I heard news that a dear friend had been hit with an IED and there was no word on his condition. I tried to stay hopeful since I didn't have any details, but for a few brief moments, a wave of grief washed over my soul that I just couldn't stop. The thought of that bright light going out just floored me.
I had to let it work its way out for a few minutes and then I started to think clearly again. I got in touch with the right people and within a few minutes learned, (Thank Goodness!) that he was going to be okay and that everyone in his unit made it, too. Whew.
I don't care whether you're for or against the Iraq or Afghanistan wars and the side missions into Pakistan. I don't want to debate whether it's right or wrong for us to be there. What I want is for us to do whatever it takes within legal and moral guidelines to resolve those situations and bring our soldiers home!
That means we need to realistically look at the situations in all war zones as they are today and figure out how to solve them given the CURRENT conditions on the ground, not what they were and not what we wished they'd be. Put those plans into place (and these should be both political and military actions) and do it. We Americans are famous for our ability to adapt and overcome. Please let's live up to that image so we can bring our soldiers home safe and sound as soon as possible.
There are too many friends and family members who already have to live forever with that grief I experienced for a few moments. I hope and pray that I never have to experience that feeling again. But if I do, I'll bravely face it. It's the least I can do for those who risk their lives every day to safeguard me.
Please don't just think of our soldiers on holidays like yesterday and Memorial Day. They deserve to be in our thoughts daily. To quote my new friend Paul Arvay:
"Today and every day, when you see someone that you know is a Veteran, or you see someone in uniform, please thank them in person with a smile, a nod or a hand shake! Let them know that you care about and appreciate all that they have done and will do for all of us."
Thank you Veterans and Soldiers for all you have done and will do.