Thursday, August 7, 2008
We have the privilege of living near the airport where fallen soldier Army Cpl. Matthew Phillips arrived. Since we have such a military background in our family, I thought it was important that the kids see what the actual cost of the sacrifice is for families. It was very hard to see Cpl. Phillips wife so young and grieving so much, but so brave in the face of what must be the worst thing imaginable. It was a very moving experience to see so many of the people from my town stopping their lives to honor such a brave man. Cpl. Phillips and the other men fighting with him faced an impossible situation and met it with courage. It makes me so proud of all the men and women who have made the choice to defend our freedom with their lives.
The Patriot Guard was in full force and I am thankful that they have committed to protecting grieving families from the nuts that use these situations to prove that they are right in whatever nutcase opinion they hold. I didn't realize that they started the Patriot Guard to show respect for the fallen heroes, but also to drown out protester with their loud engines and singing. Can you imagine what that looks like to have these burly men singing? Amazing...
We are probably very unusual in that we have not isolated our children from these things. My sister's best friend was killed in Iraq in 2006, and it was such a great loss in so many ways, but it was a loss that we shared with our kids as young as they were. I think the positive aspect of this is that my children know that it's not just a cool job, but a sacrifice on the part of many people to be a soldier. My utmost respect to the families who are fighting on the homefront while their precious son, daughter, mother, father or other family member fights so far away. Never knowing what the knock on the door will bring or an unfamiliar car in the driveway means.
To the soldiers who serve all over the world, my family thanks you and your families for your service. We anxiously await your safe return, and send our respect and prayers out to you every day.