A Must Read. definately made me cry.. My very best friend is going over seas in a few months....
Message:I was sitting alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that you find all 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 around with
long neck beers and sizzling platters.
Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the iling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where
my husband usually 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 the thought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned
I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where he was at 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 pitched female 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 spent with 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's all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'.
Hmmm! 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 9-11. 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 even appreciate the
sacrifice of brave men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom? Do they even know what "freedom"
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 other dejectedly, 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 be known.
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, smiling I 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 than 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
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 that 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 its 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, I will 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 their commanders. Pass this on to as many as you think
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the
selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior."
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground, air and navy personnel in every area
of the middle east.
There is nothing attached....
This can be very powerful.
Do not stop this prayer chain, please.... Of all the gifts you could give to anyone in the US Military, be it Air Force,
Army, Navy, Marines or National Guard, prayer is the very best one....Amen.
GOD BLESS AMERICA