Tuesday, August 03, 2004

Memories of Desert Shield/Desert Storm

I came across this blog today via Joshua and Kristen's blog. It gutted me. It also brought back a few memories.

In 3rd grade we were given a writing assignment. The entire class wrote letters to the troops serving in the Gulf War. My dad has always been in the military so I was somewhat familiar with aspects of military life. Or whatever aspects a 3rd grader would be expected to be familiar with. In my letter I asked about the food (referring mentally to the astronaut food I tasted at an Air Show at the base.) That was what I believed must be the most interesting thing about being away at war. I also felt very compassionate. I told him Jesus loved him. I told him I hoped he didn't miss his family too much. All in all it was a very brief letter, considering I was about eight and the writing assignment was probably a paragraph. Today, I wondered if those letters were ever sent, and if they were, what my soldier thought about my letter...

The Gulf War was a big deal to me. I only knew what I heard my parents say and what my teachers said and what my classmates said, but these things impacted me. I remember asking my mom if Dad was gonna have to go to war. She said probably not, so I asked her how she knew. She explained that my dad is only in the Reserves now, and so the likelihood of him being called was less. I wasn't comforted. I was afraid my dad was gonna have to go. (Today, my older brother serves in the Air Force and wants to go to Iraq. I do not understand why, but my dad says if Danny goes, he wants to go, too. I don't know how I feel about two of my family members going away and this childhood fear coming true. If either go, I will wear a yellow ribbon despite how I feel about this war.)

I remember being at Mazzio's Pizza after church one Sunday and a breaking news story came on the television regarding Kuwait. Everyone in the restaurant got up from their tables and crowded around the TV, employees and all. I did not know what was going on, but I was terrified.

Amy Richardson said her family was voting for Michael Dukakis. The rest of us told her he was bad and her family should be voting for George Bush. We made her cry. We were probably the first 1st grade class to be banned from discussing politics on the playground. Oh yeah, and Charlie Don't-Remember-His-Last-Name told us he was perfect, and we told him that was a sin to say he was perfect. We made him cry. We were then banned from discussing religion. To this day I haven't learned my lesson.

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