Written by a young Army wife….and well done!
Subject: Somebody Cares About Our GIs by Tammy Dominski Staff columnist
My husband called it Platoon Morale Day in a very serious tone. My friends and I, in secret, called it “The Joe Party” and giggled about it like schoolgirls, because we are never serious about anything for very long.
“Joe” is a nickname for soldiers. But tomorrow my friends won’t be with me and I won’t belaughing anymore.
Tomorrow, barring last minute call-outs, alerts, or conflicts of schedule, men from my husband’s platoon will gather in my living room. I will shuffle around my kitchen amidst the smell of pizza and brownies and try desperately to look busy. And I will try to shut out the sounds coming from my living room, but I know I won’t be able to. You see, they are gathering to watch the movie “Saving Private Ryan” and the giggling I did with my friends was only masking something I’m dreading: having to watch that movie again.
I will never forget the night I sat in the darkened theater as that movie unfolded before my eyes for the first time. With tears streaking down my cheeks, I was shown quite graphically what my husband, an infantry soldier, did for a living. And I realized that there were men out there I had to thank for the ease in which I have lived my life.
I have never wanted for food or shelter or warmth. I don’t know what it’s like to lose my home simply because someone didn’t like where I came from. I have the right to voice my opinion on whatever causes touch my heart. The only devastation that I have ever seen due to war has been on TV. And the last time a member of my family was touched by battle was when my great-great-grandfather died in the Civil War.
There are people out there who have risked their lives and died so that I can lead my cushioned life. I know I probably wouldn’t be here today had it not been for those people, men who are no less than heroes in my eyes. To me, a hero is anyone who is willing to sign away years of their life to a cause they believe in. Not all of us possess such fortitude.
I have been told that I have courage because I speak out for the few things in my life that are important to me, but I cannot begin to fathom the bravery it would take to go off to war, knowing you might not come home.
The gallantry those men, as well as the ones gathered in my living room tomorrow, possess is beyond anything I can comprehend. Patriotism is in my heart. I cry when I hear taps played. I can’t get through All-American Week without goose bumps. I get chills when I see a line of C-130s dot the sky, and one of my favorite songs is the 82nd Airborne Chorus’s version of “God Bless the USA.” So how does someone like me say thank you? Sometimes the words “thank you” are spoken too late. People are taken from our lives before we get around to telling them how we feel.
In a speech to Congress in 1790, George Washington said, “To be prepared for war is one of the most effectual means of preserving peace.” I don’t like to think about war because I’m an idealist who hopes that the days of armed conflict will become obsolete during my lifetime. I don’t wish for the men in my living room to go off to fight a war, but I know that they are prepared to do so.
The men who will be in my home tomorrow don’t know how I feel because it’s hard for me to articulate my feelings into spoken words. I don’t even think my own husband knows how I truly feel. But I could try. I could tell them I appreciate the sacrifices they’ve made. I wonder if they know how much I look up to each and every one of them, and that I am truly honored to be in their presence, and in the presence of anyone who has ever served our country. I could just start by saying thank you before it’s too late.
So tomorrow, should “Joe Party” occur as scheduled, I’ll try to watch the movie, maybe, even though I will no doubt see half of it through tears. When it’s over I will gather the courage that comes from being in the company of heroes, in my eyes, and I will start by saying thank you to them.
To those of you who will not be with me tomorrow, please, before the day is through, find someone who has served our country, past or present, and tell them thank you, from the bottom of your heart, for the job they did for us.
They deserve that at the very least.
Will you be someone who cares about our GI’s?
For reference, I found copy of the column with the 75th Division.
Previous: NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS
Next: Military Appreciation