"Leaving on a jet plane- will miss u very much- will try my best to keep in touch. Lots of love" That's the text message I received early this morning. As I was getting ready for work, my young friend, an Army nurse, was heading off to war. 1 year stationed at a Baghdad hospital caring for our son's and daughters as they fight George Bush's war.
Many of the 2672 dead American soldiers and nearly 20,000 wounded members of the military have passed through those hospitals in Iraq. What will my young friend see? How will her heart and her spirit survive these horrendous images that will surely stay with her forever? I know for sure that the dedication and professionalism of the medical teams will keep many alive who might not have survived.
I spoke to her earlier this week to send hugs from California for a safe journey and to hear her voice. She sounded optimistic and nervous and very much that she had a job to do. I'm not sure I offered her much comfort, but that had been my plan.
My young friend, she knew Ken; she was who he planned to spend his first week at home after his Iraq deployment. She would be his decompression, his soft place to land and if needed she would have watched him sleep for the week, as long as they were together. That didn't happen, of course.
As my young friend faces this journey into hell, I remind her that I am doing everything I can to bring the troops home, sooner than later. She knows of my activities, she tells me she appreciates that.
Her mother has already seen her two sons deploy to that part of the world. The brothers returned safely, and now her daughter? I cannot imagine.
Ken and his band of angels will be watching over her, I know that for sure, too. But really, isn't it time to bring all the troops home now?