July 19, 2007 at 6:44 am #381FrankParticipant
I got a random, out-of-the-blue email from a friend of mine from high school recently. He and I were pretty close all throughout elementary, middle and high school. But, as it happens, we went our separate ways after high school and I really didn’t talk to him all that much. So when he emailed me, I was excited.
I sent him back an email to let him know that it was me, ask how he was doing, etc.
Today, he sent me an email that, after I read it, made my stomach sink. He was emailing me from Iraq, where he’s serving his second tour. He’s part of an infantry division as a forward observer. Those guys see most of the shit. He signed up for the Army out of high school, and left after his time was up. Well, we went to war with Iraq and his little brother went over to fight. He felt guilty that his brother was over there, so he signed up to go. Now, after his first stint, he met a girl and they got married and had a baby girl. His daughter was diagnosed with Autism. If anyone knows anything about children with Autism, they know that medical bills, therapy, etc. doesn’t come cheap. He told me the main reason he signed back up to go over to Iraq was so that he could provide for his family and see to it that he could help his daughter. So, he’s fighting in Iraq because his daughter is Autistic.
At no point in the email he sent to me was he complaining about his life. If anything, he told me that he was very happy with his life the way it was and that life was good for him.
That’s when I felt guilty. Here I am, complaining about what I think are big problems at work and everything that’s going on in my life, and here’s a guy who’s fighting in the war alongside his younger brother and is taking care of an Autistic child … all the while not complaining a single bit when he would have every right to do so. Today, I feel very petty and damn near ashamed of myself.
I know most times I try to post things on here to get everyone to smile or laugh or whatever, but I just had to post this because it created such a powerful feeling in me.
Sorry to bum everyone out..July 19, 2007 at 12:51 pm #5638BingParticipant
Makes our problems seem small…July 19, 2007 at 9:44 pm #5639BakerMikeRomeoParticipant
My cousin’s a Humvee driver with the 3-1 Cavalry in Baghdad, and I know how you feel. Every time I grumble about being hot or tired at work, I feel like a dick. It’s like 90 in the kitchen, and he’s in fuggin’ Iraq in July, it’s probably 115 at noon over there.
~BakerMikeJuly 19, 2007 at 9:59 pm #5637robParticipant
I wonder if those guys even have a clue how people like me have so much respect for them. This is definitely a reason to get those guys home — he shouldn’t be over there, especially with his home situation.
My hat is off to him.July 20, 2007 at 7:39 pm #5635BuchoParticipant
I hope like hell those boys come back safe Frank but don’t stop posting your rants up here. Perspective is important to help us laugh at some of the smaller burdens and bumps in the road but blowing off steam is a healthy way to deal with stuff.
- Women sense my power and they seek the life essence.July 20, 2007 at 8:06 pm #5636robParticipant
I concur, sir.
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