17 June 2010

Death... and courage...

“At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate."

In the month of June alone, there have already been 42 deaths in Afghanistan, 24 of which were US soldiers and Marines. In the past week 6 of those deaths have affected two people very close to me. While I didn’t know any of them, I’ve found it very hard to get perspective on it all.

I never thought that the war was anything less than real. But it has always been at a distance. It’s not happening on U.S. soil. I haven’t lost any friends to it. No one close to me has really experienced the loss that makes war seem so horrific. Until last week.

Last week, my friend’s husband, lost 3 of his close friends to an IED. His wife is friends with their wives. Exactly a week later, the same friend’s husband lost his best friend to what is being called “hostile fire”.
Not knowing these men doesn’t make it any less sad.
For once, these fallen men aren’t just names on CNN’s casualty report. They’re friends of my friends. They BBQ’d with them on the weekends before the deployment. They spent time with them, got to know them. Watching my friend hurt and cry over the death of her friends’ husbands… It’s gut wrenching.

No one ever told me how I’d be affected when something like this happened. I don’t know any of the men or their wives. I’ve seen their faces on facebook and with articles about their deaths. But somehow, all of this has made the war so much more real to me.

I’ve always realized that death is a possibility because of the Mr.’s job. But somehow I was able to detach myself from that thought… until now. I’ve spent some time thinking, trying to understand what those women are going through, how I would react under the same circumstances and then feeling sick because of it. When I found out about the first casualties last week, I caught myself hugging the Mr. just a little bit tighter when he came home that afternoon. When I found out about the one this week… I’ve caught myself just staring at him, grateful to have him at home and then feeling guilty and so horrible because there are 6 wives who will never get to do that again.

I cannot imagine my life without him in it. So, I can’t even begin to fathom what those women are going through. How they’re even functioning at all. It breaks my heart.

So again, I’m saying thank you… to the soldiers, marines, airmen and sailors who have given their lives in service of our country and to the families they’ve left behind. 

"At the end of the day, the fact that we have the courage to still be standing is reason enough to celebrate."

No comments:

Post a Comment