Thursday, January 11, 2007
In the previous post I introduced Mike - the young man home on leave from Iraq. While here, he attended a "sending off" gathering for another National Guard (NG) unit. Families were together, sharing some last moments. Counselors were there. The kids were really nervous because all they'd seen on TV was the bad news. They were scared and did not appear to be getting much help from the professionals.
Mike watched the scene play out for awhile then started talking to the kids. "I've been there," he said. "It's not all bad. Iraq has kids just like you. They go to school, now. They have homework."
Then he asked them, "Do you like ice cream?"
"Yeah!" they said excitedly.
"Well, we have Baskin Robbins, all the flavors."
He spent time with the kids, sharing real experiences that were different from the constant negativity seen on TV. He helped them understand that their dads will miss them but are doing something very important, for them (and us). The kids felt better after hearing Mike's stories.
Is Iraq 100% safe? Of course not. But do we adults have the right to scare the living daylights out of kids with half truths, half stories, and only fear? No. We owe them the bigger picture. We have much at stake in this war, including the future of our kids. Agree or disagree with the what, why, how, the bottom line is the subset we're fighting in Iraq wants freedom (and us) gone.
Mike is doing his part and from the sounds of it, doing it very well.