November 11, 2010

Today is Veterans Day and there is no better day to add this to my blog.

 Danny, my husband received from the Governor of Louisiana the Louisiana Veterans Medal. Danny is not one to boast his accomplishments, but I am. I am very proud of him. Danny even received the Bronze Star for his Iraq military responsibilities. I did not see him receive this high prestigious award since he was in Iraq at the time. But I was able to see him receive the Louisiana Veterans Medal. It was an honor to be there, to be among all the Veterans from Vietnam to the Present Wars.

Info on the Bronze Star   http://www.pjsinnam.com/Medals/BS.htm

Also today, on Veterans Day is an article in the Times Picayune from a former US Army Officer. I read it and very much agree with the writer. Like him, I also am deeply concern about these two wars the United States is in or to put it more precisely, the United States military members are in.  As military family members living through many deployments, we worry and are concerned how much longer, how much more will we have to endure, alone. When will it end?  This worry, this concern, this anxiety influence our lives, influence our politics and influence our voting patterns.

Danny just learned he is on the list for the 2012 Afghanistan deployment with his unit. With this knowledge, personal decisions will have to be made.

Danny expressed to me, for the last several years he felt he has hardly been home. He missed us, his family. This is very true, it is a very factual statement—it is a reality he lived. However, with this recent declaration from him to me, whom I know to be a very private person when it comes to his emotions, was a shocker. He never told me how he has been feeling, and it is the same feelings I have had.  It is true, my reality is his reality, and his reality is my reality. Our realities are the same, same I am sure for all Military Family Members.

The question is how do we get others to understand? I have tried here in my deep Southern State, however without much luck. In fact, opposite reactions were received, some responses were very hurtful and deeply wounding. Intense southern perceptions, inherited opinions, general and common political philosophies run deep. I do greatly acknowledge and understand that, respect must be given to long held beliefs.

 Nonetheless, I have my own and my own reasons for these beliefs. I am different in my southern world–that self-acknowledgement–that personal awareness–that inner proclamation is something I do now live with. The last 7 years have been life changing for me. The course of action I have taken makes me, partly, who I am now. Viewing the American people’s action with wars we find ourselves in and being personal involved changed me, politically.   

 MY reality, my husband’s reality, all the military family reality is the guiding force that propel us to action. This existing, common realism in which we live deserves compassion, consideration and empathy but most of all it deserves useful and effective action from all American Citizens and our Political Leaders.

To quote Bradford Kelley’s article, “Our priority compass is undoubtedly broken and we seem to be directionally challenged. Do we really care about members of the armed services and military veterans? How much longer must Iraq and Afghanistan remain forgotten wars?”

“Support the Troops” is only a bumper sticker slogan. It does nothing.

 Noble, honorable and thoughtful actions are what count.

Susan

Army Wife for 30 years

Excerpts from article:

I was truly amazed by how many candidates for Congress categorically ignored the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

A lack of debate among our congressional candidates regarding our costly nation-building projects can only lead to one disgraceful conclusion: The apathy in American society regarding these wars is appalling.

The wars in the Middle East have taken a heavy toll on our fighting forces. Our men and women in uniform are either deployed or preparing for another deployment. They are subjected to long separations from family and friends.

The stress put on our soldiers is causing rates of alcoholism, divorce, PTSD, anxiety and suicide that would shock most Americans. These brave souls are risking their lives and making sacrifices that most people can’t imagine.

As a consequence, enlisted men and women and officers are leaving the military in droves. How does this not pose a significant threat to our national security interests? And the worst part: their country isn’t even paying attention.

How do these efforts meaningfully contribute to American security here and abroad? How can you look at a service member and tell them that they will have to deploy again and again while the rest of American society plans their next trip to the beach or ski resort?

Our priority compass is undoubtedly broken and we seem to be directionally challenged. Do we really care about members of the armed services and military veterans? How much longer must Iraq and Afghanistan remain forgotten wars?

http://www.nola.com/opinions/index.ssf/2010/11/election_glossed_over_wars_–.html

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