Since I’ve experienced it first-hand, more than once — I’m going to tell you what it’s like when you have a loved one and immediate family member who’s serving in a combat zone away from you, or is suddenly deployed with less than 24 hours notice to a war zone…
Before they leave, you scramble to make sure everything’s in order:
- Last minute checks for next of kin notifications…just in case
After you try to spend those 24 hours as normal as possible, the time — it always comes too fast —
After a sleepless night, you go to see them get on that plane to a war zone.
You wait til the last second watching their plane depart and your heart goes along with them.
And you feel gutted and terrified.
You spend hours, days & sometimes, even weeks waiting to hear from them — both after they leave and when they are deployed for months, or a year or more.
And when you don’t, even though you swore you wouldn’t, you finally give in, terrified of what you may find and check the news anyway, to look for stories of air strikes or hostile activity in their part of the world.
When you do hear from them, you are so relieved & thankful — but it’s always fleeting.
Their voice is the only tangible thing that lets you know they’re safe — because you know you have to get off the phone eventually.
So you hang up fearful it will be the last time you hear them say, “I love you.”
When the latest news of bombings is located where they’re deployed, you go into the restroom at work to hide away, have a silent cry… and wait. You wait to hear if your family & life will be altered, irrevocably.
Your civilian co-workers give you *that* look on those days.
If you’re stationed overseas, it’s worse when they go —
You’re away from your extended family, cut off geographically, back in the states so your only immediate support are other families of those deployed.
When you force yourself to go out and get together with them, it’s the same consuming conversations;
“Did you hear from…”
Your body literally runs cold if someone knocks on your door when you’re not expecting company only to find it’s just the neighbor kid come over to play, or maybe it’s that Amazon delivery — and not military members making a next of kin notification visit, that you’d feared.
After, you’re so relieved it’s not them.
You break down and cry — but Only if you’re alone.
Otherwise, closets work well to hide in, away from your family and/or children, (Bathrooms echo) so that you can pull yourself together to be strong for them — all due to a simple, benign knock on the door.
You see, military families — we give each other heads up before knocking on the doors of families with members deployed, for this reason.
Trump will never know & doesn’t care to know, the day to day sacrifices military & their families make to serve our country — CONUS or overseas.
I won’t get into what it’s like when a dear friend’s spouse or parent is injured — or worse — due to combat. It’s tragic & horrifying on too many levels.
So when he mocks POWs & denigrates gold star families who gave the ultimate sacrifice, it’s the worst dishonor a POTUS* can do.
The certainty military families left behind have is: life goes on — You have to function normally for your family, despite it all.
You keep daily life as “normal” as possible for your family & kids — knowing the “what-ifs” parents & older kids face while their parent is in harms way
You try to shield the young ones from the news to put the worry on you, but they still hear —
You wake daily, often after another nightmare-filled or sleepless night, workout(this was my necessity and sanity), shower, make breakfast… and kids go off to school after hugs — which are tighter to compensate for missing parents.
And after you tell yourself for the millionth time, “this is what we signed up for” — you count the days Again IF and when you know when their deployment ends.
This daily activity is paramount for kids. They obsess over it, especially when you tuck them in at night.
The one thing is that you all wish away time until they’re home safe again…
I am SO grateful my veteran family member never had to serve under the volatility of an unhinged, impeached & clearly incompetent, warmongering Commander in Chief* who has continuously broken the laws of our Constitution my veteran family member swore an oath to uphold, since the day he was inaugurated. Fundamentally, Trump is arguably, in dereliction of duty.
A true world leader would not be running his government via Twitter, nor acting on the behalf of America, threatening to commit blatant war crimes, and escalating war on a social media app.
This alone, makes him unfit to serve.
It’s one of many reasons Trump must be impeached and removed. Immediately.
Trump is Not de-escalating war with Iran as he, Pompeo, et. al wants you to believe — the US & the world is less safe because of Trump.
The reality is the peril to our military and their family members, and federal employees serving around the globe, has increased exponentially.
Aside from dodging the draft 5 times, a guy with zero military experience guaranteed war by killing a general on a whim to distract from his impeachment.
He’s escalating war via twitter with no remorse and a clear disdain for human lives this may cost, while sitting comfortably on one of his golf courses.
Trump has repeatedly ignored, forced resignations, and/or fired lifelong experts of national security, foreign policy, and our military.
Instead, he uses our military to show off their supremacy in dictator displays, uses them as photo ops, skips out on veteran ceremonies due to rain, while he treats them as pawns in his phony so-called national emergencies and to wage war around the globe.
Watching the latest Trump atrocities the past several days was one of my greatest fears with him from the beginning: his predictable war come to fruition. And now it’s here.
I had feared we’d find deadly consequences from Iran’s air strikes in Iraq — but it appears they weren’t. Iran used precision missiles and no American lives were lost.
The unpredictable impulses of this impeached POTUS* and the blind supporting calls for war from his cult base are a game to them.
Trump’s actions have killed our allies.
US. service members with families who love them are in harm’s way — daily.
We must never forget this.
So I say this to #MAGA supporters who call for #TrumpsWar & callously discount the human lives behind Trump’s rhetoric, volatility & actions:
You claim to be pro-life, yet are spreading propaganda & flat out lies & worse — calling for another senseless war, this time with Iran…
#MAGA & #KAG —
PROVE your “patriotism” by heading to your nearest recruiter’s office & sign on that dotted line — or better, send your daughters, sons & grandchildren to fight in the sand for #TrumpsWar if you’re ineligible, but still waging war behind your keyboard.
I’m anti-war. But a fierce advocate of our military & vets —
True patriotism means supporting NOT sending troops to war.
War means diplomacy has failed.
War means leadership has failed.
War must always be the last choice.
War IS failure.
I ask you to do one thing:
Call your 3 reps daily to say #NoWarWithIran 📲(202) 224–3121
If you don’t have your Reps in your phone contacts by now, a gentle reminder to do this when you call.
Originally posted on Medium. Re-posted with permission.
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