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Just to preface this, I watched "Flags of Our Fathers" tonight. One of the things that stuck out to me was how little we know, as civilians, what the military actually go through to help defend our Country. I'm not talking about civilians that have family who are serving or who have served. It's the rest of us.

I watched how the men prepared the night before to fight. I couldn't imagine the fear they had knowing that they may die the next day and to keep focused on the goal at hand. I never really thought of what happened to these men and women who came home to be told they aren't qualified for a job, like the one man who was told he couldn't be a police officer. I can't imagine the horrors they saw and had to keep moving though their buddy had died right in front of them.

I see all these movements to "Bring the troops home" but do they want to come home? The amount of dedication to their peers and Country is amazing.

I guess why I'm writing this blog is I want to hear your stories. I want to hear what serving is like. I want to hear what you have to say. You have people calling you heros and I completely agree with that. But I want to know your side. And I want to hear what the wives, husbands, fathers, mothers, sons, and daughters know of their loved ones who have served or are serving. I want to hear the personal side to it. I want to hear it all and offer you a platform to say it.

I also want to add my gratitude. God bless and please share your stories here. I would be most honored.
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8 Comments On This Entry

No stories here, Dublin, just praise for a good blog entry, and for choosing good movies.
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I bought Flag's of Our Fathers (book) years ago with the idea that I would read patriotic stories to my two youngest children right before they fell asleep. Years before, I made the decision to read nightly to them. We'd read Little Britches, Lord of the Rings, Eye of the Storm, and others (Yes, I read Lord of the Rings out loud.) I bought it on a recommendation from a columnist at "Town Hall." But I soon found it was too intense to read to children, especially at bed time. (It was almost too intense for me.) But I read it so I could know about my country's history.

I am thankful for all the projects that gathered stories of "the greatest generation." When I was a teen, I didn't think men my father's age had anything I needed to hear. I was wrong.

For Christmas one year I bought my husband the book, "Saints at War" which is a collection of LDS military memories. It remains to this day, one of his favorite books.

Thank you Annie, great post.
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I wish I had a story to share with you. Unfortunately, I didn't ask my dad these types of questions before his death. I'm not even sure if he ever had to face battle in war though I seem to think he did not.

That was a beautiful post Dublin. I have such a hard time deciding rather to call you Annie or Dublin these days on the board because it almost seems sacreligious to say Dublin unless I'm actually talking about Dublin. :rant: I can't hardly wait to see the movie myself.

I also can't hardly wait to read the personal stories that others have to tell.
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Annie, I can talk as the sister of a Gulf War veteran (Navy), the mother of the very real Toy Soldier and the wife of an Officer Candidate. I have consistently heard the same message from my soldiers and from other soldiers that I have met and had the opportunity to talk with (currently) -- they do want to come home when they are in Iraq. They want that more than anything, but they do not want to come home until their mission is complete. I am sure that many of them feel that pulling out before they complete the mission is a way of dishonoring those who have given the ultimate sacrifice as well as those severely injured commrades who will carry the physical scars of battle around for the rest of their lives. They are determined to finish the job that was put before them, and not letting them do that is nothing short of cruel. You do not send men into battle with a battle cry for justice, and then make them stop after witnessing many of their commarades fall. I think that love and respect for the fallen actually renews their determination to win this war.

Facing combat related deployment is very stressful and hard. Soldiers are mentally tough and they are trained to set aside many of the thoughts and emotions that would ensnare their attention. They have to be 110% focused on the task at hand. Most military families support their soldiers in a way that makes this possible. We reassure them of our unconditional love and support of them, and we work very hard to take care of the homefront so they can come home to peace and get the rest they deserve. Our goal, as family members, is to be there for them as much as possible, without distracting them from their work.

As a mother I have to honestly say that there was no way for me to know the wide range of intense feelings I would go through when my son's boots hit the sand. I still go through moments, but the osciliating wildly between the emotions has slowed down. I have never felt that much pride and fear all intertwined before in my life. Those are not two emotions that are usually present in the same moment and for the same reason. I am slowly learning to focus on the pride and not feed the fear. I want my son to get to serve his time in combat, and I want him to come home safe and with a sense of pride in a job well done. I want him to know in his own heart and soul that he fought for the right things, he fought well, and he honored the memory of his lost commarades. He is a really good soldier. He was born to be a soldier, and I am happy that he is doing what he loves -- no matter how hard it is and the sacrifices involved.
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As a mother I have to honestly say that there was no way for me to know the wide range of intense feelings I would go through when my son's boots hit the sand. I still go through moments, but the osciliating wildly between the emotions has slowed down. I have never felt that much pride and fear all intertwined before in my life. Those are not two emotions that are usually present in the same moment and for the same reason. I am slowly learning to focus on the pride and not feed the fear. I want my son to get to serve his time in combat, and I want him to come home safe and with a sense of pride in a job well done. I want him to know in his own heart and soul that he fought for the right things, he fought well, and he honored the memory of his lost commarades. He is a really good soldier. He was born to be a soldier, and I am happy that he is doing what he loves -- no matter how hard it is and the sacrifices involved.


I just can't imagine. Thank you so much for your post. Thanks to you and your family for their sacrifices in serving.
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Man, this is a tough blog to reply to Dublin. Dad saw combat in WWII, I served, but never saw combat, and I have a stepson, Josh, in the guard who just graduated AIT, who with almost certainty will be in theater in the near future. So my emotions are mixed right now. I feel a soldier's training is so intense, especially in times of war, that when they have orders cut for theater, they go into overdrive...an embedded training that helps them separate their emotions from civilian life to the job at hand. Talking to Josh, I know they come to love their brothers-in-arms like no other human being on earth...even if they don't really like them much. There is definitely a higher calling they have in their souls. They can put aside differences at the blink of an eye...unlike us that sit here at home and critique the failings and successes of the war they are headed to. I am sure when a soldier can catch his breath and have a little time to relax they think of the things we think of about the war, but when a command or an order is given, politics of the war is not in the equation. TBS, I always have wondered what the feeling of loved ones are when the door shuts behind the soldier on the C130 and they are gone, going to an unknown distant land to fight a war under the banner of the stars and bars. Those left behind don't have the training of the soldier to distance themselves from what they feel of loved ones and the job at hand. Those back here always have to deal with the civilian part of this war AND the fact their most loved may be dodging bullits. My hat is off to those that stand steadfast supporting their soldier and have the will to stay faithful no matter what and continue to hold down the life they pray that their soldier will return to. It's an amazing show of love, not much different, I suppose, than the love the soldier shows when he volunteers for the military knowing that an ultimate price may have to be paid some day.

To Riothouse and all of the others who have those that are in harm's way...I am honored to know you. I am humbled. You lead by example.
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Vulcan, on Aug 16 2007, 08:36 PM, said:

To Riothouse and all of the others who have those that are in harm's way...I am honored to know you. I am humbled. You lead by example.

Perfectly said. And thank you and your family.
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I apologize to you all for not responding sooner.

Mooga, on Aug 12 2007, 01:45 AM, said:

No stories here, Dublin, just praise for a good blog entry, and for choosing good movies.

Thank you, Mooga.

mollywalk, on Aug 12 2007, 09:28 AM, said:

I bought Flag's of Our Fathers (book) years ago with the idea that I would read patriotic stories to my two youngest children right before they fell asleep. Years before, I made the decision to read nightly to them. We'd read Little Britches, Lord of the Rings, Eye of the Storm, and others (Yes, I read Lord of the Rings out loud.) I bought it on a recommendation from a columnist at "Town Hall." But I soon found it was too intense to read to children, especially at bed time. (It was almost too intense for me.) But I read it so I could know about my country's history.

I am thankful for all the projects that gathered stories of "the greatest generation." When I was a teen, I didn't think men my father's age had anything I needed to hear. I was wrong.

For Christmas one year I bought my husband the book, "Saints at War" which is a collection of LDS military memories. It remains to this day, one of his favorite books.

Thank you Annie, great post.

You know, I didn't either. I didn't think to ask of the stories they had. My father used to teach at the military academies and I never bothered to ask him what it was like. When my mother and I watch stories of soldiers and their families, we both end up crying---pride, sadness, and such bravery.

We recently watched (and I know this is trivial) Gene Simmons put on a show for the military. He sang every anthem for each branch and it was absolutely amazing. My mother and I were in tears.

Your children are going to remember the stories you read to them. Trust me. You should ask them if they do remember that time and what they thought.

ilja, on Aug 12 2007, 11:11 AM, said:

I wish I had a story to share with you. Unfortunately, I didn't ask my dad these types of questions before his death. I'm not even sure if he ever had to face battle in war though I seem to think he did not.

That was a beautiful post Dublin. I have such a hard time deciding rather to call you Annie or Dublin these days on the board because it almost seems sacreligious to say Dublin unless I'm actually talking about Dublin. :coolshades: I can't hardly wait to see the movie myself.

I also can't hardly wait to read the personal stories that others have to tell.


Thank you, Ilja. Do you have letters or anything you can read about what he went through? And thank you for just being someone he could look foward to coming home to. Thank you for his service.
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http://img.photobuck.../Dsc00535-1.jpgI know when the Spirit of God is there, animals are the first ones to mellow out."If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." Will Rogers, 1897-1935"The poor dog, in life the firmest friend,The first to welcome, foremost to defend,Whose honest heart is still the master's own,Who labours, fights, lives, breathes for him alone,Unhonour'd falls, unnoticed all his worth,Denied in heaven the soul he held on earth,While man, vain insect hopes to be forgiven,And claims himself a sole exclusive heaven."Lord Byron Inscription on the monument of his Newfoundland dog, 1808" He is your friend, your partner,your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He willbe yours, faithful and true, to the last beatof his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy ofsuch devotion." Unknown

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