June 22, 2011

A Sacred Trust

(I am going to do something I haven't done before, and that's publish an article of mine before it hits the Homefront United site (although I would definitely appreciate your comments when the it goes up!) and at Off the Base as well. I'm posting it here first because it's a timely subject that I feel so strongly about. And while I say it all, let me also say this: let's not forget those who were killed, or injured physically or otherwise.)

Republican, Democrat, or fill in the blank- much of the country was glued to the television for President Obama's speech today. And because my husband's future (and therefore, our family's future) could depend on what was said, I listened to every word.

There was one part of the president's speech that struck me the most. He quoted a member of the military who recalled September 11th. “One soldier summed it up well. 'The message,' he said, 'is we don’t forget. You will be held accountable, no matter how long it takes.' Maybe, but all I could think was this: will we be forgotten?

It's already happened in Iraq. When the announcement came that the troops would be withdrawn by August of this year, the country breathed a collective sigh of relief. According to Reuters, there are still 47,000 American troops there. While the news stories seem to focus on Afghanistan of late, I fear the general public may not understand how many families are still missing their spouses, siblings, and children. Not one of those 47,000 should be taken for granted or ignored.

Afghanistan is even more personal to me, because my husband and brother both spent nearly a year in that mountainous, sandy place. I recall all too well hearing IEDs exploding in the background while talking with them. I was shaking after the first time they echoed in my ears, but it's something they must have heard all too often. And unfortunately, announcing to the world that we are beginning a withdrawal does not tie everything up in a pretty bow. There is still gunfire there tonight. War does not stop and start so easily. War does not end with a speech.

I don't hang my hope on any politician's promises- to do so would be foolish. But President Obama later in said in his speech, “To our troops, our veterans and their families, I speak for all Americans when I say that we will keep our sacred trust with you.”

To all Americans, I would simply beg this of you; please keep that trust. Do not forget us now.

We have never forgotten you.


4 kind comments from you:

K L @ The New "Normal" said...

Very well said. As a wife of a Soldier recently deployed to Iraq - thank you. Many people, when asking where he is deployed to, are surprised when I tell them and comment with "I thought the Soldiers were all leaving Iraq." None of them should ever be forgotten, wherever the are. I love your ending sentences...great post!

Anonymous said...

I read your post on OTB and decided to come here too. I for one will not forget!
I am also a native central Illinoisan. Grew up in East Peoria, now a Chicago suburbanite. I look forward to your writings!

beka said...

this part got to me --"War does not stop and start so easily. War does not end with a speech."
so true. :\

charla beth said...

that last sentence gave me chills.

and i have to agree with beka: "war does not end with a speech." what depth behind those words.

and many Americans do not realize--and may never realize--what continues to go on over there. ethan told me once that that's ultimately the beauty that is this country and what the service of the men and women in uniform accomplish: that the military fights so they don't have to have to know. the unfortunate side of that is it makes many people blind to reality.

powerful, POWERFUL post.

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