I don’t know everyone’s views about the War in Iraq. I don’t want to discuss political motivations or things like that. As we all know that is not what this blog is about. I do however want to talk about the soldiers fighting that war and one in particular. I support all of the soldiers in our armed forces, no matter what reasons they are where they are.
Now that that is out of the way… A close friend of mine is a 1st Lt in the Army Reserves. She received notice that she would be deployed to Iraq. She began preparations to leave. I don’t know a lot of details but I know She reported to Ft. Hood on Apr 1, 2008. She said she would be going through a basic training to get back into the swing of things and would have some leave while she was at Ft. Hood in April. She will leave in the beginning of May to some undisclosed location in the Middle East I am assuming. Then she will spend a year (I am told) overseas before coming home.
I have never been close to someone when they were deployed. Known friends of friends, or I met soldiers after they came back, or learned of someone I knew being over there, But never had someone close to me have to leave. I don’t see her very often anymore, since we moved to Austin, but I still like to consider us close friends. I could easily say I love her like a sister, just one I dont see very often.
She told me a while ago she was being deployed and it never really hit me. UNTIL NOW. The last few weeks I am finding myself upset at the fact that she is being sent over there. Beth is a smart, beautiful person (inside and out) who works hard at whatever she does. She has a good square head on her shoulders. College Degree. Etc, etc, etc. I keep thinking about what it will be like for her to go over there, away from family, friends, everything she is used to. Her way of life is changing drastically.
When I try to think about what she will see and face overseas I am overwhelmed by images we see on tv everyday. IED’s on the sides of roads, Fighting breaking out in the middle of the neighborhoods, the threats they face everyday that we don’t even know about. Maybe I have been playing too many video games about terrorists and the like, but I can only hope and pray that she doesn’t see as much as I am afraid she will, and that she comes home safe. In the back of my mind I worry about my family everyday. I pray my wife makes it to work safely everyday, and that while she is at daycare, the teachers remain 100% watchful of my daughter. I pray that my grandfather’s health does not worsen, because for 88 years old I think he is doing pretty well. I pray that my parents get to and from work safely. I pray that my fellow medics go through each shift safely without getting sick, hurt, or worse, on every call they go to. None of this even comes close to the worries her parents must face everyday for the next year, I would assume their biggest fear is the Army Chaplin walking to the door in uniform.
When I spoke with Beth and told her about my feelings she said, “It’s just because you haven’t known anyone going over there before.” Very plain and simple, calm and collected. I guess its because she has been dealing with this for a while, and has come to terms to some extent with what is happening. She says she is excited and ready to go.
I hope she and I will be able to keep in touch while she is over there. Maybe I can keep a page about what she is doing and how she is. We will see. And I will keep you posted.
I really don’t have a point but to express my feelings. I’m sure mail and care packages would be appreciated. You can email me for the mailing address. Either way those of you that read this please pass this request on.
Please pray for Beth that she and all her brothers and sisters come home safely.
Addendum: I got a chance to talk to Beth tonight and i fell a little more at ease. She assured me she couldn’t be any safer unless she was in the states. So I feel much better. I was thinking Blackhawk Down and Three Kings (both Awesome movies by the way). She is responsible for sending people on missions instead of going on them herself. Which in my book take a lot of balls too (I know, I know, bad example) That doesn’t mean she doesn’t need our thoughts and prayers. I asked her to keep me posted if her men need something over there. I know this doesn’t get out to too many people but I have been proven wrong that nobody reads this thing.