Monday, October 31, 2011

The Troops are coming home!

As mostly everyone by now knows our troops are coming home from Afghanistan. It's a time for celebration, relief, and most of all a time when showing our support is most needed.

When I was in high school most of my friends were those who were in JROTC and nearly every one of them enlisted after we graduated. One of those friends was enlisted before we graduated and was due to ship out to boot camp the morning after gradation. It was two years before I saw him again but when I did, he was on leave and he told me he'd already received 4 purple hearts and he was planning to continue his military career. I wished him luck and told him to be careful. I didn't hear from him again until recently when I found him on facebook.

This friend is still on active duty in Afghanistan and will be coming home soon. He posted so on facebook in not so many words but in a message that made me worry. He said: "Warriors and Civilians don't mix... coming home should be interesting." I guess that got a few people who I don't know but who are his friends a little offended. Someone mention that it wasn't 1968 and that he would be fine. A lot of the comments seemed like all too easy brush offs.
I told promptly told him that I am glad he's coming home and thanked him for his service. I told him it is an honor to have gone to school with him, to know him. I told him that he was a strong and courageous person and that I have complete faith in him that he would overcome and land on his feet.

He wrote back a general message saying that he was sorry if he'd offended anyone.  I don't feel that he should've had to apologize. I feel that his concerns and nervousness are granted. I mean, not too long ago, my Dad spoke to a service woman in the doctor's office who said she rarely gets thanked for her service to our country, that people scream hateful things and obscenities at her, that she's even had rotten food thrown at her. I can't believe there are people out there who could or would do that! But sadly there are those who do. And I think some people forget that transitioning isn't simple, quick, or easy. It's noting to brush off.

Every single troop coming home needs even more support, care, and love. This is a time to let them adjust and a time to be there for them. They made sacrifices, endured more than we can even imagine. They were strong for us now we must be strong for them. We should show our appreciation instead of brushing them off and telling them they'll be fine because a lot of them won't be fine.

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