Peacemonger Mom

My son just enlisted in the military. I'm a peace activist. Why couldn't he have rebelled in some other way, like being republican?

Thursday, January 25, 2007

We get letters!

I received one of those email forwards from a friend, and it made my hair catch on fire. I suppose that the timing was just a little off, really, since I got it the day I learned TB was going to Iraq. The re line is "Made in the USA: Spoiled Brats":

I am sending this to everyone on my e-mail list because I believe it states the truth!!!! We should shut up complaining and Thank God that we are fortunate enough to live in the United States of America and the only things we should complain about are having our liberty to worship God and honor our traditions and culture the way we, as Americans, were taught, and brought up to do!, taken away by a very small majority who don’t want “God” mentioned ANYWHERE!!!! And want to take “Christ” our of Christmas!!!!! Americans elected our President and we should honor him while he serves US!

Now, I will step down off my soapbox. But now, you also know where I stand!!! Hope you are right there beside me!!!!

Made in the USA : Spoiled brats.

A Newsweek poll alleges that 67 percent of Americans are unhappy with the direction the country is headed and 69 percent of the country is unhappy with the performance of the president. In essence 2/3s of the citizenry just ain't happy and want a change.

So being the knuckle dragger I am, I starting thinking, ''What we are so unhappy about?''

Is it that we have electricity and running water 24 hours a day, 7 days a week? Is our unhappiness the result of having air conditioning in the summer and heating in the winter? Could it be that 95.4 percent of these unhappy folks have a job? Maybe it is the ability to walk into a grocery store at any time and see more food in moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

Maybe it is the ability to drive from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic Ocean without having to present identification papers as we move through each state? Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe motels we would find along the way that can provide temporary shelter? I guess having thousands of restaurants with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all involved. Whether you are rich or poor they treat your wounds and even, if necessary, send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.

Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch equipment to extinguish the flames thus saving you, your family and your belongings. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes , an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood free of bombs or militias raping and pillaging the residents. Neighborhoods where 90 percent of teenagers own cell phones and computers.

How about the complete religious, social and political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the world? Maybe that is what has 67 percent of you folks unhappy.

Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U. S. , yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have , and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here.

I know, I know. What about the president who took us into war and has no plan to get us out? The president who has a measly 31 percent approval rating? Is this the same president who guided the nation in the dark days after 9/11? The president that cut taxes to bring an economy out of recession? Could this be the same guy who has been called every name in the book for succeeding in keeping all the spoiled brats safe from terrorist attacks? The commander in chief of an all-volunteer army that is out there defending you and me?

Make no mistake about it. The troops in Iraq and Afghanistan have volunteered to serve, and in many cases may have died for your freedom. There is currently no draft in this country. They didn't have to go. They are able to refuse to go and end up with either a ''general'' discharge, an ''other than honorable'' discharge or, worst case scenario, a ''dishonorable'' discharge after a few days in the brig.

So why then the flat-out discontentment in the minds of 69 percent of Americans? Say what you want but I blame it on the media. If it bleeds it leads and they specialize in bad news. Everybody will watch a car crash with blood and guts. How many will watch kids selling lemonade at the corner? The media knows this and media outlets are for-profit corporations. They offer what sells , and when criticized, try to defend their actions by "justifying" them in one way or another. Just ask why they tried to allow a murderer like O. J. Simpson to write a book and do a TV special about how he didn't kill his wife, but if he did it, Insane!

Stop buying the negative venom you are fed everyday by the media. Shut off the TV, burn Newsweek, and use the New York Times for the bottom of your bird cage. Then start being grateful for all we have as a country. There is exponentially more good than bad.


Perhaps you can see why I went slightly insane. Whoever first wrote this screed is clearly one of the privileged people: I would bet my money on white, wealthy and very anti-poor. And I am really quite sure that he/she has no children serving over there. That's an "honor" that people like this leave for the poor folks, who can't afford to send their kids to college.

So you will forgive me for responding with a wee bit of ire:

The Boy just got word that he’s headed to Iraq in November.

I don’t know - you may already have someone that you care about who is over there. If we do not do something, very soon we will all have people over there that we love and care about. I have never had to suffer through the sort of horror of this in my entire life. I would never wish this on anyone...other than George W. Bush. The Boy is part of Idiot George’s “surge” - and when Bush talks tonite about supporting the troops, or anything else – he is talking about MY CHILD. When you hear the words “troops in Iraq,” replace it with "The Boy.” I am FURIOUS at the state of our nation, at the things that are going on now, and honestly, Christmas has nothing to do with it. Christmas has become nothing more than Wal-Mart Appreciation Day, as opposed to the celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior. I am a very loud and vocal part of the 2/3rds that is PISSED OFF and wants to see George impeached and run out of town on a rail. I think that the wrong man was hung not too long ago.

My beautiful son is more important than George’s relationship with the Saudis, or the neo-cons’ need for money. What would happen if all the individuals in Congress had children in the military? What would happen if there was a draft? What if children who were 40 could be drafted? Are they children? (yes – do they have mothers? Okay - they are children. Do they remember their mothers? They are children. Do they EXIST? They are children of someone.) This war is wrong – it is immoral, it is illegal, it should be stopped, and we are wrong for sitting on our hands and allowing our children and grandchildren to be fed into the meat grinder that is the U.S. Government. I do not believe that the media is slanted towards the left – I believe that the media is under representing the things that are being said by the right. The media is nothing more than a shill for the conservative right. The media has helped, and has walked in goosestep with this government in frightening the sheeple of the U.S. into following those ideals and concepts of the neocons. We are all asleep. We need an awakening. Perhaps the loss of our children, the loss of thousands of children, will be the answer. Oh, wait. That’s already happened. Over THREE THOUSAND CHILDREN of the United States are dead. More children are dead due to Bloody George than due to the actions of the “terrorists.” What does that make us? Especially since we have killed hundreds – HUNDREDS – of thousands of innocent Iraqis. WE are the terrorists. WE are not just killing the “others” - we are killing our own.

The only – ONLY – place where god needs to be mentioned, as far as I’m concerned – is beside the names of our lost troops. If it is placed beside the name of the president? It is the same as mentioning it in Wal-Mart. In that case, it’s lost – there is no purpose to the concept of god. If this idiot, this...this...this chimp – sends more children to a sandy country, where there has been war for centuries, and GOD does not send a lightening bolt down to strike him, I do not believe in God.

Anyone who says to me: "WE ARE THE MOST BLESSED PEOPLE ON EARTH. WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR WHAT WE HAVE AND WHO WE ARE SEVERAL TIMES A DAY AND STOP THE BITCHING," they need to send their child to a sandy, frightening place, where no one will hold their hand as they die. I say that anyone who thinks that I AM BITCHING, as the MOTHER OF A SOLDIER, heading INTO IRAQ,


Private The Boy's Mother,

Peacemonger Mom

We, the people who "elected" Bush, are being prevented by Bush from seeing the true carnage that he has wrought, and continues to create, in our country and throughout the world. Why else is it that we don't see the funerals? The injured soldiers? Because that would remind us of what we are supporting, and it might make us just a little to depressed to go out and shop, or drive our gas guzzling SUVs, or anything else.

I am angry. I am sad. I am scared. But I love my son, and I do what I can for him. I hope that it's enough.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Nine Months

Long enough to create another person.

Will that person go on to take the place of The Boy?

He's headed to Iraq, as of November.

I feel very alone. I have friends who love me, and who know The Boy. But I don't know that anyone around me knows the way I felt, today, after learning that TB was going into Iraq. I went to the grocery store, Wal-Mart, (yes, yes, I know, all wrong, but I'm a poor graduate student, and there's not much more in this woe begotten town) and walked around in a daze, putting things into my cart, and taking them back out. The lights in the store were bright, then dim. I could hear it in my head, a voice, mine, I guess, saying, "My son is going to Iraq. Iraq. In 9 months. November." It was, for want of a better word, surreal.

Then I come home to hear the bullshit from Bush? About No Child Left Behind?

Oh Please.

I have been holding my tears in all day - as I walked to my car, I saw (of course) a magnetic ribbon on a car that said "Pray for Our Troops." I nearly doubled over in shock and pain. Is MY CHILD now one of THEIR TROOPS? Do people I don't know pray for my son? Is my son in the prayers of others? Others who don't know him? How do I thank them for that? How do I acknowledge that? How do I understand that?

How do I function like this? He loves his barracks, by the way, the ones that he will live in for a few months, before he goes to That Sandy Place.

Are you a mother? Can you imagine your child outside your reach? Yes, sure, when he/she is an adult. Okay. Now people are shooting at her. In another country. People are laying bombs in front of her path. People are looking at him in the sights of a gun.

There may be a man or woman right now planning to kill my child.

I can do nothing about this. Except perhaps put a yellow ribbon on my car.

Monday, January 22, 2007

How This Must End

Saturday, January 20, 2007


This has been quite a semester. We have dealt with separation, reconnection, rediscovery, love, hate, war, possible death, certain death. Discovering that my son was actually able to be a grown man was a shock to my system. Discovering that my husband was able to lose his father and not lose himself was equally surprising. Life has handed me bliss, joy, excitement, and sadness all in the same handful. There have been times I wasn't sure if I was weeping from joy or from grief.

Losing my father-in-law has been hard, harder than I anticipated. Obviously, we all knew it was only a matter of time. After all, we are all only a matter of time, aren't we? But FIL was dear. He kissed my cheek, hugged me and said, "Welcome to the Family" when I married his son. He laughed, he joked, he was truly the strongest man I knew. How is it that he can be here one day, and gone the next? How can the world continue to spin, people continue to walk down the street and function while he does not? Days go by and I manage just fine, then suddenly I encounter the invisible wall that is the impossibility of FIL's death. How can this be? My mind refuses to accept it, wrap around it, see it.

I spend my effort on Hon, because he and his father were so close, and Hon was, really, the favorite son. He and FIL were close, and so much alike. There are good days, there are bad days, but my attention has been on Hon, and not on my own thoughts for FIL. This may not be a good thing - grieving must be done, it will allow itself to be put off, but that only allows it time to strengthen itself, make itself larger than life. When one finally gets around to something put off and allowed to grow, it is undoubtedly a larger and more unpleasant issue at that point.

FIL's death came at a really bad time - the end of our semester, right as I was finishing up classes and then to make matters harder, on the day I was to go and pick up TB from his final day of training. I attended his graduation from AIT in a fog of confusion and sadness, but joy and excitement for TB, because he was finished, was able to move on to his next base (thankfully here in the U.S. for the time being) and because I was able to spend time with him. The time I spent with TB over the holiday was too brief, but it was long enough for me to see and accept that he is, indeed, a grown up, and a good one at that. He is actually becoming the man that I had hoped he would be, he is showing the traits that I had prayed would take hold in him. He is finally the person I had hoped for when I wrote him a letter as he lay in his crib and slept. He didn't arrive at the place I wanted for him via the exact roads I had anticipated, but he's there, and that's what's important to me.

Struggling with FIL's death, with TB's changes, with the happiness that one event brings to me and the unbearable sadness that the other brings has knocked me back on my heels. My writing has been next to zero, and my thesis has suffered for it. Partly I have simply not wanted to deal with the subject matter. Who wants to read about the grief of a soldier's mother, when all that I can feel is fear for my own son, but joy for his existence? Who wants to confront non-existence of loved ones?

So I didn't, and now I am paying the price. I sat down and created a thesis timeline - a timeline that leaves me little time for anything other than writing, rewriting, and working. If it works as I hope, I will graduate in August, and may or may not walk for graduation. We'll see about that one. But that's still a ways away.

I am lucky - I have a couple of papers that I can make use of (and am making use of) to begin my work, and getting started is ALWAYS my hardest part.

So let's go.