Last night I was called some pretty nasty names. No worries as I have been called worse by better. But they stated also that I am in denial about my son’s death and that I am simply seeking sympathy. This I take issue with.
My son was well read in history and knew more clearly than most why we had gone to war in Afghanistan and Iraq. He knew it was a just war and that it was a honorable and valuable fight. He also knew that fight may cost him his tomorrows. He was willing to take up the fight. I could do no more than support and love him.. So I did.
Having gone through what I have I can assure you there is no way to be in denial. The realities brings it home. The flag covered casket coming off the plane, Taps being played, guns firing. Once you have experienced these things denial is not going to happen. Trust me my son’s death is very real to me.
Seeking sympathy from others is not what I am doing either. I feel sorry enough for myself most days that I don’t need others to add to it. And the oh poor me mind set I could adopt I see as something that will only dishonor my son. So yes I do have moments when I pity myself and my family for their loss. But I stop and think also how blessed are to have had our lives touched by Pokey. It wasn’t long enough but I had him in my life and for that I do not have any regrets.
So why do I speak out so much. Why do I tell Pokey’s story, my story? Because to most Americans he and the others who have fallen are nothing more than a name on the list of dead. And for others, these men and women who have lost their lives in combat are seen as pawns in a game that were sacrificed to a less that noble cause. They see those still fighting as unthinking uncaring men who do nothing more than they are ordered. Well that is not true. Our Military men know why they are there. They see the reasons up close and personal every day. It is a just battle, fought with honor. They are making a difference in the lives of people who lived in fear and without hope for far too long. So I speak out.. so that maybe just one more person will stop believing the war is not personal. That those fighting it are anything less that real people who love, laugh, cry and hope.
There is another reason I speak out. It is my way of thanking my son for his gift. The gift of those who served with him who have touched my life. It is a gift that I have found that is I care for it and give it attention it grows. I now have military men and women who never knew my son touching my life. I find a great deal of joy and strength in them. I have people who never served, but simply love this country and want to support those who guard, it touch my life. And I have had those who are angry and mean and hurtful, touch my life. Every person has a lesson to teach us.. So even those who are not nice and say hurtful, vile things to me and about my son.. have taught me something.
I’ll share my story as long as I think it will make those listening see those fighting and those fallen as real. And to those who do not want to hear my story… Don’t listen.