Thursday, November 15, 2007

2 Blog years

As I start the 3rd year of my blog, Gold Star Mom Speaks Out, I look back and think about where this journey started and where it has taken me.

Two years ago, 2072 US military had been killed in Iraq. Today the number is 3865. Not quite doubled, but close enough. We are no closer to ending this war now than we were back in 2005. The war tally in dollars is currently near $500 billion with no end in sight to the spending. Bush wants more money, $196 billion more, with no restrictions. Democrats were sent to Washington last November to end this war and here we still are. As of November, 2007 was the deadliest year in terms of US deaths for both Afghanistan & Iraq.

Initial voting in the primaries starts in little more than 7 weeks. I wonder what, if anything, will change with a new president. Barring an impeachment miracle, we have 432 hellish days left in the Bush presidency. January 20, 2009 cannot come soon enough; how much more damage can he do to our country in those remaining days?. Healing may begin on that day, but I fear people are so weary of the beating our Constitution and our population has taken at the hands of the Bush cabal. Do we recognize what our country has become? I do not want Old Glory to represent a country of torture and fear and lies.

Ken's friends continue to be deployed to Iraq; 1 Lt Florence Nightingale is currently sitting in Kuwait, waiting for that plane trip home to civilization, after spending 15 months in hell at the Green Zone in Baghdad. Captain Steve arrived in January 07 as the tip of the spear of the surge or escalation, whatever you want to call it; he's looking at April 08 for his return home to his family & loved ones. Captain Seth left for Iraq last Monday for 15 long months for his second deployment. How can you go back when you know you are marching straight into hell again? And for what reason? How do families bear the burden of sending their loved ones time and time again?

3 years ago, at my son's funeral at Arlington, I vowed to Ken that people would know what it felt like to be a Gold Star mother. People would know what it feels like to lose your only child in a war you didn't support. And mostly I vowed that I would not allow the memories and the lives of this generation of war dead or the returning veterans to be forgotten. For surely with only 1% of our population being affected by the war, forgetting would be easy to do. We owe them more. I hope for the short time you stop here, that you stand in my shoes and know that you never, never want to walk in them.

The most difficult thing a parent can ever do is to bury their child. That is not in the right order of things and it shouldn't have been part of the deal. Regardless of how your child died, it is something you never quite recover from. Your life is now before and after the death and it takes a very long time to figure out what your new normal is. I still haven't figured it out, but one thing I know for sure is I miss Ken more than I can say; I miss him every second, every minute and every hour of every day. He is my last thought at night and my first in the morning. My broken heart aches and I know that there is a part of me that will never know happiness again. I don't wish this life on anyone.

Thanks for joining me along the way; I'm always glad for the company and the comments.


Washington Marine Mom said...

Keep up the good fight. Your son deservs no less, nor do his brothers and sisters in arms (2 of my sons, for example). You are brave, and you are proof to other Gold Star families that they are not unpatriotic nor do they lessen the life sacrifice of their family member by not supporting this war. If anyone knows whether the loss was worth it or not, it is you. You just don't want others to have to walk in your shoes. God bless you.

GSMSO said...


Thanks for your kind words. You & your family are part of the 1% who are affected by this war. I'm not sure we can ever truly express what that means, but I keep trying!

I frequently wonder how I would feel about Ken's death if I felt our country was truly in jeopardy and that he was killed for an authentic "noble cause". Sadly, I'll never know.

Give extra hugs to your sons when you see them.

washington marine mom said...

I will do that. Our Marine is at home now but our Airman deploys in January.
I am sure we visited your Ken's grave when we were at Arlington in Sept. '05. We went to visit the grave of one of our own WA Marines whose funeral we had attended in the summer of '04. We stopped at each grave, and cried over the notes and pictures and stones and coins left there.
They had the Faces of the Fallen exhibit there and it was a beautful tribute, as well as a cold reminder of the loss of real human life. I hope you had a chance to see it.

GSMSO said...

WMM, Indeed I did see the Faces of the Fallen exhibit. When it opened in the spring of 05, the families were invited and we overwhelmed them with our attendance in unexpected numbers. It was an amazing gathering of GS families.

Unfortunately, Paul Wolfowitz decided he needed to be there to view the results of the carnage he caused. I was livid. That was so early on, not even my 1st anniversary. I will always regret that I didn't tell him to leave. I would have no problem doing that now.

I recently came home to a package on my doorstep. It was Ken's portrait from the exhibit.

I hope you get to spend holiday time with your Marine AND your airman.