March 19, 2005

REENLISTMENT

Army vice chief of staff Cody worried about future of all-volunteer military

“We’re seeing right now mothers and fathers and school teachers and other influencers that maybe are not talking about service to this nation,” [Gen. Richard] Cody said. “So, when you say, ‘Army, you have a recruiting problem,’ I say, ‘America, you have a recruiting problem.’”

I keep hearing that recruiting and retention are a problem, but of the 60 eligible soldiers in my husband's company, at least 40 reenlisted. In Iraq. But I do agree with General Cody that perhaps not so many of our role models are pushing for military service. They should be, now more than ever.

Posted by: Sarah at 05:52 AM | Comments (5) | Add Comment
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March 08, 2005

IN BETWEEN

Back in July, Tim wrote me an email in between the time when he learned his wife was back in Germany and the time he would be able to see her. Why me?

If I wondered for a moment "why Sarah?", I knew as quickly it is because you would understand. You are on your own journey. Here is a peek at the end.

At that time, I was five months into my own journey. I know of someone who could use the peek even more, for she is only two weeks into hers.

Dear CaliValleyGirl,

As I sit and know that my husband is in Germany and that I will see him in three and a half hours, I can't get the silly grin off my face. He's back. He's safe. And he's almost here.

But other than goofy, what am I feeling?

I feel excited. I can't wait to have a conversation with him that doesn't include typing or static or time limits. We can talk. All night if we want. And there won't be any soldiers from the Republic of Georgia shouting in the background. He won't have to stand in line to get to me, and I won't have to worry about stepping outside to take out the trash and missing him online. We can talk.

We can also hug. In a way I envy the mothers because at least they have children to hug. I've been quite snuggle-less for a year, and I am looking forward to one of our little rituals: my husband sits on the recliner and I sit knitting on the sofa, and during commercials he leans over and we give each other this little high-five hand squeeze thing. It's just a little moment of touch, but I miss it.

I also feel pride. I am proud of us for making it through this year. I am proud of him for working so hard to help Iraq. Platoon leader is the hardest job a lieutenant can have in Iraq, and he did it the entire deployment. I am proud of the fact that I met one of his soldiers today who said, "Thank god I moved into 3rd platoon." I'm proud that my husband's commander keeps raving about him; his wife says he even does it when they're home just the two of them! My husband says it's funny that I have this grandmotherly thing with him, where I think everything he does is perfect, but it's not just me. He's done well this year, and I couldn't be prouder.

I also feel proud to have been a part of such a moment in history. I found a comment on my blog yesterday, the "if you think the war's so great, then why don't you join", and I am proud that my family has. We put our money where our proverbial mouth is and took part in the spread of democracy. He moreso than I, but we did it together, and I'm proud to say that we've helped make history.

So above anything else, I feel excitement and pride. I can't wait to walk into the gym and see the cheering masses of families and soldiers. And this time I won't wake up from the dream before I can grab him in my arms.

So what does this mean for you, CaliValleyGirl? You're probably ready to sock me for being so happy when you're just starting. You wanted to know how long a year is...it's not that long when you have love and pride to keep you company. This year has gone fast for me, and in many ways I can't believe it's already over. You may feel overwhelmed right now, but time will pass and hopefully you'll carry on this tradition next year by writing to another wife who's just starting her journey. We all need a peek at the end, and I promise you it will be here before you know it.

May your journey be joyful...
Sarah

Posted by: Sarah at 09:33 AM | Comments (6) | Add Comment
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March 06, 2005

NOT ON THE FRONT LINES

So, at what point do we get to stop hearing the myth that it's all our nation's black kids getting sent to die?

Posted by: Sarah at 04:53 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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