Saturday, July 7, 2007

Support that Matches Sacrifice

Back in the spring I watched the Bob Woodruff documentary "To Iraq and Back.” I liked Bob as a news anchor and reporter and was saddened when he was injured so I looked forward to seeing the show. It was a well done documentary with a good perspective of the human side of war.

Bob poignantly ended the show with this line- "No one comes back from war unchanged. The wounded face challenges that will last a lifetime and need support that matches their sacrifice so that they are, in the words of George Washington, appreciated by their nation." Support that matches their sacrifice...that phrase stuck with me.

I have shared with people before that I fear our soldiers currently serving will not be given the same amount of support as troops in the past. I wonder if a young man serving in Iraq today will be able to look back fifty years from today with pride in his service in the same way a WWII vet looks back. I am always amazed at the pride a veteran has when speaking of his service and I hope that a soldier of today will feel that they too can be proud of their work. Will we as a country honor the men and women fighting in the War on Terror in a manner that is due? Or will it be like the soldiers returning to Vietnam who received no parades but jeers instead?

I am not going to pretend to understand the reasons for war or peace and what is right or wrong when it comes to diplomatic relations and the safety of a nation. I do know though that I am grateful for the freedoms I have and for the willing people who will put their life on the line so that I can keep those freedoms. I also know I would be devastated if my husband or a family member was deployed so I am very grateful for the men and women who voluntarily go. How do we as a nation, and I as a citizen tell them this? Its worth a thought.

Thursday, July 5, 2007

A Special Showing

Two years ago, my husband made a wonderful discovery. He found a neighborhood outside of the city that does an amazing fireworks show every 4th of July. They are great fireworks that last a long time and go on all around us. I love fireworks but I am very nervous around anything that could burn me. So, this is the perfect show for me because we can sit in the car and enjoy them. It is like a special show done just for us.
That summer was probably the hardest on us financially. There was not much we could do for fun unless it was free. The only fireworks offered by our city had a cost attached so it was such a treat for him to find those for me. I remember having a great night, one of my favorite memories of our marriage.

This summer is different for us. We are a little more financially secure and could have paid to see fireworks (though I think that is stupid). We wanted to go back to "our fireworks" though. It was a great show again and we had so much fun together. It is definitely one of my favorite activities here. My husband likes fireworks but I know he makes a special effort to go because I like it so much. He spent 20 minutes trying to get me good pictures of the fireworks because I discovered a "firework" setting on my camera. I loved hanging out with him. As we were driving home, I told him that I hoped everyone experiences moments like that. It was a great opportunity to just be still and enjoy something together. It was a simple evening, pulling off in an open area on the side of the road, listening to music while watching the results of families lighting fireworks in their backyards. I don't want that to change with us. I told my husband that we can never let ourselves think we are too busy to do things like that. I love that we enjoy a simple life and are very content with what we do.

Let me encourage you to do something that is fun, just for the sake of having fun. Enjoy something simple, that makes you smile. If you are married, do something together that requires you to be together. Not something that requires too much thinking or activity so that it distracts you, but something that allows you to interact with each other, or with your family. Do not let life get in the way of truly living.