Political Junkie’s Mom‘s post hit home for me as it ended a bizarre 24 hours for me. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, we get focused so much on the target…we forget what we are fighting for. That is both the positive (and negative) of being a man. Our ability to compartmentalize is what allows us to kill our enemies or prey by day and cradle our children at night. But sometimes we become too engrossed in one compartment. That is why my wife says that she sees her number one job as making sure I don’t ignore the home compartment…it was the same when I was in Iraq. I had a mission to do and I put 110% into it. It was hard to come off that precipice and interact with the family because switching compartments isn’t always easy…but it is necessary.
I tell my son each night when I tuck him in and pray over him (sometimes after he has fallen asleep) that he is a warrior, a scholar, and a gentlemen. But yesterday, while on the frontlines, this warrior had a jolt of why we fight…a jolt that I share with you, as we head into Memorial Day’s festivities. My only regret is that, this weekend, many won’t see it.
I had just gotten off the phone with my friend Stacy McCain, to wish him well and I already felt that twinge…a deep ache you feel for a comrade who is going through something and the helplessness you feel when you can’t really help. Then I sat down and started strolling through my FB Page and saw that my brother (who is deploying) was reunited for the weekend with his son and then I noticed a post from earlier in the week I missed from a close friend…he had lost his son at two months of age…
There are times when we are hit with a brick. There are times when God demands our attention. There are instances when the emotions of a moment are too rich. Sometimes, those moments all hit you at the same time.
WHY I FIGHT
As a Soldier, when I was deployed, I told those close to me that I had resigned my fate. I understood that each time I kissed my wife goodbye, it could be my last. Saying goodbye to my daughter in her crib at 14 months could be the only slightest memory she would have of me. And it was for them, I served my country. The trick is…once you have resigned your fate and after you come back, life is no longer about you. You have to make it about them…it is all there is left.
I fight for my children.
All five of them who are still here and one who we will see again. And it pisses me off that the America that I inherited as my birthright (24 days after Reagan took his oath of office) is being passed off to my posterity in worse shape than when I received it. I feel a bit like Esau’s son having just discovered that the birthright he so richly deserved was no longer his to hold because his parents had sold it for pittance.
That is why the fight we are in, this ideological struggle, is so intense at times. It is so because it is a true battle between two VERY different ideas of what America should look like for our children.
So, those who scream for civility on one hand just use “civility and tolerance” as a club to oppose dissent.
I believe in rational discourse. But when you are being robbed blind is NOT the time to engage in it.
When debate is necessary, I will debate.
When dissent is necessary, I will dissent.
But when my children are threatened and those we love are hurting…we must fight.
Because, my friend, our inalienable rights are worth fighting for. Because we aren’t guaranteed another breath. Because we aren’t guaranteed that the precious gifts God has given us to watch over will awake in the morning. Because there are things more important than US.
That is why I fight. But that is also why, this weekend, I am going to hug my children more. Be more patient when they interrupt my writing a blog. Teach them about what this weekend really means beyond the picnics, parties, and parades.
BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT REALLY MATTERS (I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments)
-In loving memory of those who have come before and those who we will see again when our fight is over-
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