course in Iraq. For once in our American History we need to do the right thing through until the end is met because it is the right thing to do. Not for oil, not for trade, not for political or corporate gain, or any one of a number of self serving goals that often have clouded our past actions in other countries. Iraq may just be the very first or at least one of the few times in our history we, and other nations have done the right thing because it “is” the right thing to do. I know many may feel I am very naive. I don’t care. I prefer my idealism and naivete to the alternative.


~ by devildog6771 on December 30, 2005.

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