On September 11th, 2001 I couldn’t believe the tragedy I was watching unfold in New York City, at the Pentagon and in a field in Pennsylvania.
Even worse, I could not believe the faces of Muslims I was watching who were cheering for this horrific event across the globe. Not until some years later did I learn there were also Muslims cheering in New York City.
I never thought on September 11th 2001 that in a few years my husband would be back in the military and heading to Afghanistan to defend our nation against those who would bring such terror to the streets of America. In fact, I didn’t know much about Islam in those days, but the faces of those cheering and dancing Muslims were forever embedded in my memory.
My husband re-enlisted in 2006 and when he deployed George W. Bush was still in the White House. I was alone in a city where I hardly knew anyone but I never thought of the emotion that deployment day would bring.
I believed then as I do now that our military receives the absolute best training, but mostly I believed in why we are there.
Like other military spouses I knew we were in this battle to protect and preserve this land that we love and our freedom, and I believed there could be no more noble a cause than to defend and protect the United States of America.
I recently saw a poster that really represents what I believe: “We do not live in America, America lives in us”.
I thought about that statement and realized how true it is; it’s a feeling that comes from deep within our hearts. Americans love this land. I was so proud that my husband in middle age would re-enlist during a time of war, and I believed it my duty to support him.
When deployment day came, I was holding up well, even managed to hold back tears until he boarded the aircraft.
But then I saw another family saying goodbye.
There was Daddy’s little girl with her arms wrapped around his neck, not letting go. I knew that she understood her Daddy was going to be gone for too long. She was holding her American flag and grasping her Daddy’s neck with all her might.
These are the hardest of moments to witness, and I was glad my husband had already boarded the plane and couldn’t see my tears.
Deployment day gives me the same feelings that I had on September 11th, 2001, a sadness that can’t be put into words.
However at the same time we are able to bring our courage to the surface and carry on—it’s just what military spouses do. We are soldiers of a different kind. We believe in the cause and we believe they will come home to us.
Some of us have to work harder at having that courage since Obama took over in 2008…
Before that we had George W. Bush as Commander In Chief and I never doubted that he cared deeply for our military. I have heard after the war began in Iraq that President Bush never played golf again during his time in the White House. It helps when you are able to respect and have confidence in a Commander in Chief that you believe exemplifies true leadership and believes it is his duty to protect and defend America.
It is quite different with Barack Obama in that role. After years of listening to his apology tour, his catering to Muslim countries, his providing money to the tune of 1.5 billion dollars and arms to the Muslim Brotherhood, his involving us in more conflicts (Egypt and Libya, etc.), I can’t help but feel a tremendous burden on my shoulders for the next deployment, and for all of our military who have served under this Administration.
The world is a much different place than in 2001 and 2008.
Our enemies view us in a much different way than ever before, because our President does not view us as exceptional and does not seem to want us to be the “shining city on a hill”. To make matters worse, soon after entering office President Obama changed the Rules of Engagement, which was met with great disapproval from veterans such as our respected Florida Congressman, Lt. Colonel Allen West.
Rep. West has stated that this President’s flawed ideology and Rules of Engagement embolden our enemies and place our military in danger. I believe this to be true, as we have lost more military under during President Obama’s time in the White House than all the years of George Bush.
Today I understand more about Islam. I understand this enemy has hate in their hearts, and they are evil men and women who intend to usher in a one-world caliphate. This is not a war that will soon be over, and we don’t know how to win the hearts and minds of a people who are taught to hate and kill from childhood.
So today as I do every year, I contemplate how September 11th, 2001 has changed the lives of so many Americans.
I remember and I pray for those whose grieving will never end.
I draw strength from my faith in God, and my faith in the spirit of the America soldier.
We love our country; we believe in the cause and we know why we are there. So even if we do not have a leader that believes in our military and their purpose, we know they are fulfilling their duty and we will be honored to support our loved ones as they go.
This picture is of a poster that is hanging at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. My husband took the picture during his 2008 deployment. I have often referred back to that poster as a reminder of why we do what we do. I arrived at the conclusion some time ago that we really should bring our military home so they can prepare to protect our soil–but until that happens we must remain supportive of them and make sure they know we care.
May God bless each and every man and woman serving our country. You are forever in our hearts and prayers. We are grateful.