I've read a lot of posts on Emily's Open Call about the moment you felt "Most American". I really think it's a silly question and wasn't going to write anything until I got to thinking about it. If you don't see a symbol of this nation's flag at least 10 times a day somewhere you are not looking very hard. The American Flag is everywhere, from billions of bumpers to zillion's of tiny flags blowing in the wind.
It was really hard for me to pick a particular moment because as a kid I would eat, breath, and live the military everyday of my life until my dad died. Yes, I was the military brat that would come to your school and just when you got used to seeing me around, I was gone, as if kidnapped and taken away in the night. I know your "American Moment" may have nothing to do with the military, but you can't really have an American moment without at least thinking of the military.
After all, we did the heavy lifting. I say we because even though I served, I gave most as a civilian living with a man who did fight and in reality did die for his country. But, I write today about the families of the men and women who are now in some God forsaken place fighting people who they don't know for reasons that will never be clear. Just yell "patriotism" and send them on there way. "Theres is not to reason why, theres is but to do or die", or something like that.
Some new guy in the White House or some old white-haired men see what they think is an injustice and look around and think, "what have we here"? Why, I've got 200,000 men and woman and a trillion dollars worth of weapons just sitting around getting stale, let's do this thing. Fight this perceived injustice and give the military a chance to do in real-time what they have been practicing for years at home to do anyway. Two birds, one stone, right?
We have to see if those new, computerized Hi-Tech wizards of weaponry work sometime. So they load up all the planes and all the ships and all the people and send them across the earth and leave millions of women and men without their loved one, kids without a dad or mom, and fathers and mothers without their child. All to fight an enemy that looks just like the guy they are fighting beside. Has to get a little confusing out there I would think.
But, I didn't write this to give my opinion about politicians or others in the weasel family. No, I write this to to the ones left behind. To all the families that have someone they love in a combat zone or even in a support unit, I write this for you. Because people like Rep. Ryan and some other nuts want to stop veterans from getting any help from the Veterans Administration unless they are hurt "during combat". They have no idea that it takes 7 or 8 people just to get one guy in place to fight a war.
We don't just drop a bunch of soldiers off somewhere and come back and get them when the other side surrenders. People get hurt trying to keep 200,000 soldiers with food, shelter and a place to lay their heads if they get a chance. Someone has to get them the massive amounts of ammunition they shoot. That stuff is heavy and requires a massive amount of work to accomplish, both physically and mentally. Just the logistics of getting that much stuff that far in that amount of time is a nightmare.
I keep getting side-tracked here. I write this to you who have a loved one somewhere in harms way. People have no idea what a military family goes through. Being an Army Brat like me, or whatever other kind of military brat you are, is hard. Just the obvious of having a mother or father fighting somewhere is bad, but the money sucks and you are in a new school with mean kids who want to kick your ass for no other reason than you're the "new kid in town".
For the wives and husbands, many who have to work themselves to make ends meet, and then watch the news shows each night to see where the latest fighting is or what the latest casualties are. It is not a nice way to start or end your day. For the mothers and fathers who have a son or daughter "over there" wherever the hell that is, I write this for you. Because what many people fail to realize is, without you, there can be no people to send into battle to be killed. Without you, there would be no America to start with.
So Happy 4th of July to everyone. To you, to our brave soldiers fighting, to you, the people that make it possible for them to fight, and most of all to the families of the soldiers, I thank you. You have a very hard job that not many people think about when they pass out the medals or even the pats on the back. Thank you for your sacrifices, for they are thankless and many!