Sunday, September 30, 2007

Well He's Gone...To War

Any mother who has ever done it will tell you that sending a child into a war zone is as far from normal as anything she has ever done before. Walking into church buck naked with a tricycle on my head would feel more normal. Like any other mother species, we humans never stop protecting our young and doing anything so completely opposite of that is just plain weird. And to be honest, I have not sent my child to war. He just got up and went and there was nothing I could have done to stop it. It was his choice. True, he probably hoped when he joined the Army that he might somehow avoid the war, but he knew what his job would be. He knew that for all the sitting around and waiting and pretending and practicing and rehearsing that the desired end result would be that he would one day put his newly taught skills to the use that they were meant win a war. While he hated to leave his new wife and the family he loves, he was admittedly excited about going. Finally getting to do what he is trained to do is somehow a relief. Now our long wait begins.

Since putting his boots on the ground, he has found that the land he is in is beautiful. Really hot, but really pretty. Joining the war five years after it began, his experience is a little different, so far, than that of his cousin who was there at the beginning of the war in 2003, the same cousin who was told to "guard the gate" even though the gate had yet to arrive. Things now are much better for our soldiers and I imagine they get better every day. Living quarters, bathrooms, dining facilites all are getting better. And Sprout is in a good place. I am not as terribly worried as I thought I would be. He has been in contact with Sproutette and she keeps us advised of his condition. So far, so good. To me, it seems as if he has already been there for fifteen months so the next year or so will likely pass by very slowly. As for Sprout, he says it is a lot of long, hard days but he has learned more about his job since arriving in Iraq than the entire three years he has already served. Last night, just before midnight he called us for the first time. I woke up from a dead sleep but gosh, it was good to hear his voice. It was good to hear for myself that he is okay, he sounds good and normal. Now, if I can just find some way to keep it that way for that next fourteen months.

I began this blog three years ago with a post titled
Well He's Gone just after Sprout left for basic training. I guess now we have come full circle. Hopefully the time will be short when I can finally post "Well, He's Home".

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why They Fight

While I'm still trying to find the right words to blog about my son going off to Iraq, a sister sent me this picture. The caption will kill ya. Go here to find the site where she found this.
Photo couresy of David W. Gilmore Jr./U.S. Air Force

Comforting Embrace

Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Irag, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl's entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair

Saturday, September 08, 2007

BobbleHead Bin Laden

(AP Photo)

Is it just me or does the "new" Bin Laden (on the right) look like a bobblehead doll?
And the clothes? What are the odds of anybody wearing the same exact outfit in two videos supposedly made three or more years apart?

Fatima, you got 'splainin to do.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

From Boy? to Man

When Sprout was in the first or second grade, he did not like to do his homework. He especially did not like to write sentences using his spelling words. One particular night, after having sat with him for a long time while he dilly-dallied and played instead of finishing his homework, I finally had had enough and I popped his little leg hard and threatened him with more harm if he did not finish writing his sentences by the time I returned. I then withdrew all my motherly help and began loading the dishwasher.

After a few minutes, I returned to check his progress, which was going very well due to a swift dose of corporal punishment. I forget now what most of his spelling words were, but they were simple words like home, from, came, with, wish, when, etc. He wrote his sentences and all was well until I read his sentence for the word "wish". As I read over his spelling homework, I realized that Sprout had gotten the last laugh. His sentence?

"I wish my mother would stop hitting me."

Even at that young age, he had a keen sense of come-back.

Very soon, that wise-cracking little boy-turned-soldier will be in a war zone. May he never lose his penchant for one-upism. May it serve him well when he needs it the most.