Saturday, June 11, 2005

It's My Blog and I will rant if I want to

There's something I have got to get off my chest here: I hate it, when people ask me about how my boyfriend and his unit are doing in Afghanistan, and upon hearing about all the incidents they have been having, they say: "It's time for them to come home." I just reply that they have barely been gone three months, and have another nine to go.

It happened again last night. Someone asked me if everything had been okay since the crash in April. I recounted how just a few weeks later, one of the engines on an aircraft my boyfriend was piloting failed, and they had a "hard landing". And also about Wednesday's mortar attack at Shkin while a Big Windy Chinook was being unloaded. But then I add, that despite these incidents, the unit is very busy, and morale is good.

I can understand that most people's natural response would be shock. Especially someone who is European, and doesn't have much exposure to the events in Iraq or Afghanistan. And I know that they probably mean well when they say: "tell them to it's time to come home."

Don't get me wrong, there is nothing I wish for more, than for my boyfriend and the whole unit to be back safely in Germany.

However, it's all about perspective. I think, that people who say that, maybe don't think that it's worth it. War is dangerous, and soldiers are prepared for the danger. Some will pay the ultimate price, and we should be forever grateful to them, and not shake our heads and think what a shame it is.

And when our soldiers deploy to a combat zone, we shouldn't pity them for being in harm's way, and wish for their early return. We should support them through the trials of their deployment and welcome them back when they return after having completed their mission.

So even though I know no one of the offending parties will ever read this post, I just wanted to say, next time you are speechless about the dangers encountered by soldiers in combat, say so. Say that you respect them for their sacrifice. But don't tell me they should give up and come home early. When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Update: I just found this at Blackfives, and the author has put it better than I could:

The first rule of war is that young men and women die. [...]

I wish there was not a war, and I wish our young people did not have to fight and die. But I cannot wish away evil men like Bin Laden and al-Zarqawi. These men are not wayward children who have gone astray; they are not great men who are simply misunderstood.

[...]I wish the situation was different, but it is not. Americans have two choices. They can run from the threat, deny it exists, candy-coat it, debate it, and hope it goes away.[...] Our second choice is to crush these evil men where they live and for us to have the political will and courage to finish what we came over here to do. [...]

[...]The third rule of war should be that we never forget the sacrifices made by our young men and women, and we always honor them. We honor them by finishing what they came to accomplish. We remember them by never quitting and having the backbone and the guts to never bend to the yoke of oppression.


Blogger HookersGirl said...

Hey :)
I was thinking about if I should comment your posting, but I decided that I should. I agree with what you said on the one hand, on the other hand ( if you read my blogsite a couple days ago ) I also said " I think it is time for them to come home ". I do have a lot of respect of what they are doing ( you know me ;-) and I honor everything they do. But I also agree that I think these people just try to be nice and want to tell you that they are sorry when they say it's time to come home. Oh well it is hard for me to put it in words what Iam trying to say here. Let me say one more thing: I also agree with you that most of the people ( all my german friends are like that ) don't understand the whole thing. They don't understand why my husband in is the army and I had a lot of discussions about the war and stuff like that. But don't get mad... :-) There are enough people they DO understand ;-) Oh well a good topic to chat through the Messenger soon *grin* Take care

10:56 AM  
Blogger Teresa said...

Heh - had to take my daughter to task for that same statement a couple of days ago. She was really freaked out over the incident in Shkin.

I told her
- number 1 - this is the job your brother chose... himself. I didn't tell either one of you what to do with your lives... by the time you're 18 you should be able to figure that out or I didn't do a good job raising you. How would you like it if he told you - you have to join the Army? Not such a good thought? If you don't want him telling you what to do - don't presume to tell him!

- number 2 - remember why they are there... they are there to take the fight to the people who would come here and blow up schools, malls, work places. Al Qaeda hates us - it's a hatred that isn't going to go away if every soldier comes home - it will only make them bolder and they will come here and they will kill innocent people. You think a mortar attack on our troops is bad - yes it's awful - but think of a mortar attack on a school - dead children - on a mall - dead kids, moms, dads, grandparents... from all walks of life.

Yeah, we want them to come home - it would be such a relief... but in coming home I don't want the alternative to be a country under attack, living in fear. Let them do the jobs that they are so very good at - and hope always that they will be lucky and get home.

6:17 AM  

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