27. September 2004 · Comments Off on Gary · Categories: Home Front

Something has been bugging me all weekend. The kids and hubby are irritating me to no end, but I know it’s not them. I think I know now what my problem is. A couple of weeks ago, I read a post on Blackfive written by a Navy doctor leaving Iraq describing what was good and what was bad. Of course I broke down, and sent the link to all my friends and family. Naturally a few replied and bitched at me for making them cry, but one of my cousins replied and told me how she thought so many take the sacrifices military members make for granted. Then she thanked me for serving and told me how proud she was of me. Well, there I went bawling again. See, I don’t feel that I ever really made that much of a sacrifice. Sure I missed my daughter’s first Christmas when I was in Kuwait, but thousands of men and women miss a lot of their kid’s Christmas’s, and birthdays, and anniversaries than I ever did. But that’s not what’s bugging me either.

I have another cousin who joined the Army National Guard about 14 years ago. His unit deployed to Iraq a few months ago. I know he is no more or less important than any other soldier over there, but he is the only one that I have known my whole life. He is the only one over there that I used to sneak off with to smoke cigarettes when we were teenagers. He’s the only one over there I cruised around town with listening to AC/DC’s Who Made Who tape. He’s the only one who was standing next to me in front of our Granny’s casket and saw her eyelid flutter. (I would have thought it was my imagination, but he saw it too.) I think that’s my problem. It’s hitting close to home. There hasn’t been a war or conflict before this one, in my lifetime, that someone that close to me has been involved in, because I was too little to remember Vietnam.

Godspeed Gary, and be safe. I am proud of you.

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