As a senior in college, I watched our troops leave their homes and families behind to fight in Desert Storm. I remember thinking I could never be like those women giving their husbands one last hug and watching them walk away. I reasoned that since they were part of a military family, they must somehow be immune to the goodbyes. It made me feel better to think these families weren’t suffering while their loved ones fought for our country. At the time I had an inkling I was wrong, but twelve years later I am finding out just how wrong I was.
I used to think a soldier’s wife must be a super hero of sorts with little emotion, able to transform into mommy or daddy on demand, and capable of tackling mountains of housework with the wave of her arm. The painful reality is, there are no super hero powers granted to a soldier’s wife. I can wave my arms until they fly off and all I manage to do is amuse my children and knock things off the wall. And the only transformers in our home are the surprisingly sturdy little toys I bruise my feet on when I walk through a dark bedroom to check my sleeping sons.
Being a soldier’s wife hurts. Being separated is almost overwhelming at times even though I know the sacrifice is a worthy one. But I am finding out that as painful as it is to be without my husband, it is almost as painful to hear people criticize our military and its commander in chief.
I watched a morning program on CNN recently, and listened to someone blast everything our leaders have done while telling the American public that our country has been left unprotected. I looked over at my children who are without their father for the next year, and wondered how anyone can insinuate that the sacrifice we are making is worthless. And then I got mad!
Who gave anyone the right to criticize our president? Who gave anyone the right to boast about being an American while speaking out against our military? Who gave anyone the right to say whatever they like regardless of who is hurt by their noisy opinions? We are quick to cry freedom of speech and then we protest everything being done to protect it! And who gave anyone that right? A soldier did.
It was a soldier who was willing to face death. It was a soldier who braved the bitter cold and desert heat. It was a soldier who put fear in the backseat and country first. And it is a soldier who today is willing to leave home and family behind so we will always know what it is to be free. Our soldiers may be nameless and faceless numbers on the news to most, but in our home we call one of them Daddy.
I am not asking anyone to give up even the least of our hard fought freedoms just so I can feel better about turning on the news. But before you criticize our leaders, protest our military, and dismiss the separation my family must endure as a waste of your tax dollars, I am asking one thing of this nation I love…pray. Do your part for this country by praying for those serving our country. Until you exercise your most valuable freedom and go to the Lord first with your concerns, you have no right to complain.
There is no one in America with super hero powers, even though we expect it. But as Americans united, we are a super power. And the greatest power in our nation will not come from standing together, but from kneeling together.