4 years ago I wrote the following post. Amazingly, my cousin is deployed once again. I had the pleasure of visiting with his family this past Wednesday. My how the children have grown. I had mixed emotions visiting, as it wasn't quite the same without their Dad. But I gathered myself and embraced the warmth and innocence of the children. It lifted a heavy cloud off my soul and reminded me yet again how precious our life can be.
I am still saddened that 4 years later and we are no closer to resolving the world conflicts.
Today my thoughts are obscure. I’ve shielded myself from the outside world for reasons undefined. Occasionally my mood dictates this reclusive behavior and typically has no lasting malcontent. I find myself searching for answers to issues that aren’t directly affecting my every day life. Today, one thought is focused on past family members who served in the military. The one who comes to the forefront of my thoughts is my Granddaddy. He died when I was young and although I retain memories of him, I still wonder what amazing stories he told of World War I. My parents often reflect on how he loved to tell his stories. He would talk for hours on end recounting his days. If memory serves me correctly, he fought in the Battle of Belleau Woods. He was an infantryman for the U.S. Army and served his country proudly. To my knowledge, the only wound he received was a Mustard Gas stain on his legs he proudly displayed. My parents tell me I would sit and listen to his stories, focused on his every word as if I understood the abyss of his nightmare. I cannot recall those stories but have memories of sitting with him in his rocker or sitting at the kitchen table eating Raisin Pie. I often hear my parents recall his stories and wished they’d documented them.
The only relative, I’m aware of, that served in World War II was a cousin of mom’s that fought on Iwo Jima. He carried around a picture of her sister during that campaign and later told the family how he viewed that photograph often. It brought his mind home and surrounded him with an aura of peace and comfort. I sometimes contemplate just how such a small object can bring forth a calm amongst the storm.
I had hoped writing this would liberate my thoughts. I believe the imprisonment of my thoughts revolve around my cousin’s coming deployment. I have no qualms about his deployment as he will proudly serve God and Country. Although I haven’t received any information, I cannot dwell upon the missing facts. He deploys sometime this week or next.
The only consolations are the memories of those relatives who served their country and returned safely. We, as a Nation, must honor those who gave some and those that gave all. We must unite in our honor, regardless of our opinions, to those that have and will preserve our nation’s freedom and liberty. We, as a Nation, mustn’t view this war as an atrocity. We must view this as the world democracies, as we know it, stand against a belief having powerful similarities to the Axis of Evil from World War II. Our forefathers served and died protecting our freedoms and liberties. We, as a Nation, are poised to cross that threshold once again. We must see the parallels between Pearl Harbor and the Twin Towers. We shouldn't hide behind our political beliefs nor our misguided attempts to rationalize our dissent. Our American History clearly defines our resolve and present day shall not be an exception. We, as a Nation, shall not stand cowardly towards our aggressors. Our fellow countrymen fight bravely each day and we, as a Nation, shall honorably support their efforts. I fear that if we abandon our fellow countrymen who are patriotically providing the ultimate sacrifice, we shall reap the bitter harvests that were sown.
“America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves.”