Tuesday, March 01, 2005

"Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know"

This series of posts at What-tha was very moving to read all at once, and they got me thinking. I belong to a small church, not a nutty one, just a small suburban congregation that has sent 3 members off; two of them to Iraq, one in the same company that Shoshanna Johnson belonged to. He didn't get kidnapped though, thank God. In fact he's home & doing well.

The story of Shoshanna Johnson & her fellow POWs horrified and worried me when it broke. I was initially worried, of course, but became quickly more so when I saw the pictures of the missing. I had not expected one of them to have skin like mine.

In this post, Martyr at What-tha describes seeing a photo of one of the returning servicemen. One of the dailies recently ran a very similar photo, of one of the men from our small congregation who'd just returned. It spoke volumes, the same that Martyr tried to convey so eloquently in his posts.

It is almost surreal. I can speak of & recall the feelings I had surrounding the POWs, I can share the helplessness & stoicism of the families & friends I have who have sons, husbands, and brothers overseas. I can proudly send off & gratefully welcome home (which we did, last fall) my own b-i-l from his deployment. Yet I also bitch about traffic, sports, gas prices, my kid's homework, my own homework, my job, spouse's job, my dogs... I don't feel like I am sacrificing anything. So much burden rests on the shoulders of so few.

The line quoted in the title of this post came from here. It was spoken by "John Garcia, secretary of New Mexico Veterans Affairs, [who] thanked Johnson for her courage and bravery." She had spoken at UNM's student union in late January of this year.

I'm glad that my b-i-l and Martyr's b-i-l are home safe.


Blogger A Red Mind in a Blue State said...

Thank you for a touching post-- glad they're OK-- and let's hope all the rest come home soon--with a job well done that people will remember for many, many years to come!

3:35 PM  
Blogger Sara Thomas said...

Seeing the faces of some of the Iraqi voters is an image I'll not soon forget...
All that was risked, all that was sacrificed, just so they could have the same priviledge that I take for granted...
Our loved ones helped make that possible.

9:54 AM  
Blogger Shelle said...

Sara - Thank you for this!! I read Martyr73s posts too and it touched me as well. I'm glad your BIL is home safe too! :)

I'm waiting for my soldier to come home too...

Bless you!

4:11 PM  
Blogger Martyr73 said...

I got chills when I read the title of this post. "Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know." That statement is true on so many levels. We take for granted so many things that our service men and women do not have the luxury of being able to do.

My Mother-in-law ran into one of the soldiers that had returned with my b-i-l. She was not aware that he was a soldier at first. He was waiting in line behind her at the cell phone store and had been waiting patiently for an extremely long time while the lady at the counter was setting up her new account. She commented to him on how patient he was being and that she probably would have left by now if she had to wait that long. He told her that a person learns patience real quick when travel is limited to a 3 square mile radius. Nothing to do and nowhere to go...for over a year. She asked him where he had been. "Mosul, Iraq" was his answer. She told me that she really had never thought about the restrictions that they were under. I think she left that store with just a little bit more respect for what our soldiers have to endure.

2:13 PM  

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