Saturday, August 27, 2005

Ya Think?

I just saw this link at Mudville's and had to comment: A new poll showed that those who knew an Iraq war participant were more likely to support the war.

Now obviously this can be interpreted in two ways, as the article states:
Some of those surveyed said their relationships with troops helped them learn more about what's going on in Iraq beyond the violence. Others said their opinions of the war were shaped by a sense of loyalty to those in harm's way.

Because I have a few personal connections to the war in Iraq I definitely pay more attention to news coming out of there, and definitely consider myself a little more informed about the situation than I would have been had I lacked those connections.

I have had the opportunity to talk with many soldiers who were there, including my boyfriend. Some are more positive than others about our involvement, but the underlying theme has been: there are a lot of good things happening there, that get overlooked. For some the good/bad ratio is higher, for others it's the other way around depending on what their jobs were and where they were stationed. But there certainly isn't one same bleak picture being painted all over.

I obviously don't think the situation in Iraq is hunky-dorey. I also hope that our involvement will gradually reduce, and sooner rather than later. But I hope that it is in a positive way, with a feeling that what with did wasn't in vain.

While writing this post, I was reading some old letters from a soldier I was penpaling with while he was in Iraq up until last summer. And I found this amusing paragraph I thought I would share:
Mail is always wonderful out here and its often a communal experience. All soldiers love to see what each other got, especially if they know its from a girl (and the guy is unmarried). Everyone was immediately impressed that I'd gotten a letter from an "internet chick" - which by the way, was far cooler than getting mail from a prison chick. Of course everuon was equally disappointed that there was no tawdry message or nudie pictures, but I queled the groans by wishing herpes on the whole truck crew.

I am so glad that I started emailing, chatting and sending letters to a few soldiers in Iraq whom I met over the internet. It really opened my eyes to a community I previously had no contact with. I will readily admit I was quite prejudice about soldiers, and was pleasantly surprised (shame on me!).

Since then (February 2004) my life has changed so much. It has almost become military centric. I feel an instant connection with someone if they have something to do with the military, wanting to know their experiences. I understand the military structure a lot better, and am less critical and more accepting and respectful of certain protocols and traditions.

It has also opened my eyes to the human element behind this huge machine called the military. Its failings too, but at the same time the heroic efforts of those in the military to make up for those failings. And if you know a soldier, or a handful, it's hard not to recognize the strength they have and the dedication. And then it's hard to not support them in their efforts in Iraq, if they stand behind them. So I would say that my support of the war in Iraq has gotten very personal.

So, basically, duh about the poll results.


Blogger Sue said...

Well said. I think I found a similar path. Just over year ago, I really didn't know anything about these current events. I was supportive, but mildly. Not really taking an active interest. Then through meeting someone involved, I started my own trek to get educated. What I found was it was almost the 'easy route' to follow the MSM and not really understand, but by taking a little time to learn what was really going on, one couldn't help but become very supportive. Now my initial reason for beginning this journey is no longer in my life, but I am continuing on with the support and the responsibility of keeping up with what is happening.

7:43 PM  
Blogger Greggers said...

"BOO" Says greg

12:51 AM  
Blogger Greggers said...

Anyone there? Remember Greggers?

12:51 AM  
Blogger airforcewife said...

Isn't it an odd thing to get into? It's almost like meeting someone and "knowing" you are friends because you are both military in some way.

I think it's because we move so much we know if we aren't making nice, we'll be three years without a friend...:)

3:00 PM  

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