yeah, yeah, I know I'm a logistician on a large base. That's not enough to keep you safe in this war where there are no front lines.
A couple of days ago I attended a memorial service for three soldiers from a unit on post who were killed on a convoy in Iraq. I spent the entire service choking back tears even though I'd never met the guys. I kept thinking about the impact this had on their fellow soldiers and their families. How they died isn't important, what they died for is, right? God and Country, right? That's the thought on the grand scale, anyhow. They died for a righteous cause.
The cause is right, but I'm sure for their parents, their daughters, and their brother & sisters the grand scale doesn't mean diddly squat. They'd rather have their brother, son, or father back. Was the price of Iraq's freedom worth a human life? 20, 100, 1000, 2500 lives? Maybe to the soldiers fighting for it, but I doubt to their families. I think that's how I'd feel if it were my wife or son over here.
One of the kids (they were kids... two weren't even old enough to drink) had actually arrived in this country after I did. He's been here less time than I have and he's dead now. I just shake my head when I think about it. I'm pretty safe where I am and I rarely travel dangerous roads, but the thought of leaving HouseholdSix and SixPointFive without a husband/father makes me sick to my stomach. They don't care if Iraq is free or ruthlessly oppressed. They just want me back in one piece and I want to see them again more than anything in this world. (heavy sigh)
I know what John Stuart Mill said "War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself."
That quote is all well and good; I don't worry about my own safey and I know that there are things in this world worth me fighting and dying for. I just don't know if my family is willing to have me pay the same price that I'm willing to pay. Probably not.
Man, this deployment is way harder and more complicated than I ever thought it was going to be.