Saturday, March 17, 2012

On My Mind

Every morning while I wait for the coffee to finish brewing, I sit on the couch with my phone in hand, only one eye opened and check the latest headlines in the news.  This morning I was saddened to see the name of the Army Staff Sergeant who supposedly went on the killing spree in Afghanistan.  Saddened because he has a family ... not only a Mom and a Dad, etc., but a wife and two small children.  I am the wife of a soldier.  I can only vaguely entertain the idea that I might have a notion of what his wife is going through.

I was fortunate this morning to get to chat via email a bit with Richard while drinking my coffee.  We talked a bit about this incident.  Well, okay, I mostly talked about it ... and then driving on the interstate today on the way to the Mall, I talked about it some more with my oldest daughter.  What I realized is that this incident is very heavy on my mind and heart because it really illustrates how separated those in the military are from those who are not connected to it in any way.  When I heard the Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta, comment on this incident and I heard him repeat Sherman's famous phrase, "War is Hell," I couldn't help but shake my head.  Those words were what popped in my mind, too.  Yes, of course, this incident is absolutely shocking.  But really, we are at war ... war, and have been for 10 years ... longest in our history ...

I think it is time people accept that when a spouse of a soldier is away, it is not the same as the spouse of a businessman having to spend the weekend alone.  And I know, I know ... I probably either just lost half my audience or made smoke come out of their ears.  No, I am not wanting special attention because I am married to a soldier.  Nope, not at all.  And no, I am not saying that my life is "any harder than yours."  Uh uh, not saying that either.  I've learned a few things in life thus far and one of them is that life is never, should never, be a comparison game.  But what I am saying is that I hope that this incident can be at least used as a great wake up call to those who have forgotten that we are at war and that war has consequences.  Pray for your troops.  Seriously ... pray for your troops and pray for their families.  I have a short list of some troops I pray for on the left hand side of my blog.  I'm sure at least one of you has wondered why I don't delete names ... well, the truth is, is that we've done this enough for me to know that they'll probably go back by the time I delete their names, and more importantly, that they need prayers once they are home, too.  Please don't forget we are still at war and even where we technically are not, our deployed troops always run the risk of being in danger.  And I know we have drawn down and are continuing to do so, but please don't forget that the Veterans among you (and they are there!) have brought war home with them.  No, they are not all suffering from PTSD, but just remember ... it was war they went to, not a business trip to Chicago, and they went for you.  Bottom line, they went for you.

I think what happened recently is just so, so sad.  But, unfortunately, it's not the first sad news I've been made aware of during the course of this war.

Until they all come home, I will not forget them.  And when they are all home, I will remember them still.

Prayer for Our Troops

"Lord, hold our troops
In your loving hands. 
Protect them as they protect us.
Bless them and their families
For the selfless acts they perform
For us in our time of need.
And give us peace. 
I ask this in the name of Jesus, 
Our Lord and Savior. Amen." 

from the Archdiocese For The Military Services, USA
*Richard had cut this little prayer out of a paper and had it laminated.  
I keep it stuck in the side of the frame of a picture that hangs above my computer.*


  1. War is hard. I feel bad for that guys family too. A tragedy all around.

    1. As a wife, mother, and Soldier, this one rips me right down the middle. There are two mothers here: one we have empathized with, and prayed for her, her children, and her warrior husband. The other, we also call to mind, because she lives in a perpetual war zone. She has probably lost a child before, if not to a bullet, to a disease. She must gasp for air, asking "Why?!God?!" even if she makes no outward shows of her grief. God, who sees even a sparrow fall (Luke 12, Matthew 10), surely sees and wants us to see these young ones who are wept for. One of the burdens of motherhood is that we can easily imagine our worst fears happening to our child. In moments like this, I am thankful for it, because it breeds compassion. Thanks be to God, who can gather up and hold the wounded from every side of this encounter, and even heal.