On March 19th, 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom began. My husband and I went to downtown Santa Rosa, CA where we were living and took part in a support the troops rally. My husband was not active duty Army at this time. He didn't re-join until the end of 2005. During this rally we saw a lot of patriotic signs. I was very much for what we were doing and supported it fully. I also supported the troops and wanted them to know that people out there stood behind them and supported them.
At the time I had no idea what the words, "War on Terror," "Afghanistan" or "Iraq" would mean to my personal life. I had no idea how supporting the troops would go from holding up signs, to sending my own husband off to war. I really had no inkling that TEN years later we would be getting ready for a fourth deployment.
The war in Afghanistan started October 7, 2001. That is 11+ years ago. 11 years of war!
My husband has been to Afghanistan before, but just for a few months. His upcoming deployment he will be there for a lot longer. He has been to Iraq twice for a total of 26 months. I hope this next deployment is the last time he has to go to Afghanistan.
When I look at what has happened in Iraq and Afghanistan as a whole over the last few years it does look like we are winding down. When I think about the surge in Iraq and how that affected us, it makes this next deployment look easy. But then you never really know. My husband could be extended again for any amount of time. We really don't know.
I want the American people to know that although things are not like they were in say 2006, we are still sending our Military to start new deployments in Afghanistan. We probably will for a while longer. We probably will always be sending someone there. And others are still being sent to Iraq. As time passes it might be easy for America to forget everything we have done over there. If it isn't on the news 24/7, it sometimes is forgotten But our family can't forget. That is what happens when a member of your family serves in the Military. You know first hand about war and what it is like to love someone fighting in it. And 11 years is a long time to be at war when you are a Military family.
I would love to think that we can enter a time of peace but I also know that there are other countries and parts of the world that might need our Military, even if everything settles down completely in Afghanistan. And I should expect that as long as my husband is in the Army. It is apart of his job. But that doesn't stop me from praying for peace or hoping that things don't get as bad as they have been the last 11 years. It doesn't stop me from hoping that the next big fight America is in can be over quickly and without as much loss as we have had with Iraq and Afghanistan. I suppose only time will tell.
“The soldier is the Army. No army is better than its soldiers. The Soldier is also a citizen. In fact, the highest obligation and privilege of citizenship is that of bearing arms for one’s country”
― George S. Patton Jr.