Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Orders to deploy to Afghanistan - third combat deployment

Son-in-law already has his orders for deployment to Afghanistan. He is home with his family for now - his year 'dwell time' at home. We work to try to forget it is only a year that will pass quickly and another deployment looms ahead. My daughter works (and I do mean Works) at trying to get the most out of their time home, arranging for the family to get everything they can out of each moment; something to be stored up against the times he is away.

A third deployment after two extended, stop-loss 15 month deployments in Iraq. Amounts to 30 months on the ground in Iraq + the months before and after deployments of readying or debriefing and he has been gone about 40 months of his children's lives. Strong as my daughter is in trying to keep her family stabilized, I am seeing the toll these deployments are putting on the families. There is no way that my grandchildren will not carry some imprint of fear into their adult lives. Military brats, kids who grow up with parent(s) in military are resilient and develop unique coping skills that can serve them well in their adult years, ie, taking responsibility, organizational and communication skills, embracing different cultures, but as is well identified in the movie (dvd available) Brats; Our Journey Home, children are impacted by the life during times of peace, and more so during times of war.

Is it too early for me to be thinking about joining the protests of the Afghanistan war? Possibly, but I don't think it's going to be marching in the streets that will get the message out there this time. Not sure yet, what direction registering statements of concern about the direction of Afghanistan war will need to take or wind up taking, but a beginning is discourse and dialogue, talking about the course of this war. Wearied from years of intense activity in being part of actions to elevate the concerns about Iraq war, I'm not anxious to jump into the fray to do likewise with Afghanistan war......and yet, neither do I want my son-in-law and his family to have to go through another combat deployment.

I do empathize with President Obama in having so many fires to put out as soon as he stepped into office, and unlike former President Bush, I don't think we are dealing with a President in Obama who is beyond listening to reason. Afghanistan is another fire that needs to be put out, it won't wait patiently in line whilst all the other issues demanding President Obama's attention get priority attention. I'm going to need to hear Obama's reasoning for why our troops need to remain in Afghanistan; why my son-in-law needs to put his life on the line once more --- for what purpose, for what larger issue, for what greater good?

President George W. Bush's statement in March 2006 after 3 yrs of war "a future President will have to resolve war in Iraq"


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