Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Face of War (the homefront perspective)

We have heard about the face of war from the soldier's viewpoint.  We have all seen war movies and our children have played Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, etc.  These tend to desensitize the nation to the harsh realities of war.  No one but a solder, marine, airman, or sailor truly knows the horror of actually being on the front line, living with the terror, seeing a friend die, get blown up, maimed, etc. 
But that is not what this is about.  This is about those of us left behind.  This is about the Moms, Dads, girlfriends, wives and children.  This is the face of war that no one sees.

How many have seen the worry on a Mom's face as she sits at the kitchen table at night watching the news of another attack in Afghanistan wondering if her boy was involved?  She knows that he was not physically injured or she would have gotten that God awful phone call, but did he have to watch as a friend was medivac'd to the hospital fighting to survive.... or worse? 

How many have seen the child sit alone on the playground because his Daddy has not called in three weeks because his platoon is in an area in Afghanistan that does not have phone service and he is worried that he will never again toss a ball in the front yard?

How many have run into a child's bedroom at night to calm the nightmare because she awoke screaming that mommy was never returning from the war?

How many have dried the tears because she/he is worried that her son, daughter, wife, husband, boyfriend, mother or father may never return?

How many have calmed the fears of a loved one suffering from PTSD after returning from Afghanistan, Iraq, etc.?

How many have walked the halls at Walter Reed or the National Naval Medical Center (soon to be called Walter Reed National Military Medical Center Bethesda) and seen all of the amputees, quadriplegics, burn victims, etc?

How many have sat beside the bedside of a loved one in one of those hospitals praying for him to wake up?  Knowing that only a week or two ago he was healthy, strong and vibrant but due to his love for his country, he is now broken and fighting for his life?

How many have answered the phone to be told that her loved one has been injured and is in a hospital in Kandahar fighting for his life?

And worse....  how many have opened the door to see a uniformed member of the military standing there. 
This is the war from the homefront.  This is the daily life led by members of the families of the brave men and women of the military.  We go on day-to-day knowing that our sons, daughters, wives, husbands, mothers, fathers, etc. are in mortal danger every minute of every day and there is nothing we can do about but pray.  And prayer does not keep them out of harm's way, as I know.  I spent hours praying that Derek would return safe and sound.  I now spend hours each day, and sometimes entire days sitting at NNMC waiting on word that he will live.  I see other families just as worried. 

I also see Derek's future, and it gives me hope, but it makes me angry, sad, frustrated and helpless.  Why are so many of our young men and women left without limbs, without the use of their bodies, burned, and suffering from PTSD and other psychological ailments?  For what?  I hear the political reasons, and while I want to believe it is for a good reason, I don't see it right now.

All I see are our youth being cut down in the prime of their lives and I am left to wonder why.

No comments:

Post a Comment