If you didn't watch tonight (and just WHY NOT?!) let me give you a brief summary of the storyline that is fueling tonight's
"Why?" you may ask.
Because in 4 days my big brother leaves for his second tour in Iraq.
The first time he was sent over was less than 6 months after we invaded. He was there for just over a year. Those were some of the worst months of my life.
I always loved getting up and watching the morning news - I like being 'up' on current events and enjoy hearing about things going on in around my area. After a week of having panic attacks because every newscast included a story about soldiers being killed, I had to stop watching the TV completely.
I used to love watching action movies - we are big movie buffs in my family. The first time I saw an explosion on screen after my brother left, I had to leave the theater.
I used to love the sound of my cell phone or doorbell ringing. There were many times I hated it, because I was desperate for good news and terrified of the possibility of bad news.
There are a hundred other ways that his being gone affected me and the rest of the family. It took quite a while for most of those things to calm down after he returned. Some things have never gone back to "normal". Especially when some of my friends have also had friends and family members going over for the past few years.
Now, I live in a very 'left' part of the country. I work in an extremely liberal field. And almost every one of my friends is a Democrat. This was like this the first time he left, but there was much more support for the war last time. People still remembered what 9/11 had felt like. There were a couple of people who I knew didn't support the war, but it was few and far between.
This time though? My big brother is giving up his safety and security for his country, and yet it is not viewed as being 'courageous' or 'brave' on one of our most popular television shows - its seen as foolish and not worth it. He's going to put himself in harm's way daily under a Commander in Chief that does not believe in the mission. My brother is going to put his life on the line for millions of people who do not support him for doing it.
I know that many of you will say, "I support the troops, I just don't support the war". Well, let me tell you how that feels to all of the troops, and their families, that I know.
It doesn't feel like support at all.
When people say they support the troops but vote for people who don't support the war - funding bills don't get passed. Who suffers? The Iraqi people, soldiers, and my brother.
When people say they support the troops but say we need to get out of Iraq ASAP - missions go unfinished. Who suffers? The Iraqi people, soldiers, and my brother.
When people say they support the troops but they don't support the war - they don't feel supported. And we all suffer.
I rationally understand that, for the most part, people who say that they support the troops but not the war are trying to be supportive. I appreciate that people who do not support the war, still hope and pray that my brother comes home safe. But it is very hard to hear all the fighting, debating, and derogatory talk about the war.
Nobody wants war. I don't want war. I also don't want child abuse. Or domestic violence. Or people to drink and do drugs when they are pregnant. But when education, therapy and ultimatums don't work for these things - action must be taken to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It is our responsibility, because we are big enough and strong enough, to protect those who cannot protect themselves. It makes no difference to me if the helpless are children or an entire country. In my view, they are the same.
Usually, I pride myself on being open to others opinion. I named my blog "Eyes Opened Wider" because I love being able to see things in a new way. I love to learn new things and have it change my worldview.
But please, just this once:
Don't leave any comments trying to help me see things from another point of view.
Please do think about how much you really support our troops.
Please understand that I cannot be particularly rational about this subject.
Please accept that the only way I made it through the last 13 months and the only way I'll make it through the next 12-18 months is to believe that the cause is worth it.
And please, don't stop praying.