On War, Soldiers And Being Apart

woman soldier_holding_daughterA couple of years ago, on a flight to Kuwait, I met a young American soldier who was headed back to Iraq after a two-week furlough with his wife in Australia.

Of the five years they’ve been married, they’d spent a total of only two together, because he’s been serving in Iraq for most of their married life.

Tens of thousands of soldiers, men AND women, from many different countries all around the world are in the same position – fighting for what they believe in, or trying to establish peace between conflicting parties in their own or other countries.

I learned during our conversation that his tours of duty are each one year long, which means he doesn’t see his wife, his family or his friends, for 12 months at a stretch.

Not long after the conversation with that young man on the plane, I got an email from Vivian White, whose 20-year-old son is also in Iraq. In her short, simple and heartfelt note (which you can read here), she tells what she’s doing to honour her son, and their shared pain of being apart.

I think most of us would choose peace over fighting and conflict. No mother wants to send a child to war.

It really doesn’t matter who is wrong or right, or even if there is a wrong or right. War and fighting just cause pain for all involved. It saddens me that so many innocent lives are lost every single day.

Coincidentally, as I contemplated war and soldiering and mothers, someone else sent me the photograph above of a woman and a young child.

The image pretty much says it all. We remember and salute all those who have served and died believing they have been doing good.