Bryan Jones came to see me a couple of days ago with a special project in mind. Bryan and a few other community members held silent vigils at American Memorial Park to show their support for our men and women in uniform, plead the end of the war and pray for the safe return of our troops. We are all affected by this war in one way or another and have stories to tell. While everyone knows to some detail what our armed forces have to expect in battle, very little people understand the emotional stress and turmoil that happens to family members even before their loved ones ever step foot on that plane bound for war. I understand that we live in a community that values privacy, and that some things are just too difficult to talk about. But, let me ask you this: if you could help someone not to feel the way you did or do now, could you be brave enough to step outside your comfort zone and make the journey easier for them? What if it were your mom, your brother, your daughter-in-law...your grandchild? There are families out there who do not even know where to begin preparing for the departure of their soldier; they have no idea what to expect after they leave and feel like they're on a roller coaster of emotions. They don't know the lingo like you do: deployment cycle, thousand mile stare, FRG, etc., etc. I can remember what it was like being that clueless and frustrated. It's a big sacrifice to make, talking about your pain. Just like you, I do not like to draw attention to myself. In fact, this blog is the only place where I can feel completely free and unedited, but I will take this one big step with you. I can think of a few reasons to sacrifice my own insecurity: Ed, Mike, Isaac, Mark, Marco, Norman, their wives, babies on the way...my list goes on and on and includes the ache of memories for those whom we've lost. The CNMI is still #2 on the list of casualties per capita. Will you join me?
If you want to share your personal experience dealing with the war, please contact me via email. Just because you call doesn't mean you're obligated to go through with this, but it's a first step and that's all anyone can ask of you. In the meantime, we pray and continue to support the troops that are on their way, already there and returning from this war.