Blogs by Kathy Armijo
9/17/2007 10:15:20 AM
This is an email that I received from a friend.
All this bad talk of war. We need to remember that the men and women in the armed services are people, and that they and their families need our prayers and support.
Thanks for letting me share.
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 is 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 know."
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
"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 again. 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 known.
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
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
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 boys."
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
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 who 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 it's
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.
GOD BLESS AMERICA !
Please pray for God's protection of our troops and HIS wisdom
for their commanders. Pass this on to as many as you think
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as
they protect us.
Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform
for us in our time of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our
Lord and Savior."
When you receive this, please stop for a moment and say a
prayer for our ground, air and navy personnel in every area
of the Middle East.
There is nothing attached....
This can be very powerful..
Just send this to all the people in your address book.
Of all the gifts you could give to anyone in the US Military,
be it Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines or National Guard, Coast
Guard, Reserves, Prayer is the very best one....Amen.
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More Blogs by Kathy Armijo
Wife's Request - Monday, September 17, 2007
Garbage - Saturday, September 08, 2007