By VIVIAN CONRAD
On March 10, 2003, I wrote these words in my journal: “I admit I’m really struggling with the news Josh gave us today. He’s being deployed to Kuwait, apparently to be a ‘gunner’ for an urban assault team if war breaks out in Iraq. I have no idea what a gunner is, but just the sound of it filled my arms and legs with jelly and my heart flip-flopped. Later I couldn’t even pray beyond repeating ‘Oh, God, oh, God’ over and over. My first coherent thought was that my son was going to die. So I’ve spent the rest of the day grappling with issues of faith, trust and fear… Now the biggest question is – how do I get through tomorrow without becoming weepy every few minutes?”
My youngest son served two successive tours as an Army MP in Iraq. He lost friends and a commanding officer who were killed in explosions and firefights. He was badly injured in a high speed convoy crash, resulting in a medical discharge and years of physical therapy.
Having witnessed the effects of oppressive governments in our years overseas, I was already grateful for the freedom we enjoy as American citizens. But my experience as a wartime military mom made me appreciate more the cost of that freedom. For the duration of U.S. history, our liberties have been purchased with the blood of those who have stood to fight for them.
As we celebrate the anniversary of our national independence, let us remember the sacrifices of our military personnel who put their lives on the line daily, and of the families who have sent them off, not knowing which goodbye might be their last.
At the Senior Center, we are very much aware that only a week remains before our biggest fundraiser of the year. Members of the Taste of Palo Pinto County committee are rolling in high gear to solicit donations for live, silent and brown bag auctions.