Today I want to share comments posted on the Facebook wall of the unit my husband and I are currently with. I have to say, my intentions are completely selfish with this. What I will write is very similar to something I have already written but if I do not write it here I will most certainly write it there and goodness knows that could start all sorts of problems. And this will get into the freedom of speech, one of our absolute, most precious and abused rights. The comments made by one woman - who I believe to be an Army Wife - anger me in the most extreme way. I am angered most because if this was my soldier being spoken of, there would not be enough grace in the world. It will also tie into something else I have written where some people simply do not get it and no explanation in this world will help them to understand. Please bear with me as I repeat things I have said and may seem a bit passionate and jumbled. Here is what took place.
Both of these comments reference the announced deaths of soldiers belonging to the unit - the link to the newspaper article or post article making the names public.
In the first it references the death of a soldier on his first wedding anniversary. Truly heartbreaking for anyone to read. The comment left by this one woman reads:
"This is awful I wonder when it will stop. It's unacceptable."
This, with the exception of one just completely stupid one, was the only line that was inappropriate. All of the others were filled with support, understanding and gratitude.
The next references the announced death of three soldier's killed in Afghanistan. This same woman writes:
"It's a shame these people have to loose their lives for this war period. It's extremely sad and I feel for their families and for the loss of their lives. These men were young and never lived a full life. Enough is enough - it's unacceptable."
Immediately followed by an Army Wife I would like to meet for her ability to "keep grace" in response to this post:
"There is no shame, only honor. God bless these fallen soldiers and the many who have sacrificed their lives for our country. My thoughts and prayers are with the soldiers' loved ones and the brave men and women fighting for our freedom. Thank you all for your service."
To which the woman responded:
"I feel for their families. I pray for them to get through this loss. Everyone has a right to their own opinion."
There is only honor. There is no shame in the death of a soldier who defends this nation, our freedoms, our lives. And do not tell me that those are not at stake, that we do not need to fear the loss of our liberties. I remember September 11th. I remember September 10th because on that day I spoke to my brother after he left the twin towers. I remember the numbness and the panic and the terror. The day that we are so ignorant, so self-absorbed, that we do not realize these freedoms are always at stake is a day I cannot bring myself to imagine.
My husband is young. My husband is able. My husband is full-of-life. These are the men and women it takes to stand up in arms to protect everything that they love and want to keep.
To say that someone's son's or husband's or father's death is "shameful" does not show that you feel for these families. I am not saying that this woman's heart doesn't break for those who mourn. I am sure it does. But only say that in a place that the family may see it - do not call it a shame.
If I lose my husband there will be no shame in his death and if anyone says so I do not know how I would be able to contain my anger. These four soldiers referenced were not my soldier, I did not know any of them, and I am beyond angry.
It is not a matter of freedom of speech or being entitled to an opinion. I know that everyone has that right and I damn well know who provides it to them. But it is a matter of what is appropriate, what is courteous, what is just plain stupid. Such an opinion has no place on a wall that mourns the fallen, on a site that praises the success, on a post that honors our soldiers. I do not care that a person has a right to say what they believe. I do not care that a person holds those beliefs - no matter how different from my own - but a soldier died, thousands of soldiers have died since the start of these United States, to ensure that we all hold that right. Do not hurt that family, do not attempt to dishonor that soldier's sacrifice, by inappropriately exercising this right.
Our country has become so politically correct, so deeply absorbed in twisting the rights that we have, that they are abused over and over again. A so-called church can stand before the burial of a fallen soldier - as long as they stand a certain yardage back - with signs saying these men and women are going to hell, that they are not heroes, that "God hates them". Soldiers are used as pawns in bills in congress that have nothing to do with them so that either side can say if they do not vote yes they do not support the troops. Both sides do this. My husband is not your pawn. My husband, and those who have served, who have died, and who currently serve beside him, will, without contest, continue to defend this idiocy, this disgust, this misconstruing of what this country was founded on because they understand where we came from. They understand what has been sacrificed, they honor it, they want to be a part of it.
We say we have been "given" these rights but perhaps that is why so many people do not understand the sacrifice. These rights were not "given", they were violently and bravely taken. They were demanded. They are covered in fiery red blood and the tears of those who understood what it took to acquire them. Fathers fought sons. Sons fought fathers. Families were divided because an idea never committed to in such a way, an idea never so great that the division was worth it, was about to come into place in this world and it was risky, it was dangerous, it was life-threatening.
This idea that has come to be "promised" to us is no less dangerous, no less violent today. It must still be fought for, it must still be taken from anyone who seeks to ruin it. And we divide ourselves within these rights. People become too blinded by the idea that we will always possess them, that we will always keep them. My husband fights for his parents, he fights for his wife, he, above all, fights for his children. All of our service-members sacrifice. If my husband were to give all it would be for them, it would be for you, it would be for this woman that has angered me so much. And he would never, for a moment, take that sacrifice back. Everyday, we recognize that this is what he promised his country, what he promised you, and what he promised me.
It takes the young. It takes the strong. It takes those full of life to sustain this life.
"There is no shame - only honor."
"A soldier doesn't fight because he hates what is in front of him. A soldier fights because he loves what he left behind." - unknown
"God is our refuge and strength. He will protect us and make us strong" (ps 46:1). For those who will fly today, for those who are there now, and for those who will soon join the fight, Lord, shield them from all evil, strengthen their hearts, and bring them home safely.