I love life!

Hi, I am Jo and this is my blog about my life. Here you will find entries on cooking, gardening, food safety and the interesting things happening in my search for an inexpensive and healthy way of living. My home is located in North Florida and I am relearning how to take care of myself at almost 50. This is the deep South so my garden and season may be a bit different than yours. I look forward to seeing what you have to say as time passes. Read on and have a beautiful day!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Changing Perspectives

The United States is engaged in conflicts in both Afghanistan and Iraq. This is not a discussion of right and wrong this is just a short post on having friends and family serving in the combat zone.

After high school I joined the Marine Corps and did my time in the United States. I joined knowing we were not at war and that if we did engage in war that as a female my chances to go into a combat arena were slim at best. (I was a Reagan Era Marine). My younger brother joined the Army and spent roughly 13 years in Special Forces. He got out after he was involved in the initial incursion into Afghanistan and I was grateful to know he was finally safe. From that point my only contact with the war has been when PBS shows the photos of the soldiers who have been killed serving in the Middle East or stories on the news.

Recently, we have had several soldiers from the area where we live killed in combat. Their pictures have been in the papers and on the news so it is closer to home.  So here is the deal - It is so easy for us to forget people are dying every day on foreign soil. Politically, I honestly don't care which political party started the war. Someone needs to put on the big boy pants and take a long hard look at the number of people dying, say we are responsible and figure out how to bring it to it's conclusion.  As in end it.

Why do I care enough to write now? My brother left yesterday to fly helicopters on a government contract. Right about now he is in the Middle East and heading to Afghanistan. He had a choice in his deployment- our soldiers do not. Many of them serve as a way out of poverty and high unemployment, some from a sense of duty tho their country and many because college is simply not an option. They are not  the ones making the decisions on where to go and who to fight. People in suits in D.C. who are not in the war theater are determining the fate of the American Marines, Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen. We can sit in our comfortable homes, not making any sacrifices while they are sacrificing the comforts of home for at best a cot in a sandy tent, family time for the loneliness of a desolate foreign country and our very little thought about peace of mind for incoming bullets and i.e.d.'s.

I debated if this post should go up as the blog is just starting up and alienating people is not my goal. I decided to post because people need to remember. Politically, we do not have to agree on who to blame or why. As a country we are divided on so many levels. From time to time everyone needs to stop and think about something from a different perspective. Mine has definitely changed from the time when the conflicts began.

So forget the who and why and think about the men and women serving overseas and their families at home. If you know someone with a family member reach out to them. If they have very little funds ( and low ranking soldiers families have very little) offer help through prepaid phone cards or gift cards to grocery stores. You can offer to babysit for a weary wife on her own or ask about sending care packages. The U.S.O. works hard to give soldiers in combat a taste of home and they are always accepting donations. If finances hold you back from any of the above then simply tell them you appreciate their service. If you see a soldier in an airport thank them for serving.

 Simple acts reach a long way.                

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