Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The heroes left behind

I had the opportunity recently to talk with the spouse of a soldier that died in Iraq about a year ago. The talk centered on how the life shattered by the news of the loss was slowly coming back to acknowledging the realities of living. The chores and trials of work and home life, the acceptance of a new life without the partner and moving on with a reverence for what was and a realistic and evolving optimistic assessment for what the future holds.

It struck me that the strength this person had was really inspirational… they suffered the grievance of a traumatic loss of a loved one in a war zone many miles away. The circumstances of the loss cloudy and never of any solace… friends and family can never really completely understand…just bear witness to the slow healing process.

I never stop being amazed at the true unsung patriot heros that give so much of themselves – the spouses, partners, parents and relatives of those deployed. They must stand back and hope for the best… sometimes to be devastated by bad news of injury or death. They are braver than the soldier in many ways…playing a kind of wait and see game with emotions as they wait for each e-mail, phone call from their deployed soldier. They are always anxious for news of events and a glimpse of what their loved ones are enduring.

As a country we have largely lived our lives with but a blip of the War effort news expressed occasionally on the nightly news and in the papers. We make valiant attempts to acknowledge soldiers – but many of us don’t stop to acknowledge that a soldier’s contribution is soundly backed by many silent members and loved ones.

I admire the strength and contribution of soldier family member support teams those left behind they are patriot and I label them heros as well. I have to admire those that don’t seek a self gratification turning on the ideals of their loved one’s service, respecting the sacrifice that they bear without using it as a platform to espouse hateful and destructive rhetoric against our nation’s leadership. Not that they don’t have every right to be angered at the cause of the loss, but they possess the continued spark of service to country formally shared and don’t seek to gain their solace at the expense of the cause served by their loved one.

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