The Sandbox

GWOT hot wash, straight from the wire

Welcome to The Sandbox, a forum for service members who have served or are currently serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, returned vets, spouses and caregivers. The Sandbox's focus is not on policy and partisanship (go to our Blowback page for that), but on the unclassified details of deployment -- the everyday, the extraordinary, the wonderful, the messed-up, the absurd. All correspondence is read, and as much as possible is posted, lightly edited. If you know someone who is deployed who might have something to say, please tell them about us. To submit a post click here.

IN THE CHECKOUT LINE |

October 23, 2006

IN THE CHECKOUT LINE
Name: Kellie Coy
Posting date: 10/23/06
Husband stationed in: Camp Taji, Iraq
Hometown: Marion, Ohio
Email:
coyclan@roadrunner.com

I'm standing in the checkout line with my eleven-year-old daughter, thankful that the twin ten-year-olds are not with me. I'll have enough questions to answer due to the women in front of us. "I can't believe we're still over there," the bleach blonde says to her friend. "It's not doing any good!  We should just get out!"

My daughter, smarter for her age than I wish she was at this moment, knows these two are talking about troops in Iraq. How do I explain that her father's work is not a waste of time? That all the pain we've felt from his absence, all the tears we and others have cried are not in vain? How can I convince her of this when people like these two women are all too often what she and her siblings hear?

Oh, yes, there are those that say, "You tell your Daddy that I said 'Thanks.'" And even a few that recognize the sacrifice the children make, and go as far to tell them "Thank you. I know it must be hard." But those are hard for kids to remember when the negative people speak so loudly. I look down at my daughter and see she's watching for my reaction. This is a crucial moment. A time to teach her a life lesson. So I bite my lip, literally. And I hold back the urge to speak in anger. 

After we're settled in the car, she looks at me and asks "Mom, I know you wanted to say something to them, why didn't you?" I look her in the eyes, smile and tell her "Daddy's working in Iraq so that one day the Iraqi people will be able to speak their opinion, like those two ladies, without fear." Then, like most mothers do, I start to go into more of an explanation than is needed, when she interrupts me with..."I know, Mom." And gives me a look of understanding.

Later that night, after the kids are tucked into bed, I'm sitting on the couch thinking. Thinking about the day's events, and what tomorrow will bring. I send up a prayer of thanks that my husband is safer than most, along with a prayer for those who aren't as safe as he. 

And I don't forget to thank God for my children, who so completely believe in their father and what he's doing that I don't need to worry so much about what other people say. Because what's in their hearts is a blind love and belief that only a child can have.

A life lesson was taught that day, but I believe I was the student.

Comments

Kellie, my heart breaks with you, I have too many friends over there. Prayers for your husband and all the others serving. And a special prayer for all the children of those serving -- they seem to "get it" more than many so-called "educated" people.

The conventional wisdom will bend opinion of the war, the length of time it takes to win, the ease of electing new people with new ideas, I have seen it before. Do continue the prayers that all our military do come home safe and whole, and that while they are in Iraq that they do good things for all the good people and children there. There are always more good people than there are bad, and our military is built to protect them world wide. Pray for all of us.

Kellie,
Our children are wiser than their years. My own realize that what their Daddy is doing is a good thing, regardless of what they hear in stores, school and from our own neighbors. They are proud of him! I've also had to bite my tongue, in the very same situations. It is unfortunate that some take our Freedom of Speech and the men and women who protect that for granted. God Bless your family!
Tiffany

I don't take my 1st Amendment Right lightly at all - nor do I devalue the lives of our soldiers.

We're doing the wrong thing in Iraq - but it's not the soldiers fault - it's their leadership... or lack thereof.

The soldiers are doing what they always do - what they're told, whether it's right or wrong.

They're truly getting the worst of this war - they shouldn't be used as pawns in a political game of chess. THAT devalues their lives.

The situation over there isn't getting any better - in fact it's getting worse daily. We need to get our best out of harm's way rather than forcing them to be more targets in a religious civil war that may well rage for another decade.

Yes, the children are wiser - they understand that war is insane and beyond understanding. It's wasteful of life and goes squarely against Christ's teachings.

Jesus loves the little children because they love without reserve - like He did.

Here's hoping all the separated families are rejoined SOON. America needs its sons and daughters back ALIVE - not as names on a monument.

HI,
I can relate to those comments. I work as a cashier at grocery store on the East coaast here.

I hear the same thing. I even hear worse things. I always tell them that our freedom is not free. That are good women and men there so we can be here.
Yes, w civilians do complain alot and belly ache over the mondane things and trivia stuff or what in the Star Magazine or Hollywood Magazines etc.. that war is long they should be home. I tell them to that there always the "Draft" that Government can use and see how we civilians react then that it can be anybody going! There faces kringe and look at me like a I am the Devil who wears Perada!!!

You tell your daughter that your father is a very special man and the people are looking for him over there so he can home and give the sweetest kiss ever!

For you his wife ( you keep those memories going of him I di understand the long night and lonlyness and wishing people in your business understand when your down or have not heard from him a long time) You hear something bad happen in his group and you hope it not him
etc.....

Or the washer breaks or the car breaks down and you figure out the handle it the best way possible.
Heater breaks or the bills are behind and your trying your hardest to pay them keep off your back etc...

Keep your Chin held High and the sweetest smile ever
and show your pride and tell them your Love for husband you will never go wrong.

You are the best people we have in country.

Thank you will never be enough we owe you our lives.

Wishing you a better day
and that your husband comes home to stay.

Every year on April the 25th New Zealand and Australia celebrate ANZAC day.
We wear poppies, go to dawn services and attend military parades.

We talk about heroism, courage and sacrifice but we also talk about futility and about the tactical stupidity of a failed campaign that sent 180,000 young men into the teeth of Turkish guns.

The day that we've chosen to remember those who die in wars is the day that military planners made a monumental mistake, killed 180,000 men and acheived nothing.

It doesn't lessen the sacrifice of those young men to admit that if we had the choice again we would have done things differently or that their leaders were mistaken.

Thank your husband for his service and personal sacrifices of your family, and keep ignoring the dimwits who only parrot what they hear on the MSM.

Thanks to everyone for your encouragement. And to Mr. Wray and Anna,
I do believe that war is something nobody actually strives for. But I have to ask you....Is it really wrong to fight for what we believe is right? Or should we go ahead and let the playground bullies take over? Even Christ himself threw over the tables as a way of standing up against the wrong that was being done in His Father's temple.

"The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing."

We must all stand for what we believe is right. ANd it's thanks to those who fight for us that we can do just that.

Thanks to all of you for making use of the very freedom given to you by those who were brave enough to stand and fight for it.

>Is it really wrong to fight for what we believe is right? Or should we go ahead and let the playground bullies take over?

That's a good question and one I'd like to see asked of every rightwinger that spends more time smearing Americans who question this fiasco than they do trying to fix it.

Turn on fox "news" or any AM radio talk show and listen to the vile hatred directed at our fellow citizens and soldiers who think this was an enourmous mistake and tell me who the bully is.

Tell me who's right and wrong when the people who've driven this operation into the ground along with any moral standing we used to have have neither served in combat or the armed forces but feel the right to question the patriotisim of those who have?

If you can't see thru the lies, hypocracy and utter incompatance of this current crew in charge then you're accepting responsibility for some of it.

Kellie, of course we should stand up and fight, but sometimes we have to pick our battles.

North Korea and Pakistan are currently more of a threat to the world than Iraq ever was.

The people of Sudan, Turkmenistan and North Korea are currently suffering much more than the people of Iraq did under their monsterous tyrant of a dictator.

Timor L'Este, The Solomon Islands,Papua New Guinea and even Afghanistan are all far better prospects for nation building (and are all teetering on the brink of the kind of chaos currently unleashed in Iraq).

Unless your country is willing to invest much much more in the way of troops and resources Iraq will deteriorate into civil war, if you pull your troops out Iraq will deteriorate into civil war.

None of your options are good at this point, about the only thing you can do is criticise the leaders who got you here.

It's possible they might even take it on board, one of the commanders who was responsible for the appalling tactical blunder that was Gallipoli went on to distinguish himself in the next war, one Winston Churchill...

"...what we believe is right..." is a very slippery phrase.

We believed we were right in Vietnam too. Same in Korea.

War is VERY rarely the right answer - that's why diplomacy is so crucial - it really IS a matter of life and death. Soldiers lives. Civilian lives. Families lives.

I'd like to see our government treat our soldiers (and their families!) lives with the same respect they do their big donor's contributions.

War should be the very Very LAST resort - and then BRIEF and DONE, not year after year of destruction and slaughter. That's horrifying ly wasteful of the lives of our very best. Not to mention the hideous loss of human life and shattered families. Regardless of what your politics are, those are human beings dying and suffering. Precious enough to protect in the womb, but not later? When does the killing stop? Where's that 'other cheek'?

We owe it to the world to try and slow down the nightmare in Iraq and hopefully make it STOP. For EVERYONE. Before we all run out of 'cheeks'.

The latest 'flip flop' of our 'fearless' leader should put a stop to the argument of "are we doing the right thing". Unfortunately, it won't. Those that refused to see logic in Viet Nam but afraid to fight are now in charge of sending the children of the people that did fight in Viet Nam. How sad is this?

I feel for you. With your husband in harms way and your young children to raise you have a full plate. You have everything on the line here. The point that is being missed is that the question is not war right or wrong. What I want you to understand is that people who call for the war to end do so because they fear for your family and the safety of your loved one. When you are out and you hear talk about the war the negativity is pointed at the administration not the soldiers. You have to believe this and you must reassure your children that this is true. When I stand at a peace vigil it is for you and those who give all to protect this country of ours. If you believe this and you explain it to your children in this way they will be blessed with knowing that their fathers life is respected by all. I will think good thoughts for you and your family. I hope that you will be together soon. Peace and love, Kim

Hi
I am torn with the war, though not actually directly involved with it.
I feel extreme gratitute and remorse about the soldiers who are sacrificing for my freedom.
This is the freedom of modern society and connection with oil. I won't get into it because there are pros and cons --but in the end everyone wants oil.
So anyway I will bid adieu and Godspeed.Bye
Marla

You handled every aspect of that situation beautifully! Blessings on you and your family as you await the safe return of your husband. I know that he must be very proud of you.

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