Saturday, September 20, 2008

Who are our soldiers?

They are the sons and daughters of people like you and me. They may even be you and me.

One of Eldest Daughter's classmates has a father in the military. I saw him in Safeway last week. I really wanted to thank him for helping keep our country safe but I couldn't get the words out of my mouth. Instead I went back to my car and felt bad about it.

In the last year I've met three people through work who have sons deployed. We've sent them care packages. It's a very small thing to do.

It seems we run into soldiers when we stop at 7-11 or McDonalds en route to Tahoe. The pinks have no problem talking to them. And I'm grateful for that. I just try to pay for whatever they're eating or drinking and hope that they understand our appreciation. How pathetic is that?!

Two years ago I spent a long weekend in Savannah with my girlfriends, celebrating my 40th birthday. At a piano bar we came across a group of boys who were shipping out in a few days. They were drinking and chain smoking and singing at the top of their lungs. I knew that in a few days I'd be home with the pinks and they'd be thrust into a world beyond their wildest dreams, and not in a fantasy sort of way. We bought a round for them that night.

The thing is, we didn't used to know anyone in the armed forces. Sure, Doug went through college on the Navy and then served seven years, most of them in San Diego, unlucky guy. He missed our wedding because he was on tour. But he was really the exception.

Not anymore.

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