Tonight I was going to write about chick peas and local flavors bursting all around us this time of year. Plans changed when I decided to check email first and noticed there was a submission form for my other site. I've been thinking a lot this month about military spouses, wives in particular because of an On Point episode that aired on NPR early in August. The women who were on the show had not lost a spouse as of yet, but they had all planned, imagined, and mourned the wartime death of their husband. They explained that it was the only way to cope, to lessen the shock and the pain if it were to become their reality. Though each one of them knew there was no real way to prepare for that kind of truth, especially because none of them believed in the war their husbands were fighting.
So when I opened this submission form from a woman named Erin living in Virginia Beach, Virginia, my heart sank, I sat staring at her words, tearful. I don't know Erin, I don't know how she found her way to Dinner with the President, if she reads this blog or not. I can only imagine how desperate she must feel, how scared, and how angry. I imagined Erin's voice as I read her words...
One Question : How can I tell my children that their father died for our love of oil...so that we can drive bigger trucks?
One Statement : My husband is leaving in October for yet another deployment to the "sandbox". We have three young sons. And he and I are again talking about the what ifs and if this happens of a wartime
marriage. God in heaven forbid I have to act on any of these plans, but if I do...please give me a good reason for his death. A lust for oil and our citizens unchanging attitude toward our consumption is not a good reason. Please, Mr. President...bring our troops home NOW!
Name & Location : Erin, Virginia Beach, VA
And where does she turn? Who will listen, and who will respond?
The women that gathered on the radio to discuss life as a wartime wife were asked what they want from us, as citizens, as community members, strangers and friends. They asked that people just "do something." They talked about how in other times of war hardship and sacrifice were both felt on the home front. It's not the same now. People are able to pretty much go through their days not feeling this war. But they do. And they know that most people want it to end, they know this. They just aren't hearing it from us, they aren't seeing it in our willingness to sacrifice a few luxuries, to speak out and be heard. They said, "please, do something."
When I started Dinner with the President early in the summer, my plan was to not really do much except watch for the first month or so, I thought I'd dive into getting it out there on a larger scale after I got a feel for it all. Well, that month turned into two, with no excuses, it just did.
Thank you Erin for sharing your words and for giving me the motivation I needed to put the proper energy into this project, I hope you inspire others to share their thoughts as well. And I am so sorry your family is in the position to remind us all what we need to do, so terribly sorry.