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From A Military Wife

I was sitting alone in one of those loud, casual steak houses that
you find all over the country. You know the type--a bucket of peanuts on every
table, shells littering the floor, and a bunch of perky college kids racing
around with long neck beers and sizzling platters.

Taking a sip of my iced tea, I studied the crowd over the rim of my
glass. My gaze lingered on a group enjoying their meal. They wore no uniform to
identify their branch of service, but they were definitely 'military:' clean
shaven, cropped haircut, and that 'squared away' look that comes with pride.

Smiling sadly, I glanced across my table to the empty seat where my
husband usually sat. It had only been a few months since we sat in this very
booth, talking about his upcoming deployment to the Middle East . That was when
he made me promise to get a sitter for the kids, come back to this restaurant
once a month and treat myself to a nice steak. In turn he would treasure the
thought of me being here, thinking about him until he returned home.

I fingered the little flag pin I constantly wear and wondered where
he was at this very moment. Was he safe and warm? Was his cold any better? Were
my letters getting through to him?

As I pondered these thoughts, high pitched female voices from the
next booth broke into my thoughts. 'I don't know what Bush is thinking about.
Invading Iraq . You'd think that man would learn from his old man's mistakes.
Good Lord. What an idiot! I can't believe he is even in office. You do know, he
stole the election.'

I cut into my steak and tried to ignore them as they began an
endless tirade running down our president.

I thought about the last night I spent with my husband, as he
prepared to deploy. He had just returned from getting his smallpox and anthrax
shots. The image of him standing in our kitchen packing his gas mask still gives
me chills.

Once again the women's voices invaded my thoughts.

'It's all about oil, you know. Our soldiers will go in and rape and
steal all the oil they can in the name of 'freedom'. Hmmm! I wonder how many
innocent people they'll kill without giving it a thought. It's pure greed, you

My chest tightened as I stared at my wedding ring. I could still see
how handsome my husband looked in his 'mess dress' the day he slipped it on my
finger I wondered what he was wearing now. Probably his desert uniform,
affectionately dubbed 'coffee stains' with a heavy bulletproof vest over it.

'You know, we should just leave Iraq alone. I don't think they are
hiding any weapons. In fact, I bet it's all a big act just to increase the
president's popularity. That's all it is, padding the military budget at the
expense of our social security and education. And, you know what else? We're
just asking for another 9-11. I can't say when it happens again that we didn't
deserve it.'

Their words brought to mind the war protesters I had watched
gathering outside our base. Did no one even appreciate the sacrifice of brave
men and women, who leave their homes and family to ensure our freedom? Do they
even know what 'freedom' is?

I glanced at the table where the young men were sitting, and saw
their courageous faces change. They had stopped eating and looked at each other
dejectedly, listening to the women talking.

'Well, I, for one, think it's just deplorable to invade Iraq , and I
am certainly sick of our tax dollars going to train professional baby-killers we
call a military.'

Professional baby-killers. I thought about what a wonderful father
my husband is, and of how long it would be before he would see our children

That's it! Indignation rose up inside me. Normally reserved, pride
in my husband gave me a brassy boldness I never realized I had. Tonight one
voice will answer on behalf of our military, and let her pride in our troops be

Sliding out of my booth, I walked around to the adjoining booth and
placed my hands flat on their table. Lowering myself to eye level with them,
smiling I said, 'I couldn't help overhearing your conversation. You see, I'm
sitting here trying to enjoy my dinner alone. And, do you know why? Because my
husband, whom I love with all my heart, is halfway around the world defending
your right to say rotten things about him.'

'Yes, you have the right to your opinion, and what you think is none
of my business. However, what you say in public is something else, and I will
not sit by and listen to you ridicule MY country, MY president, MY husband, and
all the other fine American men and women who put their lives on the line, just
so you can have the 'freedom' to complain. Freedom is an expensive commodity,
ladies. Don't let your actions cheapen it.'

I must have been louder than I meant to be, because the manager came
over to inquire if everything was all right

'Yes, thank you,' I replied.

Then, turning back to the women, I said, 'Enjoy the rest of your

As I returned to my booth applause broke out. I was embarrassed for
making a scene, and went back to my half eaten steak The women picked up their
check and scurried away.

After finishing my meal, and while waiting for my check, the manager
returned with a huge apple cobbler ala mode. 'Compliments of those soldiers,' he
said. He also smiled and said the ladies tried to pay for my dinner, but that
another couple had beaten them to it.

When I asked who, the manager said they had already left, but that
the gentleman was a veteran, and wanted to take care of the wife of 'one of our

With a lump in my throat, I gratefully turned to the soldiers and
thanked them for the cobbler. Grinning from ear to ear, they came over and
surrounded the booth.

'We just wanted to thank you, ma'am. You know we can't get into
confrontations with civilians, so we appreciate what you did.'

As I drove home, for the first time since my husband's deployment, I
didn't feel quite so alone. My heart was filled with the warmth of the other
diners who stopped by my table, to relate how they, too, were proud of my
husband, and would keep him in their prayers.

I knew their flags would fly a little higher the next day. Perhaps
they would look for more tangible ways to show their pride in our country, and
the military that protect her. And maybe, just maybe, the two women who were
railing against our country would pause for a minute to appreciate all the
freedom America offers, and the price it pays to maintain its freedom.

As for me, I have learned that one voice CAN make a difference.

Maybe the next time protesters gather outside the gates of the base
where I live, I will proudly stand on the opposite side with a sign of my own.
It will simply say, 'Thank You!'

To those who fought for our nation, freedom has a flavor the
protected will never know.

Let Go, and Let God......
amen I couldnt have said it better....I am a lucky wife and mother this year all are home and safe....my heart and thanks go out to those who will sit with that empty seat this year....thank you for keeping me and mine safe....
........I love cats, I just cant eat a whole one by myself......


That was a great post. I have to admire that woman! Amen to what she said. Love ya and God Bless.

Cajun Hugsssssss,
Lumbar Laminectomy L5 - S1, Lumbar Disectomy L 4 -5, Cervical Microdisectomy C-4 -5, Cervical Anterior Fusion C 4 -5, Cervical Anterior Fusion C 5 - 6, Lumbar Disectomy, Laminectomy and Foraminotmy L 3 - 4, Cryo Surgery Lumbar. --Ongoing Problems.. Permanently Totally Disabled.
I grew up military. My dad was a "lifer." These kind of stories always strike a heart string.


I can remember when elections were held for President, and once either a democrat or republican was put into office, both sides would come together to support the newly elected in respect for our country.

It's not like that anymore and it's sad.
Let Go, and Let God......
Wow...Chris that says it all. It was a wonderful story and one that every American would benefit from if they would take the simple time to read it. "Professional baby sitters"... now I have heard it all...what a disgrace... this was the worse .... Red
Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.
CC...as I read your thread I was crying the whole time....What a beautiful story...thank you so much for posting it....my father, father in law and uncles and brothers also were all military and even tho we constantly worry about them, I'm was so very proud of them and all the men and woman serviceman....
This picture says it all. Turn on your speakers
Chris, that was a Wonderful Story!! My Hat Off to the Fine Lady who Spoke Her mind, and told the Truth! People forget all too Easy the Lives Lost, and the Families Torn Apart to give Us the Freedoms We have Today!! It's Good to be Reminded of that from Time to Time, to try and Keep balance in this World! As Our Great Soldiers Say "Ours is not to Question Why, Ours is but to Do or Die" They Heed the Call, and put Life and Limb on the Line for Us Everyday, and many Families go to Bed each Night Wondering if Tomorrow will bring the Knock on the Door they don't want to Hear! My Son was a Sea Bee, but Fortunately for us it was in Peace Time, and I still Worried, I can only Imagine what it's Like Right Now!! God Bless all Of Our Fine Soldiers AND Their Families, they are going through soo much right Now!!Smile

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