Friday, June 13, 2014

Bleak.

4,489 killed. 32,021 wounded; I'm going out on a limb to say that might not include PTSD.

For people who drop their weapons and run away in their underwear.

I am not a good follower of politics. I am more an observer, and someone who cares for those who fight the fight and clean up the messes that the politicians leave. I am ashamed. I should be more active, I should be more informed. Maybe one more voice would have kept my sons from mourning friends who died, or were injured, apparently, for nothing.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Classic Military Mom Bad

This week, several military families will receive bad news.

Although I had no reason to believe that our son would be involved, of course, my brain immediately went into protective-mommy-mode. (And it pains him to read the word "mommy," I know, but it is what it is.)In that mode, my worrier goes into overdrive, and I do silly things. Like text and ask for immediate response. Which came. The conversation continued, ending with an apology...from me. I know better. But its just a scary thing.

At least my first in-country freak out is over. Moving on now.

On the other hand, think of it. 70 years ago, moms had sent their boys off to war, and heard nothing, for months on end. I suppose that was a comfort; if a notification team didn't show up, or an MIA or injury telegram, things were fine. No news is good news, as they say. Today, we are spoiled. I can text, email, call, at any time. In fact, he kept me up in the wee hours of this morning, responding to another text I had sent late yesterday. So he can respond at will as well. Hence the tag on this post; What a Fascinating Modern World We Live In.


Friday, June 6, 2014

D-Day, 2014, Looks Back on D-Day, 1944

A friend posted this image to Facebook today, the 70th anniversary of the heroic Allied landings on the beaches of Normandy, France.


Eisenhower sent those troops into Normandy, knowing that casualties could be incredibly high. This article explains the reasons, and, if you must know, made me cry. Lots of deaths, many injuries, stupid decisions and wise ones, brought about "...the destruction of the German war machine, the elimination of Nazi tyranny over the oppressed peoples of Europe, and security for ourselves in a free world."

I have a quote from Thomas Jefferson hanging above my desk, words he wrote in a letter to John Adams. "Yes, we did produce a near perfect republic, but will they keep it or will they, in the enjoyment of plenty, lose the memory of freedom?" I think of the sacrifice and courage of those men on those beaches, many of whom were not yet 20 years old!

I also think of the words of Captain Miller; you know, Tom Hanks' character, in Saving Private Ryan, to Private Ryan, just before he (Miller) dies; "Earn this."

How are we, as descendants of those who fought on those beaches, keeping alive their commitment to freedom? Have we earned their sacrifice? Do I look around myself, see freedoms fought and died for being lost, and step up to keep them alive? Or do I sit in my living room and moan about their loss? This image, these thoughts, make me think of the words of another American;

...that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Boots Actually on the Ground

Well, as much as it pains me to say, our son is finally serving in that place where no one wants to go, but many volunteer. Here's a message I received today from his commander. As much as it tears at a mommy's heart to know where her kid is and know that its not here at home, it is nice to know that they're positive about the experience!

Families & Friends,
I wanted to make a quick post to let you know that we have arrived safely at our destination! The Soldiers and I have moved into our AMAZING living conditions and are setting up our little homes away from home. Our living conditions are very nice. Without giving up too much physical security and force protection measures… You should rest your heads easy knowing that your Soldiers are wrapped securely in some pretty thick concrete and rebar. Just as importantly, we have Air Conditioning, Heat and RUNNING WATER BATHROOMS!!! Those whom this is not their first rodeo will attest that not having to walk through dust/mud and blazing heat after showering is one of our biggest morale boosters. The other is the multitude of communication conduits to home. I am impressed with the lack of delay in voice conversations, speed of the internet connections ( my COMMO NCO thinks it’s too slow because he is a techy dude) and abundance of MWR, USO and religious facilities for Soldiers to unwind, communicate and grow.
It will not be all fun and games though. There will be long days, short nights and a whole lot of sweat. Your Soldiers are already working. In fact, we hit the ground running and are once again proving the Wisconsin work ethic to be superior to most. This will be a dynamic deployment. I keep telling the leaders Semper Gumby! (Always Flexible). I am very proud of everyone’s effort and dedication to the mission. The mission to reduce, return and remove is near and dear to our hearts as we posture this theater to dramatically reduce as the Commander in Chief directed. We are working on shutting off the lights. 1SG reports that morale is very high and Soldiers are eager to dive into construction projects. The Soldiers are moving and grooving like a well-oiled machine and are Fiercely Loyal!




Prayers for all would be greatly appreciated. (By the way, that picture right there was taken by the governor, with his phone, Tweeted when he came to send off his soldiers. Fun fact!)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Hugs (and food) for Soldiers

As mentioned last month, our youngest is training for a deployment. This past weekend, members of the FRG (Family Readiness Group) trekked to the training site to serve them lunch. Sadly, John and I came late to the game, all the volunteer spaces were filled, and we were not able to attend. I talked to the leader of the FRG, and asked her to give him a hug for me. She did, and even had another volunteer take a picture.


Thank you Janelle!

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Saturday Farm Report

Today's report reports that we are off the farm!

Regular readers may remember that this blog began as a way to chronicle/discuss/share news about our middle son's deployment to Iraq in 2008. I continued it afterward, mostly because it was fun.

Well, with some trepidation, I report that its back to its original purpose. Soon our youngest son will be taking an all-expenses paid vacation to southwest Asia, courtesy of Commander-in-Chief Obama and the United States Army. We are headed into our fourth deployment, and I hope you'll follow along, in this space.

This weekend we are at a pre-deployment briefing weekend. The Guard has ensconced us in a cute hotel, and, in the morning, we'll start a round of incredibly fascinating (I'm sure!) and informative meetings about what to expect during the next year-ish. We'll drink coffee and ask questions and, in the end, head home, ready for the next phase.

We can't share any details beyond these. We'll let you know what we know when we know it, you know?

Monday, February 3, 2014

Wonder of Wonders!

Two posts in three days! Wonder of wonders! Which reminds me of this...

Yeah.
We have an interesting school body; only about 80 kids. This week we're celebrating National Lutheran Schools Week. Which, as you can see, was last week. But last week we had two snow days, which were actually extreme cold days. So we're celebrating this week. The kids set a list of "dress up days," which seems kind of odd for high school students, but we have fun doing it. Today was Hipster Day. Which is counter, really, because, if you say, "I'm dressed 'Hipster,'" you are, by default, NOT. Again, we have fun doing it. Here I am with a colleague, being tragically hip. Emphasis on Tragically.
You can tell we're hipsters best in this shot, because we are NOT looking at the camera and definitely NOT smiling. We. Just. Don't. Care.