Each morning I turn on my computer to my MSN homepage. Since I don't have a tv, this helps to keep me knowledgable about news in general so I know what's going on in the world. I love this because I can read what I want to, and don't have to listen to the news anchors giving everything their own personal spin. Enough said.
So I clicked on the story of Major Andrew Olmsted, a soldier killed in Iraq on Jan.3. It seems he was a blogger for the Rocky Mountain News paper, and had sent someone a post that was to be published in the event of his death. And so it was. It's worth your time to read this article, but if you do, don't read the comments as I did. He urged people not to politicize his death. He was doing something he loved, he was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. As I read the comments I was moved to tears to see people unite in their appreciation and respect. I especially was touched by other present military and veterans who left moving sentiments for their fallen "brother".
But there always has to be a rotten apple in the bunch. You know, that person who loves their "freedom of speech" but has no clue how he happens to have that freedom. Living in America gives so many a feeling of entitlement. I DESERVE ...because I live in America. Imagine, you can be unemployed, and you can still have a roof over your head and food in your stomach.
Don't misunderstand, I'm not against seeking assistance for the occasional hard time, I've been there myself. Even in this country we have times of unemployment and tough times. Yet this is still the dream country to so many people. Could it be we Americans have had it too good? Are our children growing up and not being taught how blessed our Country is, how fortunate they are to be living here? It seemed 9/11 would have been a wake-up call. Instead, a few short years later, everyone seems to want the "bad war" to go away.
Have I lost anyone in this war? No. I haven't had a relative in combat since my Grandfather was in World War II. Do I teach my children about freedom and the sacrifices being made now (and in the past)? You better believe it! Did I mention their were a few others that jumped on board with the bad apple. It seems they had a problem with people calling Maj.Olmsted a heroe. Let me see, if I understand this right, this is THEIR way of thinking: I (they)can have freedom of speech, but don't you DARE call someone a hero that I (they)don't think is a hero! Could this be their definition of a hero: someone who wears a red and blue spider suit and spins webs out of his fingertips? (Not to cast aspersions on the Spideyman, I'm a great fan myself) So getting killed by a sniper during your second trip to Iraq doesn't qualify you as a hero. Hmmm...Sounds political to me. Also sounds like a coward with a mile-long stripe down his back. ( Don't worry, that's as verbally vicious as I get).
And don't EVEN try to make this political. We have military people serving in Iraq who also disagree with this war- as is their right if they so choose. But they still go to war because they believe in freedom, and know it requires sacrifice.
Have I sent a son off to war?
At the ages of 10 and 8, the answer is no.
I truly hope I will have raised my sons to be MEN who will know the right thing to do if the time comes to make that decision. And it WILL be THEIR decision. But this one thing I CAN do: I can teach them that freedom isn't free, that many have, and many will, give the ultimate sacrifice and that they OWE these fallen/living heroes respect. That they are NOT entitled to this freedom. We only continue to enjoy it because of what other courageous men and women have done.
There will always be those who will use their freedom of speech to attack these honorable men and women, never realizing they would be sentenced to death for that very thing in many other countries.
Ignorance is not a crime, just a shame.
And should you feel so inclined to respond to this with political mumbo-jumbo- don't bother. Don't bother unless you've had the guts to do what this major did- put your life on the line so that MY children can live in this great country and enjoy it's countless freedoms.
As for myself, I humbly offer my condolences to Maj.Olmsted's family, as well as those who have lost loved ones in this war. And I offer my deepest gratitude and respect to our former and present military. I pray for the safe return of our soldiers in Iraq.
I leave you with a quote from the posthumous last entry to Major Andrew Olmsted's blog:
"I'm dead, but if you're reading this, you're not, so take a moment and enjoy that happy fact."