"A Soldier's Duty, but A Father's Promise"

August 12, 2011
If I could change one thing in the World, I would change the war in Iraq. I would stop it indefinitely, because it’s gone on long enough. Sometimes chances should be taken. You see a soldier standing in the middle of a battlefield, gun in hand, and their cameo on. They’re protecting their country, and everything they stand for. When 911 happened I was devastated. My brother, Scott Miller, had just enlisted in the U.S. Army as a cavalry scout. Cavalry Scouts go out into the danger. They search for IED’s and other explosives. They’re referred to as the “finders,” because they find dangerous weapons and artillery. My brother-in-law recently enlisted in the U.S. Army, as well. He’s in the infantry part of the Army. They do combat and hands on fighting. “Follow me” is the infantry’s motto. Follow me and I will show you the way. Follow me into the danger, and I will protect you. I will protect my country. Soldiers in the infantry are sworn upon that motto, that idea, and rule. But, what about the rule of cherishing loved ones? The idea of standing in a grass watching your daughter walk to you her first steps. What about the motto of laughing much and loving often? What’s to love about war? What about spending time with the people who have made you who you are today? Who have watched you grow up, learn, and even helped you when you were in danger. What about them? War is necessary at times. I’m not disregarding that. But, you have to know when to call it quits.
So now not only do I have a brother in the service, but a brother-in-law too! The military is a huge part of my family’s life. We supported my brother through his basic training and re-stationing. He’s been to: Fort Lewis, Washington, Fort Knox, Kentucky, and Fort Campbell, Kentucky. I remember my mom pulling me out of school to go visit him back when I was in the sixth grade. We went to his graduation. At his graduation there were teary eyes and warm hugs given across the field as loved ones embraced each other, after months of not being able to. They weren’t able to pick up the phone and call or hug them. They could only receive letters and care packages. Now imagine saying good bye in a matter of months after Basic Training, when they deploy overseas. It’s hard isn’t it? You want your loved ones to be with you, but you want them to fight for our country, as well. Your heart is torn in two. I know my brother’s is. One part of him wants to fight in the war for our country and his duty that he was sworn into; but, another part of him wants to be there for the birth of his baby girl, Adalynn. So they’re pulling troops out of Iraq, and they say it will all be over soon. But, this has gone on since 911. 911 is what started this whole mess. Yes, there are dilemmas! The Middle East is a source of our oil and other raw materials. However, we can find other ways to get oil by trading with different countries.
My brother just got re-stationed to Fort Campbell, Kentucky. When we found out the news, we were thrilled. He would be close and on top of that good news, his wife, Ashley, was expecting. Until, we learned that his brigade was shipping out for Afghanistan in a little less than two months from August.He claims he’s not scared. He claims that he’s fighting for everything that the United States of America stands for, in a way, I believe him. But if he’s not scared, I am. My sister-in-law’s baby’s due date is while he will be overseas. Some people refer to this as “war babies.” They are babies that are born while one parent is overseas serving in duty. They’ve told him there’s a good chance he won’t make it back. His brigade is going to the part of Afghanistan where Bin Laden had supposedly been spotted. They’ll live in caves, and go out on missions every day. Plus, Afghanistan is essentially a dictatorship ruled by Bin Laden. The terrain is harder to maneuver in than in Iraq. There are mountains and more dangerous paths to follow. He’ll have to be quick. He’ll have to be fast. Bin Laden nowhere to be found, but the people of Afghanistan still submit to him. On the other hand, Iraq has gone from a dictatorship under Saddam Hussein to a form of democracy. My brother, actually, was in Iraq during the time that Saddam was hanged and killed in the streets of Baghdad, that was dangerous yet he survived. So I want to believe that he’ll be ok. But, I know that this time it will be twice as dangerous. It will be that much harder to survive. Yes, he’ll be a part of history. A part of history that in the future will be in textbooks and libraries. The killing of the dictator, Saddam, is in history books and libraries already.
Basically, I know that it would be hard for Ashley to raise Adalynn by herself. I understand that we have to protect our country. Protect the stars and stripes that our four fathers fought to stand. I’m sick of hearing the stories and seeing the headlines in the papers of another soldier killed. 500 killed from a bomb near Baghdad. I’m scared for other families, as much as I’m scared for my own. Another two months and he’s gone. A year in Afghanistan to come back, and 5 months later get deployed again? I don’t want to dry my eyes and fake a smile, as I watch him deploy again. Another part of me, doesn’t want to say goodbye again, and wonder if it’s the last goodbye.

A child needs their father in their life. We did our job: Operation Iraq Freedom. I think of those words, and I think of everything we’ve helped Iraqis’ with. Near Baghdad, they’re starting to allow women to vote when women used to not be allowed to have a voice in government. They’re allowing women to go to school and church. Ten years from now I firmly believe we’ll be a part of Iraq and other Middle Eastern countries growth and development, as a country. That’s why I think so many people are afraid it’s too early to pull out. I think that they’re afraid that if we pull out now we’ll lose all the progress we’ve made. You have to know when to quit, though. You have to know when to pass the reins to the learner and let them take over. We’ve showed them the way. They’ve followed us. Now it’s time to bring our troops back home. I’m sick of goodbyes! I want to see my brother face to face, not threw webcams and miscommunications. I want to know that he will be ok, and trust in the Lord that he will be safe. When dangers and fears are lurking, hope can only go so far. When there are families to be cherished, loved, and protected. I want baby Adalynn to have her father in her life. For him to see her, walk her first steps, say her first words, and get her first kiss. And, heaven forbid the first boy that breaks her heart, because she’ll be the spitting image of her father… tall, stubborn, and blonde. What about a father’s rights to be there for the birth of their child? What about those precious moments with them at Christmas time by the fireplace? What about the first smells of springtime in the air, with the birds chirping loudly, and the flowers in bloom? The first hints of summer about. Instead, he will be spending those tender moments in Afghanistan. It’s not Iraq, but it’s just as bad. Fighting for battles of those whom are unable to fight their own and, searching for a dictator that caused the war. Courageously devoting his time and discipline to the United States Army. He’ll go into danger like he has before. He’ll break down doors and search for weapons. The only heat like the fireplace he’ll feel is the heat of the sun beaming down, with his equipment on his back. He won’t smell the sweet smells of springtime. He’ll smell the aftermath of bombs, smoke, and garbage on the side of the road.

So in my opinion, if I could change one thing in the World, I would stop the War in Iraq and surrounding Middle Eastern Countries. So I wouldn’t ever have to ever say goodbye to my big brother again, and worry that it will be the last time I say it. He’ll kiss his wife, hug my mom, and I. Pat his unborn child’s head against the cloth of Ashley’s shirt, and leave through those deploying gates once more. The return is as bittersweet as the good bye.

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This article has 2 comments. Post your own now!

mysterywriter11 said...
Oct. 6, 2011 at 6:40 pm
comments are encouraged to , keep in mind this was written before bin laden was found...
mysterywriter11 said...
Aug. 15, 2011 at 11:14 am
Please rate and tell me what you think, thank you
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