Tuesday, February 12, 2008

A Little Respect

I don't usual open my mouth about controversial topics unless specifically asked, but over the weekend, I saw an image that deeply disturbed me. It was an image of protestors carrying signs. I won't state what the sign specifically said, but the gist of it was a deeply hateful thing against soldiers.

I don't come from a military family although I've had relatives in the military. But still, I can deeply empathize with the families and the soldiers fighting today. All I have to do is think of the images of strong soldiers in a battlefield with tears in their eyes, a soldier holding an injured child amongst chaos, children running to a mother or father they haven't seen in many months - the list goes on.

The war in Iraq is something none of us like very much. War is ugly, terrible, full of horror, but sometimes necessary. Anyone who thinks it never is should really think hard about what this world would be like if tyrants were left to overrun without opposition. Don't judge quick by what you think you know. Truly imagine it - what if everyone refused to fight?

But, I digress, my main topic here was the pain I felt for soldiers when I saw that image a second time. As my daughter said, who would say such an awful thing about soldiers? I really don't understand it and I wonder if the person who made that sign or carried that sign ever stopped to think about the soldiers fighting overseas as human beings. And did they ever stop to think that not all of them are in Iraq?

It shames me to think people in my country can think so badly of the men and women that give up everything of themselves, sometimes even their lives to protect our country, protect the rights of people, no matter who they are. Those soldiers hurt from what they've experienced. They witness horrors most of us can't even imagine and somehow keep going on, some with hearts of gold, running to help anyone, even perfect strangers, while risking their own lives.

Sure, some of you might huff and state some of the horrible things that have been done by soldiers. I say don't judge all by a few. Nothing is fully perfect. Perfection is a myth. But stop and think about the type of person it takes to leave family, home, modern comforts and safety behind to help ensure the rest of us can enjoy all those things without worry. The least we can do is thank them and be glad for their returns.

I don't know if the war is right or wrong. It wouldn't matter to me if I did believe it was all totally wrong, I could never speak so badly of those making such sacrifices to help others and protect what they believe in even if I didn't believe in the same thing.

I thank each and every man and woman out there who have put defending our country and the people before anything else. I thank their families too. I deeply respect them and wish them all the best for what they've given of themselves and hope they never once have to feel unappreciated or let down by anyone they've fought for. I can only hope others do the same for them, or at least don't do anything to disrespect them.

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