Hey Folks! Sorry about the long absence of blogging lately. I have been busy with vacation and spending time with the hubs now that he is finished with school!!! It is nice after two years of his school to have a normal night at home! I finally decided to sit down and write this series of posts about America…I have been thinking about them for awhile now….
As a lead up to the 4th of July I am going to be posting a series entitled “A Time to Remember.” In these posts I want to express some basic ideas I feel Americans have forgotten or choose to ignore. When once our country was united together…I feel we now stand divided on everything. As the 4th of July nears I think we need to be reminded of how amazing our country is and why we celebrate the holiday. We need to bring back the spirit of our country rather than keep watching it fall farther and farther a part.
We need to remember our military…ESPECIALLY…as the 4th nears.
My ideas of the military have greatly changed since becoming a military spouse. I have always had a fond idea of the military because of having most of the men on both sides of my family serve. But, I didn’t know what it truly meant…what sacrifices the men and women and families make that belong to the military…until becoming a part of it.
Being a member of the military means being away from your loved ones on holidays, birthdays, special occasion, births and in most cases the harshest environments out there, but it means you are truly committed to making our country a safer place for everyone…not just your family.
As the 4th of July nears I think of the many wars we have fought to continue to uphold our values as a country. I think of the many men and women who have lost their lives so we can continue to enjoy our freedoms and different ideals. Then it brings me to think of the current wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. While we have withdrawn most of our troops from Iraq we still have quite a few people over there. My eyes tend to focus on Afghanistan more now just because that’s where the Marines are being sent and because of finally finding Osama Bin Laden. Because of the former Americans have cried out to bring our troops home and abandon the war in Afghanistan. And on Wednesday of last week President Obama gave the American people partially what they wanted. We will start drawing out a significant amount of our troops starting this summer and culminating right before the 2012 election.
Now as a Military Wife you must be thinking…man you must be relieved with this news. I would tell you yes and no. Before having married into the military I have to say I carried a much more liberal approach on the wars in the Middle East. I really didn’t understand the point of being over there and I really didn’t understand if we were actually helping people.
Side Note: The media does not give you a well rounded opinion of the war over there. I was just seeing one side of it. Now for people that will say you are one of those crazy people who calls all media Liberal…..I am not calling it the Liberal media or the Conservative media. I am just calling it the media and it…trust me on this…whether it is Fox News or CNN does not give you the whole range of information that is out there. It will give you whatever information it deems to be able to sell ratings…period…no matter if it gives half or whole the truth….moving on.
My view of the military and the wars changed after meeting my husband and I began asking him these questions. “Why are we over there? What are we doing? Are we just wasting money and lives?” He answered “Because we are helping the people to overcome the tyranny and the oppression they have endured for probably centuries and also to try to stop the hotbed of terrorist activity that has lived in that country.” (*In so many words.) Wow, puts it in perspective doesn’t it?
I asked then why has it been taking forever? His answer was to tell me “How long did it take us to form democracy over here? Not just four years did it?” This leads in to telling me how American’s have a very short memory. It took many long hard years from our country’s Declaration of Independence until the creation of the government we know today. Our war was not an easy two years and wham bam we had democracy. It took many years and many lives and much struggling to form this wonderful country. We tend to forget that. We tend to think it is easy to create what we have in this country in others. And of course we are still perfecting it. All of our citizens still do not have the same rights as others. We are what I would call a constant work in progress.
So I would tell you yes, I am relived that they are trying to finish out this war because of the causalities, the families torn a part and the long years and mental stress our boys have been under.
But, I would tell you no because of military…the guys on the ground…don’t believe they have accomplished what they want to over there.
Now many people ask “What the heck are we trying to accomplish over there now that we got Osama? Wasn’t that the only reason for going over there in the first place?”
Well in actuality many things. The main reason we went over there in the first place wasn’t just to find Osama, it was to also destroy the breeding ground of terrorist activity and give the country back to the Afghani people. Our mission is not accomplished just because we caught the head of the organization that rains down oppression over there. We cannot leave a country in ruins just because we caught one man. We have to rebuild and help the people over there. We have to give the people jobs besides becoming terrorist or growing opium. We need to help them find commerce.
The history of Afghanistan is fraught with atrocities. The Afghani people have long memories of people coming in and making a mess and then leaving without fixing anything or helping them get back on their feet. Their country has constantly been at war. The hubs says their only constant has been the Taliban and the like….even if they are bad they have been their one constant. This cycle is what our military is trying to break for this country. They are trying this time to make it better rather than leave it in shambles. The military has taken on roles that would often be filled by State Department people. The military is helping with agriculture, city planning, etc. (Nation re-building type jobs.) Why you ask? Because we lack the number of State Department employees needed to do these tasks. So our military is taking on roles they are not specifically trained to do.
So for the typical American to scream for all our boys to come home without really knowing why they fight and President Obama to make an announcement to withdraw a significant amount of men (against the advice of the General Petraeus and the Joint Chief of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen)…I find this a travesty. No, not because I want us to stay over there and keep getting guys hurt….it is more for the fact that such a fast and large withdrawal of troops could get more of our men hurt. With such a sudden withdrawal we could see all our strides crumble. The terrorists are just waiting for upheaval to take back over the country. I fear for the people left to take over more jobs than they are capable of doing.
How much have our guys sacrificed over there to pull out too fast and see it crumble? Why do we have to play politics with people’s lives? I just wish we as American’s would get educated on the war and on the people that are fighting it. Ask a military member or ask a veteran why they believe in this cause. Don’t just rely on the political feeling at the moment.
American’s forget the sacrifices that this 1% are making daily on their behalf. These members of the military volunteered to be a part of something bigger than themselves. To keep everyone safe. Give back to the military by sending them words of encouragement or care packages. You don’t know what a difference it makes for moral over there.
Try looking at the website ” Joining Forces.” This is First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden’s website to bring attention to the military and what you as American’s can do to help.
I urge you as American’s to remember our military and the sacrifices they are making daily to continue to make our country what it is…safe and a country of mixed ideas and beliefs. I especially ask you this 4th of July to remember the men and women who have died for us to continue to live a life of freedom.