This week the husband of one of my FaceBook friends returned safely from a 6-month deployment with the Army in Iraq. Another got the news that one of her family members was killed on active duty. And the youngest son in a family we know joined his older brother in uniform as he graduated this week from Boot Camp.
I look at the pictures of my friend’s husband with their toddler stuck like glue to her daddy, and rejoice that their little family has been made whole again. I grieve for the soldier I didn’t even know, because loved ones lost in service to our country in some small way belong to all of us. And as much as I would like to be happy for the new recruit, my main reaction is sadness that he will probably end up in harm’s way, fighting in a country that isn’t even sure it wants our soldiers to be there, fighting in a conflict that is war in nearly every sense but has not been declared.
Each of these families have made sacrifices, each has sent its soldier off to an unknown future fighting battles in our name. And while I thank them for their services I wonder how much longer this can continue, and how many more of our best and brightest will be lost before our leaders learn to say, “No more.”