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Tuesday, May 30, 2017


I am very fortunate to be able to live such a great life. I live at the beach in a small but beautiful home. I can afford nice clothes, drive a new truck and have plenty to eat (in fact I probably eat too much). I’m warm, comfortable and secure, and best of all I have a wonderful family that includes four children and six grandchildren. My friend Bill has a life that is pretty much the same. He is a Senior Vice President at a major bank, lives in a beautiful home in a nice neighborhood, drives a nice car, and has a wonderful family that includes two sons.

Except there is one difference between Bill and I. I have two daughters and two sons, but one of my sons moved to Florida and probably won’t be moving back for another year or two. Bill has two sons, but his oldest son, Justin, joined the Army at age 21 and was immediately deployed to Iraq. Justin is never coming back, ever.

The good news (if there is such a thing) is that Bill has another son, Cameron. Cameron is an awesome young man but he hasn’t been the same since his brother Justin died. Cameron always looked up to his big brother, loved his big brother, and admired his big brother. So it was a profound loss. I gave Cameron a job working for me thinking it might take his mind off things. He worked hard, but his heart wasn’t in it and he ended up quitting. Bill shocked me when he told me that Cameron had decided to enlist and had already completed basic training. He will be shipping out to Iraq shortly. I couldn’t believe it at first. I saw the pain in Bill’s eyes, heard the crack in his voice when he first told me he had lost Justin. His suffering was so severe and so transparent I could taste it. And now he’s sending his baby, his only other child, off to war again. I didn’t ask why, I just offered my love and support.

My father served in the Marine Corps for over twenty years, so I understand the need for our military as well as first responders. And I support all that they stand for. I understand the need to defend our country and to defend the world from terrorism. But the one thing I don’t understand and may never understand is what it feels like to lose a loved one in a war, which is the ultimate sacrifice, and I hope I never do.

And that got me thinking… If everyone single person on earth understood what it’s like to have a loved one killed in war, then perhaps there wouldn’t be ever be any more wars.
Peace is a daily, weekly, monthly process, gradually changing opinions, 
slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures... 
and however undramatic the pursuit of peace, the pursuit must go on.
~ John F. Kennedy

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