I absolutely loved D.C.(it’s the first time I’ve been there in about 2o years and then it was only a trip through the Smithsonian on our way to NYC. ) This time I had a wonderful tour guide; she showed me all the sights. I thanked many of our troops for their service; some were on their way home for mid deployment R&R others were visiting D.C., too. None the less, I shook their hand, gave out 3 hugs and said thank you to all. I stopped in at the USO at the airport to say hi to the volunteers who staff it. It’s what I do. It’s what I believe in. Response is usually always good but one soldier in particular stood out because of comments he made. He was in the airport and I was waiting for my flight to D.C. and we started chatting. After a few minutes, he asked me what Sgt. did and by this time we had quite the audience hanging on to our conversation. When I told him his job, the soldier looked me dead square in the eyes and asked, “you know what he does, right?” I answered yes with the strongest smile I had to try and not show concern in it. The next thing he said to me floored me. “All I can say is you need to pray and pray a lot. Both of you.” I was so taken aback by those words and apparently it showed through on my face because he then told me that he was glad there were soldiers such as Sgt. who performed these tasks because they were extremely important but extremely dangerous. I shook his hand again, told him good-bye and I left to go board my flight. I know he meant no harm and certainly didn’t mean to upset me and it didn’t to the point of tears but it did as it tugged on my heart strings and it set my mind rolling for what I would see in the days ahead as I walked the streets of our nation’s capital.
As we walked to the different landmarks and memorials, my heart was touched. It was touched because of what they stand for. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial gave me goosebumps. As I ran my hands over the names touching them and reading notes that were left at the base of the wall, it brought tears to my eyes. There were notes of thanks, drawings by children and a poem written in 1999 by a high school senior who later joined the military and lost his life in Iraq in 2005. It was very quiet and nothing more than whispers. Arlington National Cemetery also humbled my soul. It is one of the most amazing places I’ve ever seen. We watched the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Every time his heels clicked as he turned, my heart skipped a beat and it ached.
I took quite a few pictures and I flipped through them several times reading the over and over the words on the monuments. As I wound down at night, I remembered how important of a role we all play in the making of our country’s history. How our choices and our attitudes affect the outcome of so many things; the good and the bad.
I saw so much hate towards Bush, whole stores dedicated to it, and was even invited to a picnic to impeach him. My response: Sorry, he’s my husband’s boss. It is not up to me to judge his decisions. It’s not up to me to question policy. It’s my job to support those who work so hard and tirelessly for the things we all are supposed to believe in. And I do. I do it with pride ignoring those who say I’m wasting my time. A brother or sister in need is never a waste of time, not in my eyes anyway.
As soon as I landed I called Sgt. and the first thing I told him was how proud I am of him and I’m proud he fights for what he believes in and I, in turn, will fight for him and those who are like him. They are his brothers and sisters; our extended family, so to speak. As long as I’m able, no one who needs comfort will go unnoticed. That goes for on the home-front and abroad. Why? It’s what I believe in.