Posts Tagged "army"

Memorial Day | For Many, the Scars Run Deep

Dear Kid,

Memorial Day To those who serve...thank you.

Memorial Day | To those who serve…thank you.

Today is Memorial Day.

Ostensibly, it is a day to honor those who died while serving our country in the military. I think it needs to be much more than that.

Yes, we need to remember and thank those who died in service to our country. We also need to thank those who served and did not die. Very few return from war the way they left. For many, the scars run deep.

We need to remember and thank those who sent family to serve in the military. The loneliness, the uncertainty, the fear. For many, the scars run deep.

We need to remember and thank those who support our military. The medical professionals, the journalists, the counselors. For many, the scars run deep.

We need to remember and thank those in our country who value the freedoms our military fights for. Those who argue and persuade and celebrate the diversity and differences of opinion that make us a great country. Those who work to help heal the scars of divisiveness and horror. Those who work to bring us closer to the world that We, The People, know can be created.

In remembering, we look forward. In honoring the past, we make room for the future.

Let us never forget so that we will never repeat.

Love, Mom

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National Armed Forces Day and the Future

Dear Kid,

Today is National Armed Forces Day. (It’s also National Waiters and Waitresses Day which I suppose in some instances is like being in battle, but since the worst that will happen in a restaurant is a chocolate stain, I’m going to focus on Armed Forces Day.)

Sometime in the past (after History was born but before the current millennium), there were Days in the US set aside to recognize the different branches of the military. President Harry S. Truman (who really had no middle name—just an initial) established a single holiday “for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.”The land of the free and the home of the brave.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day.

Today is a day of graduation parties, of finishing high school and looking ahead to the next chapter.

For those going to college, congratulations, study hard, and read DearKidLoveMom. For those going into the work force, congratulations, work hard, and read DearKidLoveMom. For those going into the military or an ROTC program, congratulations, serve proudly, and thank you for your service. And read DearKidLoveMom.

To all those who have served or who are currently serving, we thank you.

Love, Mom

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Women, Army Ranger School, and the Military

Dear Kid,

I assume by now you’ve heard that 2 women are graduating from Army Ranger school. And you probably know that the Army Ranger school is HARD—as in only 94 of the 381 men who started the class finished.

Army Ranger School is the Army’s premier combat leadership course, teaching Ranger students how to overcome fatigue, hunger, and stress to lead Soldiers during small unit combat operations.

Amazingly, people are still talking about how men and women are different and therefore women can’t do certain jobs in the military.

For the record, these people are twits.

I could be glib and point out the obvious: that overcoming fatigue, hunger, and stress is the definition of early motherhood, so OF COURSE women can do it. But I’m too mad to be glib.

Let’s be clear. Yes, men and women are different. Tall men are different than short men. Men who grew up in a metropolitan setting are different than those who grew up in a rural area. Men who grew up next door to each other are different.

Different isn’t bad and different isn’t the issue.

Actually different is good, but it still isn’t the issue.

The issue is: Can a person perform a given role and is the role correctly defined for current situations?

There’s been a lot of talk about whether the ability to carry heavy equipment should really be a requirement for being an elite combatant given the type of enemies we’re fighting these days.

Not being a military expert, I have no idea. But it’s a question worth considering.

There should be talk about whether doing it “the way it’s been done before” is the best way.

For the moment, these two women have proven they can do what the men can do, the way the men do it. And they should be given all the opportunities men who accomplished the same thing are being given.

To those women we say Brava! And Congratulations.

You go, Ladies.

Love, Mom

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Saying Goodbye Isn’t Easy | We’ll Miss You, Tal

Dear Kid,

Last night we said goodbye to Tal.

Safe travels, sweetie! DearKidLoveMom.comaHuge thanks to Marcie and Sharon for organizing a picnic of all the host families to say goodbye to everyone.

The goodbye wasn’t easy.

The remembering was.

Like the first day we met Tal, just about a year ago. Poor Tal was so tired from her long trip here, she could barely keep her eyes open.

Tal Cooking Shakshukah DearKidLoveMom.comOr the food she made for us: schnitzel and shakshukah. Shakshukah is now a regular in our kitchen although I’m not sure where I’ll get the right spice when this batch runs out.

How about our trip to Florida. Poor Tal had never been trapped in a car nearly that long. To her credit, not once did she say “Are we there yet?” Swimming with the dolphins down in Key Largo (fan-freaking-tastic!) was well worth the car ride. And she was a great sport about playing Boggle with our family even though a) we are highly competitive Boggle players and b) English isn’t her first language.

Tal and Kids totem pole. DearKidLoveMom.comOne of my favorite memories is when Tal and I went shopping for a fall jacket for her. The two of us went up to the outlet mall and went store to store not finding the right thing. We’d go in, look around, decide there was nothing she wanted to try on, and turn around. It was the day I learned to say “Si’amnu po” “We’re outta here.”

Mostly, I remember her living with us. Her cheerful smile even if she hadn’t yet had coffee in the morning. Her helpfulness, her charm, her interest in learning about us and sharing her background with us.

Puppy in Love DearKidLoveMom.comTal, we will miss you more than you can know. Travel safe, stay safe in the Army, and please, please stay in touch. We love you, baby.

Love, Mom

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