Tuesday, August 19, 2008

'Freedom Isn't Free!'

Yesterday was a beautiful, sunny day. I dropped Neil off in D.C. to take the Armed Services Vocational Aptitude Battery before I went to work. He has been talking about joining the Air National Guard for months, and I guess he's serious about it; the ASVAB is the first step to joining. I hope he did well on the test, because he wants to do well, but I am worried. I don't like the idea of him being in the armed services. Especially right now, when "National" Guard means you'll be sent to Iraq or Afghanistan, not Illinois or Alabama.

I am completely selfish, closed-minded, one-sided, ignorant, etc. etc. on this one. Neil seems to be a total idealist on this -- when we talk about it, he gets all patriotic, spouting partisan philosophy. He likes to say "Freedom isn't free!" Well maybe it's not, but it doesn't have to be bought with my husband's life.

Yes, I'm deeply sorry for the thousands of people who have died and more so for the families who are affected every day by casualties of war. But those who died chose to go out there -- they weren't forced. Unfortunately, that's not the case for their family members. I can love my husband, but I don't have to love everything he does. Why does he feel this compelling need to serve his country in this way? I think it's great to feel patriotic and want to "do" something to show that. But there are a lot of other ways than by deliberately putting yourself in harm's way. There are plenty of other government jobs that support U.S. policy, where one can show just as much patriotism, that do not involve combat.

I know my argument sounds completely shallow. "Who SHOULD be on the front lines then?!" you may be asking. I don't know. I don't have the answers. I am being completely selfish here and saying I don't know, I don't care, but I don't want it to be Neil.


Taralyn said...

Sounds like he needs a talking to from my Dad. Enlisted is NOT the way to go! I understand completely. But I am really grateful for people willing to fight.

Bille said...

I don't think it is selfish of you to want your husband out of harms way, i think it is perfectly natural.

modestmuse said...

I'm grateful there are people willing to defend us, too. I saw an Air Force plaque yesterday that had a quote about those who are protected will never understand the price of those who defend them or something to that effect. And no, I won't understand, but I do appreciate it.

Neil said he talked to your dad before, but I think he needs to have a serious talk with him again!

Consul-At-Arms said...

You should be very proud of your husband for taking the very adult step of preparing himself to defend his country and family.

That means you.