Wednesday, March 22, 2006


So I was out running this afternoon taking in the sweet, fragrant Hawaiian air (have I said today that it's great to be back in the States?) when I saw something that made me smile. I saw a man sitting by himself at a stoplight in his outrageously overpriced sportscar...laughing. Seven months ago, I wouldn't have given this man a second glance. But friends, let me tell you, these are the things that you are drawn to and that seem unique after every motorist that you have seen for the past seven months has nothing but the fear of death in his eyes...a man laughing in his automobile.

We truly don't realize how much we have been given here in America. We take so much for granted and our perception of the world is so conditioned by the lifestyles that we have been blessed with. And at the risk of sounding pious, you never can fully appreciate what we have until your comfort zone is completely shattered and you are given the opportunity to see how the other half of our world is being forced to live. It's one of those things that I can try my hardest to explain, but my words will always be found lacking. It's not the lack of rounds cracking over my head, it's not the awkward silence when I lay in bed at night or the absence of walking down the street without my rifle that I notice the's being able to watch others go through their day without a care in the world. They have no worries about running over an improvised explosive device planted for coalition forces...they have no concern about returning to their home to find it commandeered by insurgents and their families taken hostage. They do not fear being displaced - yet again- as a result of an imminate offensive operation in their neighborhood to rid it of insurgents.

In all fairness, not having to worry about these things is part of the benefit of living in America. But understand one thing...our lifestyles of relative bliss came at a price. And America does not have a monopoly on her citizens being willing to shed their blood to purchase these freedoms. The majority, that's right THE MAJORITY of Iraqis are now willing to stand and face these monsters and draw the line in the sand. It is my hope that we leave them with all the tools and training necessary to carry the torch and defend their homeland and are one day able to once again see their countrymen smile as they travel down their streets.


Barb said...

I have walked the streets of India, and gained appreciation for our life here in the U.S. But even there, it was simply poverty - with little danger except lack of food and clean environs. The leap from there to the Iraq you describe seems as far as the one from here to the slums of Bangalore, or farther.

By the way -- I love the pic of you all with the kids! How sweet :-)
My wish would certainly be that the people of Iraq will gain control of their own security, so that they have hopes of long term financial security and well-being.

Tara said...

So glad to have you back in the states and smiling and enjoying the simple pleasures of your life! You (we) are truly blessed.

CJ said...

So good to see that you are home safe and sound. I am just now reading your last two posts. The one previous to this is so poignant and beautiful. Welcome back, Marine. We won't forget the ones you left behind. Thank you for walking the line for freedom--for us. You are right, we have so much to be thankful for, especially you--our Heroes in uniform. We love you! God be with you, and grant you peace & strength in all your transitions.

Wil said...

"And at the risk of sounding pious, rid it of insurgents."

That was absolutely mesmerizing...

penny said...

Hello there just ran across this blog.i couldnt help myself i just had to keep reading .(crying the whole time) Im so happy youre bacck & safe.I so much love & respect all our military men & women,thank you for loving so much that you protect america & other countrys .I pray everynight for all our miltarys safe return.
again all my love my familys hearts go out to you all