Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Fourth of Freedom

It's way too easy to push back in the recliner, read a little, watch the tennis tournament and drink a bit of wine this weekend and forget what it's all about.

Unless you actually know someone in the military, we take them too much for granted. And even then, it's too easy to mistake a year in Afghanistan as... say a "few weeks out of town". Don't live near Fayetteville, North Carolina? easy to forget the thousands deployed from there who have left behind wives, children and small businesses that are struggling without the income from the normal population.

As a rule we are pretty uninvolved in the lives of those military men and women who are working in so many places around the world to protect the freedoms we celebrate tomorrow.

In two weeks Mitchell and I will help to celebrate the marriage of Megan and Andy. Three weeks later he will leave for three months in Qutar. He's an Air Force pilot and, altho they have spent a lot of time separated already, she will soon need to learn the new role of military wife in a city she has only visited.

Today, Allison will start the day with only 300 or so wake ups left before her Neil comes home from Afghanistan. If you don't have any friends in the military, you might want to check out her blog - 400 Wake-ups. She talks frankly about what it's like to be left behind and how the day-to-day craziness in Washington affects real, live, flesh and blood soldiers and their families. She's also all about fun, so it's a good read.

The main thing is that we all need to stop every day and remember there are real people all over the world to whom we owe our thanks and our concern. We need to pay more attention to military families and to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who are recovering from their wounds and trying to put their lives (and bodies) back together.

It's too easy to remember for one day each summer as we picnic, listen to the band and shoot off a bottle rocket or two.

We need to do it every day. well ... not the bottle rocket thing!


  1. Thank you for the reminder. I will go over and visit Allison, we are in Washington State and have several large military operations in our state, one being the naval base on Whidbey Is. that we will be passing on our way to church this morning. It will be fun to go say hi to her..Thanks again for these good points. Happy 4th to you and yours. xo

  2. Thank you for your poignant words. I am the daughter of a career military man. I know what is like to be without your Dad for long periods of time. And, I remember the the joy of walking out and seeing him waiting at the schoolyard gate upon return. Hugs! Bonnie

  3. Wow Webb. You may not post often but when you do you sure pack a punch.

    Whether we agree with the need to be constantly at war, we sure need to agree to support all the people in uniform both here and abroad.

    A big hug to you for bringing it home again.

    Is it hotter than hell there? Sure is here. Did you get crazy thunderstorms last night?

    Happy 4th of July to you and Mitchell.

    xo Jane

  4. Sherri, you will love Ally. she reminds us all that military families are just like us - only lonesome a lot.

    Bonnie, you and your dad have my full respect. there is no more difficult road for families than the military track.

    Jane, no rain last night - the storm went north of us... again. we did get a little thing morning but not enough to help the garden. must water tomorrow. unfortunately, i remember too well how we treated the veterans returning from vietnam and how we could not separate the warrior from the war. it appears that we are doing a better job this time. love to you and GG.

  5. Thank you for the shout-out, Webb. It was a much lonelier 4th of July this year but I'm looking forward to celebrating together next year.

    Also, on your comment on my blog, we do have SOME legal recourse..maybe. There are 114 units of townhomes and so far, 17 of them are leaking. So we have been discussing a class action lawsuit against the builder. But Neal and I will only add our names if it is on contingency. The workers start in the morning and we'll see how much rot is under the brick and where our price will go from there. The only thing has been excessively aggravating and would be so much easier if he were here to help. Oh well. This builds character...or something...right?

    Also, we have a tiny patch of grass on the back patio and I planted some ground cover that I can't pronounce and thought of you next weekend. It is a lame attempt at gardening, but at least it's no longer full of leaves. Baby steps, I say. ;-D