Wednesday, June 14, 2006

A Wife's Request

(The following story was written by Lori Kimble, a31 year old teacher and proud military wife. Mrs. Kimble, a Californianative, currently lives in Alabama.)

I was sitting alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that you findall over the country. You know the type--a bucket of peanuts on every table,shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing aroundwith longneck beers and sizzling platters. Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my glass.

My gaze lingered on a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform toidentify their branch of service, but they were definitely "military:" cleanshaven, cropped haircut, and that "squared away" look that comes with pride. Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where my husbandusually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very booth,talking about his upcoming deployment to the Middle East. That was when he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this restaurant once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure thethought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned homeI fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he wasat this very moment. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were my letters getting through to him?

As I pondered these thoughts, high pitchedfemale voices from the next booth broke into my thoughts. "I don't know what Bush is thinking about. Invading Iraq. You'd think that man would learn from his old man's mistakes. Good lord. What an idiot! I can't believe he is even in office. You do know, he stole the election."

I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them, as they began an endless tirade running down our president. I thought about the last night I spentwith my husband, as he prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax shots. The image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gives me chills. Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts.

"It is all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'. Hmph! I wonder how many innocent people they'll kill without giving it a thought? It's pure greed, you know."

My chest tightened as I stared at my wedding ring. I could still see how handsome my husband looked in his "mess dress" the day he slipped it on my finger. I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform, affectionately dubbed "coffee stains" with a heavy bulletproof vest over it.

"You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are hiding any weapons. In fact, I bet it's all a big act just to increase the president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at the expense of our social security and education. And, you know what else? We're just asking for another 9-ll. I can't say when it happens again that we didn't deserve it."

Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched gathering outside our base. Did no one appreciate the sacrifice of brave men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom? Do they evenknow what "freedom" is? I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw their courageous faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each otherdejectedly, listening to the women talking.

"Well, I, for one, think it's just deplorable to invade Iraq, and I am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby-killers we call a military."

Professional baby-killers? I thought about what a wonderful father my husband is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children again. That's it! Indignation rose up inside me. Normally reserved, pride in my husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one voice will answer on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops beknown.

Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the adjoining booth and placed my hands flat on their table. Lowering myself to eye level with them, smilingly said, "I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. You see, I'm sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And, do you know why? Because my husband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around the world defending your right to say rotten things about him.

"Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none of my business. However, what you say in public is something else, and I will not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband, and all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line, just so you can have the "freedom" to complain. Freedom is an expensive commodity, ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it."

I must have been louder that I meant to be, because the manager came over to inquire if everything was all right. "Yes, thank you," I replied. Then, turning back to the women, I said, "Enjoy the rest of your meal."

As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed for making a scene, and went back to my half eaten steak. The women picked up their check and scurried away. After finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode.

"Compliments of those soldiers," he said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that another couple had beaten them to it. When I asked who, the manager said they had already left, but that the gentleman was a veteran, and wanted to take care of the wife of "one of our boys."

With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers and thanked them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and surrounded the booth. "We just wanted to thank you, ma'am. You know we can't get into confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you did."

As I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of the other diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my husband, and would keep him in their prayers. I knew their flags would fly a little higher the next day. Perhaps they would look for more tangible ways to show their pride in our country, and the military who protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two women who were railing against our country, would pause for a minute to appreciate all the freedom America offers, and the price it pays to maintain it's freedom.

As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference. Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base where I live, Iwill proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign of my own. It will simply say, "Thank You!" To those who fought for our Nation: Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know. GOD BLESS AMERICA!

Please pray for God's protection of our troops and HIS wisdom for theircommanders. Pass this on to as many as you think will respond. "Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless themand their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time ofneed. I ask this in the name of God."

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

This woman is entitled to her opinion, and there is no doubt she loves her husband. I have a nephew in Iraq, who I love, and I support our soldiers. That doesn't mean that the war in Iraq is right, and that our leaders didn't lie about the reasons for going to war. Being patriotic means standing up for what's right, even if means you disagree with the president.

Anonymous said...

Ever notice how one of these unanimous "Praise the President,
God Bless America and Pray for the Troops" emails surfaces every
time the Bush administration gets itself into hot water.

I have seen this kind of thing over and over ... so much so that
I doubt the authenticity of it. Sorry, but for me, supporting our troops
in war does not equal supporting a flawed foreign policy.

The whole tone of this message is "Anyone critical of the Bush
Middle East foreign policy is a traitor to the United States of American .

Rob Norton, Franklin MA said...

It is great how these unpatriotic mud slingers have no clue the sacrifice these families make. The best that they can do is come up with a bush conspiracy theory. I love how they sign off with anoymous, complete cowards. A bunch of big mouths in a crowd of fellow cowards. Grow a set and stand up for America and stop hating her.

sandra said...

Finally someone speaks up for our president and our troops!!!
Sorry, BUT you CANNOT say you support troops and talk negative about our nation, our president, the war in Iraq (thank God they're not fighting here in the state...yet, but as soon as Ms Clinton gets her way, they WILL probably have to fight HERE, then what!). Thank God for people that will speak up, start saying "the truth" and stop running behind lies from liberals and democrats!
I will pray for them, but careful what YOU say, it will probably come to haunt you in the future and then WE will say "still think the war is about oil???"...NO!

Anonymous said...

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/speakup.asp

The author hasn't responded to snopes.

Tyger said...

Hello Mr. Rob Norton, if that is your real name....

To satisfy your demand for a non-anonymous response, I will say that the anonymous responses I have read are very close to my own thoughts on this issue.

http://www.snopes.com/politics/war/speakup.asp

The link above indicates that the original story has not been verified. Maybe it is true, but my opinion is that I've had to endure much worse (both words and actions) in my lifetime - with attacks on my freedom and my civil rights. Most definitely my pursuit of happiness.

I strongly believe that the author of that story embellished the "overheard conversation" to invoke a stronger reaction.

I have personally heard similar criticisms, though not as strongly worded as the "overheard conversation." I have never heard anything about raping or baby killing. That is ridiculous.

Here are a couple of responses to that story that I agree with:

Response 1: Ever notice how one of these unanimous "Praise the President,
God Bless America and Pray for the Troops" emails surfaces every
time the Bush administration gets itself into hot water.

I have seen this kind of thing over and over ... so much so that
I doubt the authenticity of it. Sorry, but for me, supporting our troops
in war does not equal supporting a flawed foreign policy.

The whole tone of this message is "Anyone critical of the Bush
Middle East foreign policy is a traitor to the United States of American .

Response 2: This woman is entitled to her opinion, and there is no doubt she loves her husband. I have a nephew in Iraq, who I love, and I support our soldiers. That doesn't mean that the war in Iraq is right, and that our leaders didn't lie about the reasons for going to war. Being patriotic means standing up for what's right, even if means you disagree with the president.

Todd in Sacramento said...

It amazes me how the CFR controlled mainstream media has succeeded in getting people to polarize themselves on different "sides" of the Iraq issue. To the Rob Norton's out there.... You are all being played for fools. Karl Marx wrote about this in his "Communist Manifesto". It is simply a method of Divide and Conquer. The elite globalists in Washington and their cohorts around the world want you to think in terms of "liberals" and "conservatives" while they continue to control the masses like robots in their so-called "New World Oder". And in case you haven't noticed there is no difference (or very little) between the leaders of the Republican and Democratic party. Think about it, obviously any decent American would support our troops regardless of how they felt about us being there or how we got there. But to criticise a person for being against the war in Iraq or not liking Jorge Bush is just plain idiotic. If you would just go back and learn what both the founding fathers and past patriots have said about these things you might have a better understanding of what true patriotism is all about.
"Patriotism means to stand by the country. It does not mean to stand by the President or any other public official save exactly to the degree in which he himself stands by the country. It is patriotic to support him insofar as he efficiently serves the country. It is unpatriotic not to oppose him to the exact extent that by inefficiency or otherwise he fails in his duty to stand by the country". Teddy Roosevelt
"We, the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution, but to overthrow men who pervert the Constitution." Abraham Lincoln
The war in Iraq is nothing more than a huge money spending game for the elites to play in order to make a few of their people wealthy and to take away more of our freedoms and liberty. If you think otherwise you guilty of ignorance.

Do your homework and don't be fooled by their fear propaganda and false patriotism.

- Todd -

Jim said...

"If you think otherwise you guilty of ignorance."

First of all, Todd, - wow! You seriously believe that anybody who disagrees with you is ignorant? I think that is the most arrogant statement I've ever seen in print.

Secondly, it is both ironic and hilarious that your sentence here identifying others as ignorant is grammatically incorrect. I'm thinking that perhaps you didn't always do your homework either.

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