March 12, 2008
I've been thinking about this ever since they were talking on the radio about how 9/11 changed people's lives. I blogged:
Today I started thinking that if 9/11 hadn't happened, my life would be quite different. My husband was slated to join the Army for four years of Finance. My guess is that he would've completed his commitment and taken his business mind elsewhere for more money. Certainly he wouldn't have stayed in and chosen to learn Farsi. We'd probably be somewhere in the Midwest, working and living like most of our peers.
I'm pretty sure my husband wouldn't be in the Army today if it weren't for Iraq. We also wouldn't be reading so many books on Iran and Arabs, there probably wouldn't be a SpouseBUZZ, and I never would've met any of my best friends.
Andi wrote a good post on the fifth anniversary of the Operation Iraqi Freedom. The story is a story of strength, of resolve, of commitment. That is what has changed in my life, for the better. Without Iraq, my husband's job would just be a job. Instead, it is more like a calling. In the CNN article, they talk about a chaplain:
When Etter himself returned on leave to Pennsylvania to officiate at the funeral of a close friend, he turned to his wife and said he wanted to go home.
"I said, `OK, get in the car. Let's go home,"' said Jodi Etter. "And you said, 'No, my home in Iraq. I just want to go home."'
When his tour was over, and he went with his wife to buy furniture for their new house in Lebanon, Pennsylvania, he had to remind himself that it was important to her -- even if it seemed trivial to him after the war.
I think they mean for this story to be a bad thing, but I don't see it that way. Our troops are invested in Iraq. They live their lives for a serious purpose, so yes, furniture is going to seem trivial. That's called Perspective. And my husband says all the time that he wants to return to Iraq to see this thing through. As an Army wife, you make a choice: when your husband says he'd rather be in Iraq on Valentine's Day, you can either be selfish and resent him, or you can be proud that your husband has such convictions and deeply cares about both the future of the US and the future of Iraq. I'm impressed that my husband would rather be "stuck hear n Irak" than safe and snug at home, and I'm proud of him for putting his country ahead of his family.
That's how we've changed in the past five years. If you'd asked me as a teen what the height of romance is, never in a million years would I have come up with the answer "having your husband wish he were in Iraq every Valentine's Day." But it is. Iraq has matured us, as a couple and as individuals. We read more, we think more, and we love more.
The chaplain goes on to say:
Now executive director of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Veterans Affairs, Etter says a deployment is like a magnifying glass.
"Personalities that are strong become stronger," he says. "Personalities which are weaker are made to become weaker."
We are better for having been to war.
Posted by: Ann M. at March 12, 2008 07:56 AM (HFUBt)
Posted by: Will at March 12, 2008 09:26 AM (/Wwv3)
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