I thought of WWII, the sixty-seventh anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the entrance of the United States into the war. I thought of soldiers in trenches fighting off “gerry” and on south seas islands hiding from and fighting the Japanese. I thought of a country united and at war. I thought of families hurting at the loss of loved ones on that horrible day.
And then I thought of today. I thought of men and women thousands of miles from their family in the harsh deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. My heart hurt to think of men who were missing their first Christmas with wives or new babies. I thought of children who wanted nothing more for Christmas than to see Daddy or Mommy on Christmas morning. I thought of soldiers and sailors who dreamed of favorite cookies, favorite music, and the opportunity to do something to serve their country that didn’t involve possibly losing their bunk mates.
I thought of my friend Teresa’s son- just arrived in Iraq and far from family. I imagine he’d give anything to be home for one of their big birthday bashes or even just a ‘Thanksgiving’ meal in January. He’s probably remembering Christmas at Grandma Joyce’s or special gifts from Grandma B-. I wish I could give that to him. Honestly, Christmas is ‘my’ season. I love everything about it from the music, the lights, the presents, to the food and the wrapping paper but I’d take down my tree, put away my CDs, and send back the gifts I’ve purchased if it’d ensure he could be home safe and permanently this Christmas.
The song All I Want for Christmas tore at my heart as I thought of what these brave young men and women probably would sing. I wondered how they saw their circumstances, their sacrifices, and I wondered if they know that there are millions of Americans who regardless of their opinion of the war itself, love them, respect them, and support our military 100%.
We sit in our warm homes, surrounded by more food than we need, presents we might not remember twenty years from now, and friends, family, and other loved ones while our troops spend their Christmas thousands of miles from home, in harsh climate with a hostile enemy trying to undo all they accomplish, with few comforts… they’ll probably never forget any blessing of this Christmas while most of us will likely remember few.
May God bless our troups, their sacrifices for our freedom, and may God bless the USA