Monday, February 21, 2011

What really pissed me off?

I found this email that I had printed out when I was in the Navy. I read it last weekend and then shared it as a note on Facebook. Then today, I found an article about a wounded soldier who was heckled at Columbia University while giving a speech in support of the ROTC. You can read the story HERE. I tell ya what, by the end of the story, I found my knuckles were white and my blood was boiling. OF COURSE the ritsy titsy rich parents don't want their kids to go to war or learn what it means to serve our country. OF COURSE they are against the war. OF COURSE they would say the military preys on low income families. What really pisses me off? The amount of federal funding that goes to Columbia. I don't know how much, but I am more than certain that they get money from the government. so these pansy ass students who are against the war want to rally and say things like "1 in 3 females in the military are sexually assaulted" But they failed to mention how many females are sexually assaulted on a college campus. hypocrisy much?!?!

Anyways, off my soap box. Here's the note I posted on Facebook. Tell me what you think about all of this.

"It could have been any night of the week, as I sat in one of those loud and casuel steak houses that are cropping up all over the country. You kjnow the type- a bucket of peanuts on the table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky collee kids racing around with longneck beers and sizzling platters.

Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd oer the rim of my glass. I let my gaze linger on a few of the tables next to me, where several uniformed military members were enjoying their meals. Smiling sadly, I glanced across my booth tothe empty seat where my husband usually sat. Had it only been a few weeks since we had sat at this very table talking about his upcoming deployment to the middle east? He made me promise to come back to this restaurant once a month, sit in our booth, and treat myself to a nice dinner. He told me that he would treasure the thought of me there eating a steak and thinking about him until he came home. I fingered the little flag pin I wear on my jacket and wondered where at that moment he was. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were any of my letters getting to him? As I pondered all of these things, shrill feminine voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts.

"I don't know what Bush is thinking invading Iraq. Didn't he learn anything from his father's mistakes? He is an idiot anyway. I can't believe he is even in office. You know he stole the election"

I cut into my steak and tried not to listen as they began an endless tirade of running fown our president. I thought about the last night I was with my husband as he prepared to deploy. He has just returned from getting his smallpox and Anthrax shots and the image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gave me chills.

once again, their voiced invaded my thoughts.

"Its all about oil you know. Our military will go in and rape and pillage and steal all the oil they can int he name of freedom. I wonder how many innocent lives our soldiers will take without a thought? It is just pure greed"

My chest tightened and I stared at my wedding ring. I could picture how handsome my husband was in his mess dress the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing at that moment. He probably had on his desert uniform. Affectionately dubbed coffee stains, over the top of which he wore a heavy bulletproof vest.

"We should just leave Iraw alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapeons... I think it is all a ploy to increase the president's popularity and pad the budget of our military at the expense of social security and education. We are just asking for another 9/11 and I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it"

Teir words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women who leave theirhomes and family to ensure our freedom? I glimpsed at the tables around me an saw the faces of some of those courageous men. Looking sad as they listened to the ladies talk.

"Well, I for one, think it is a travesty to invade Iraw and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby killers we call a Military."

Professional baby killers?!?! As I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is and wondered how long it would be before he was able tosee his children again, indignation rose up within me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a boldness I ha never known. Tonight, one voice would cry our on behalf of themilitary. One shy woman would stand and let her pride in our troops be known. I made my way to their table, placing my palms flat on it and lowered myself to be eye level with them. Smiling I said "I couldn't help overhearing your your conversation. I am sitting over here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. Do you know why I am alone? Because my husband, whom I love dearly, is halfway across the world defending your right to say rotten things about him. You have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. But what you say in my hearing is and I will not sit by and listen to you run down my country, my president, my husband, and all these other fine men and women in here who put their lives on the line to give you the freedom tocomplain. Freedom is expensive ladies. Don't let your words and actions cheapen it."

I must have been louder than I meant to be, because about that time the manager came over and asked if everything was all right. "yes, thank you" I replied and then turned back to the ladies. "Enjoy the rest of your meal."

To my surprise, as I sat down to finish my steak, a round of applause broke out in the restaurant. Not long after the ladies picked up their check and scurried away, the manager brought me a huge helping of apple cobbler and ice cream. Compliments of the table to my left. He told me that the ladies had tried to pay for my dinner but someone had already beaten them to it. When I asked who, he said the couple had already left, but that the man had mentioned he was a WWII Vet and wanted to take care of the wife of one of our boys.

I turned to thank the soldiers for the cobbler, but they wouldn't hear a word of it retorting "Thank you, you said what we wanted to, but weren't allowed"

As I drove home that night, for the first time in a while, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of all the patrons who had stopped by my table to tell me they too were proud of my husband and that he would be in their prayers. I knew their flags would fliy a little higher the next day. Perhaps they would look for tangible ways to show their pride in our country and our troops. And maybe, just MAYBE, the two ladies sitting at that table next to me would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom this great country offers and what it costs to maintain. As for me, I had learned that one voice can make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, I will proudly stand across the street with a sign of my own. a sign that says "THANK YOU!!"

Note from me:

I also fought for every persons right for freedom of speech, the right to have an opinion, the right to live in this country without fear of religious persecution. whenever the weather is decent in Red Bluff (meaning around 70 degrees with no wind or rain or blistering heat) a group of protsters gather on main street to protest the war and protest the military. I like to call them fair weather protesters. If it REALLY mattered to them, they would be out there all day every day of every week of every month of every year. Rain, sleet, snow, sunshine, or 115 degree weather. But they aren't. Actions speak louder than words. If you care about something, SHOUT it from the the mountaintops. If you were able to read this note, thank a teacher. If you were able to read it in english, thank a veteran or service member.

If you found this note offensive, I honestly can't say I am sorry. If it did offend you, you have the right to not read it, you have the right to unfriend me, you have the right to call me whatever name you please. I won't be offended. After all, I fought for that right too.

To sum it all up, I think a sticker on a car I saw words it best. If you don't want to stand behind our troops, please, FEEL FREE to stand in front of them.

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