While Joey and I were home together yesterday we sat and watched the documentary Restrepo. In the movie, cameras followed a platoon of US soldiers during deployment in one of the deadliest regions in Afghanistan.
When we finished the movie I was overcome by this strong feeling of despair and sadness. I felt sick to my stomach. These men are people's kids. They are brothers, uncles, cousins, neighbors, co-workers, best friends. But most terrifying and important of all, these men belong to a mom.
When I first became pregnant Rick and I both worried about the world we were bringing our child into. Over my lifetime the world has become an increasingly terrifying place. After 9/11 we no longer feel safe in our own country. We have seen great tragedies and have gone through the pain of sending friends and family members off to war.
As parents we are supposed to put our children in a position where they can become better and do better than we did. How is this possible when we keep fighting wars we can't win and can't afford. Will Joey be better off because of the work our soldiers have done? I don't know the answer to that and it is terrifying.
My biggest hope is that Joey won't have to pay for our mistakes. I hope he won't have to fight because we chose to. I hope so much more for him than to be used as a means to an end. I don't want him to live in a world where being "American" is shameful or considered fighting words. I don't want him to have to fight for other people's unrealistic expectations of how they want the world to be. I don't ever want him to be in a position where he has to kill or be killed.
The soldiers in this movie were forever changed. They were not the same men their families sent off to war. They were damaged. I can't imagine the pain these men and their families go through. And I hope I never have to feel it.