7 hours ago
Tuesday, March 24, 2009
Kit: Army Man by Kelly Dietert (formerly of 3Scrapateers)
I won't be in much this week as we are bustling around getting ready to go out of town for the weekend. It is one of those mixed emotion vacations. My father-in-law, aka Dad, is a member of the Michigan National Guard. He is going to Afghanistan in April and this is the only chance we will have to go spend time with him, give huggs and kisses, before he leaves. His "mission" to Afghanistan is 2-fold. First, he is relieving another soldier so the soldier may go home to his family. The soldiers baby has a fatal disease and he is needed at home. Our Dad is going to take his place so he may be with his wife and children at this time.
It is also a Humanitarian Aid mission. Dad will be there to help others, which he is so good at now. He is a Physician's Assistant in our normal world, and will be using that talent and skill as well as his Lt. Col-ness to help those in need in Afghanistan. However, we all know that being a solider, a good man, and one who loves others enough to go in the place of this young father doesn't keep bullets from flying or bombs from going off. Kabul isn't the hot vacation spot like the Bahamas, and so the emotions are high as we think of packing to go see "Grandpa".
The children seem completely unphased by this prospect. They know he is going to help others. They know there is war over there, but it seems so far away that I don't think they realize there is possible danger. Or maybe they have that faith that children have, that faith that says there is nothing to fear and that all will be well no matter how long Dad will be gone. I have mixed emotions only because he will be so far away from us. More than the 12 hr drive it is to visit them now. That doesn't mean no worry sneaks in at all, I wouldn't be human otherwise!
I worry most for my husband who is sensitive and loving. He adores and reveres his father. He knows what a wonderful man his dad is and how much he is loved by him. He is not ready to lose him. I remind him all we can do is pray and love him. It won't be easy.
Dad is only supposed to be gone for 4-5 months, but that is a long time to us. I don't know how career military have gone to the battlefield for 18 months or a couple years at a time leaving their families. I wonder how young men go on tours of duty in the hottest zones of our world. I know many are peace loving individuals who really care about our brothers and sisters of all shapes, sizes, colors, religions and creeds and have chosen to do their best as soldiers of the USA. I know that the men who will meet Dad will realize you don't have to be a "typical soldier" to be in the military. That you can be kind, caring, to the point and loving....even peaceful. I am proud to know that he will be a great example of what a man can become. An example of being tough without cruelty, sensitive without being a "sissy" (lol), honest, smart, kind and understanding with a dash of good humor. They are getting a wonderful man, they better treat him well.