Wednesday, December 2, 2009

They do most of the living, fighting and dying around here

Notice how most people just don't give a shit about anything unless it's breathing down their neck? Infiltrating their lives? Fixing them with a wide-eyed stare?
Take me for example.
I'm not political, the news bores me. This was no different years ago at the beginning of this Middle East 'issue'.
I was aware of the war, but never followed it the way most Americans closely watch and scrutinize their favorite television series. (Oh, I can't wait for the next season of True Blood.)
I was aware of dying soldiers, the casualty count, the broken families and outraged mothers. But it wasn't in my daily, weekly, bi-weekly thoughts.
What can I say, the truth? I was a self-centered little teenage shit. There, ya happy?
No one in my family was fighting a useless cause in Iraq, what did I care?
But then a terrible, wonderful thing happened. I fell in love.
With a soldier no less. A soldier that was then stationed in Iraq.
The Middle East issue, became my issue.
I officially had cause for concern. There was a living, breathing, amazing being thousands of miles from me in a war zone. A person I wanted to return safely, and all in one piece.
Suddenly it had meaning, it became personal. It had knocked on my door, let itself in and made itself comfortable in my life.
I had to care. I had to know what was going on. It mattered when men and women running for the upcoming election promised an end, promised to bring our men and women home.
It had stitched itself into the lining of my life. Eventually, I even married into it.
Now a friend, turned companion, turned husband, and my life has altered and changed. Many things I never would have given a second thought, are my main thoughts. Words I never used, I now speak regularly.
Words like FRG meeting, PCSing, ACU's, Battle Buddy, NEO packet.
I wake up at 'oh-eight-hundred' instead of eight o'clock.
I had to make the choice of giving up school and a steady job or being apart from my spouse for a year.
Sometimes, that's not always the case. More often than not, there is no choice and I just happened to be one of the lucky ones.

What I used to disregard and take advantage of, is now my life.
How's that for irony?
My lesson to you:
Be aware of the world around you, learn everything you can, and finally...
When it comes to those in uniform, living, fighting, dying, so you don't have to, show them some fucking respect.

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