Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The war sucks. Majorly.

There--I said it. What I've always wanted to say, but I felt I shouldn't. I've said it and I can't take it back. Here's why I think the war sucks.

You see, my cousin, Jimmy, has been to Iraq twice already--one time leaving less than a week after his daughter was born--and he shipped out to Afghanistan Saturday night at ten. Air Force personnel have either gone once, volunteered to go, or haven't gone at all. Now, I do understand that some Air Force people have gone to war more than once because of their job, and I do understand that some Air Force people can't go to war because of their jobs. Whether there isn't the need for them there or there's enough of them to do the job over there. Now, I have nothing against the Air Force, my other cousin is in the Air Force. And although I'm VERY proud of Jimmy, I've wished a million times over that he had joined the AF.
But you know, I got to thinking. How do I go through a day when I know that my cousin will be shipping to Afghanistan that night? How would I deal with knowing that I was going to be going to a place like that? I don't think I could do it. What was going through Jimmy's head an hour...fifteen minutes...one minute before he boarded that plane? How do you prepare yourself mentally for that?

Sometimes I feel guilty, being here--safe at home with a seemingly carefree life while Jimmy and countless others like him are risking their lives for our seemingly carefree lives. Some think that it's not worth them fighting for, but yes, it is. Because they're not fighting for the ones they don't know--they're fighting for the ones they do. Their wives, kids, grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, friends, nieces, nephews, in-laws. Cousins. When I begin to laugh at some joke that's really stupid, I'll cut myself short and think "I'm sitting here laughing while Jimmy's in Afghanistan. That's not cool." I know that Jimmy wouldn't want me to think like this, to close out things just because he's a world away. And I won't, completely. I'll just wear a necklace (that he doesn't know I have...) that was his when he was little. I'll keep it close to me, wear it everyday. That way I'll always remember what he's risking every second of everyday while I sit here with my seemingly carefree life.

I know that Jimmy is thirteen years my senior, but sometimes I feel like I could tell him anything. But I don't. Until now, at least. The last time I got to see him, I gave him a letter telling him everything I've always wanted to tell him, but could never say to his face. I hate crying in front of my dad, my brother, and my grandpa--but that's kind of inevitable. And I think that's because I don't want to make them cry. But I hate it even more if Jimmy sees me cry. I feel I must be strong for him. Yes, he has seen me cry, but I've never seen him cry. And I don't think I could stand to see him cry.

So, in closing, thank you, Jimmy. For everything. You're in my prayers and I pray that God will walk with you and that He will bring you home to us safely. I hope you read my letter. I love you, Adulto.


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