This Miami Herald editorial compares the Castro dictatorship with Mubarek’s long grip on power.
hat tip: Vital Signs
Posted in That's Life, tagged culture wars, current events, freedom, government, history, human dignity, human rights, military, news, news media, society, totalitarianism, tyranny on February 15, 2011| Leave a Comment »
Last week, midweek, at a study group at church, when the pastor asked if anyone had any prayer requests, one of the women asked if we would pray for her son. She fought for her words as she made her request, ‘… he made it through Iraq, and… our new president (she couldn’t seem to say his name)… who said that he was bringing them home… (long pause, a battle not to crumple)… but there aren’t enough troops, or… anyway, my son’s been told he’s going to be deployed to Afghanistan… he’s been in the National Guard for seven years… he’s just finishing up his one year of reserve… he’s married now… he’s on the short list for a job he really wants… and… God got him through Iraq and I guess… but… he’s married now, and… it’s all so different now… and…”
As she talked, she looked twenty years older than I’d ever seen her. I didn’t ask, but I’ll bet anything that she voted for President Obama, convinced he’d keep her son stateside. Ours is a denomination that stresses respect for government leaders, and she stayed respectful, I’ll give her that. Her soldier son needn’t worry that his mother was talking down his commander in chief. But what struck me was how confused and disbelieving she was that her son, standing on the brink of civilian life, was being jerked back into action, to drive Humvees through bomb infested areas and past snipers.
Whatever Mr. Obama meant to tell her during his campaign, what she heard, I guess, was that he was promising to bring the troops home. And now she’s quite reasonably having trouble coming to grips with the fact that her son, who has been risking his life for years, who is months from discharge, is being sent into yet another country.
This morning, at the bank, one of the women who worked there, when she answered the phone, asked her caller ‘How are you?’. After a pause, during which the customer must have asked her the same question, the banker said, with a trace of bitterness, “I just found out this morning that my son is being deployed to a particularly horrid part of Iraq, so I’m pretty upset, but… well… ” and then she worked the conversation over to business.
This is a part of the country that has many families with sons and/or daughters in the military. There has always been worry amongst friends and family, but there has also been pride, and a sense that the war was worth the risks and sacrifice. I’m not used to hearing what I’ve been hearing lately, the words and tones suggesting a sense of betrayal, and the agony of dashed hopes.
I was talking to a friend about it, and he said that a whole lot of military families voted for President Obama. I’m wondering how many of them are finding out that it’s not going to get them what they thought it would. I can’t imagine how much that would hurt, considering what’s at stake.
Sunday, the lady from my study group seemed to have recovered her equilibrium. She was pretty much her usual, cheerful, bubbly self, even though she’s also dealing with the recent death of a friend in a car wreck. We are a tough and persevering people, and trust that this life isn’t all there is, and we have friends and God to lean on to get us through the griefs of this life. But, still. I cannot get over how old she was last Wednesday, and how hard it was for her to talk about “our new president” and how impossible it was for her to say his name.
I got an email today, which led me to find out that since 2001, Campus Crusade for Christ has provided about 1.9 million “Rapid Deployment Kits” to our troops. RDKs are packets including a New Testament with Psalms and Proverbs, plus a booklet outlining the gospel, plus a devotional.
Following a link from there, I came across more on military ministries. It’s not an exhaustive list, but if you’re looking for help, or looking to help, it looks like it might be a reasonable place to start.