color: SOME SOLDIER'S MOM: Seen But Not Heard.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Seen But Not Heard.

Our Soldier
No word from our son, but there has been a sighting! At 3:30AM I was still awake – plagued by anxiousness about not having word from him… Keeping me awake was that same feeling I got as a kid when my father would drive fast over a rise in the road and our stomachs would float… that flutter of panicked gargantuan butterflies in my gut. About 3:40AM, a pack of coyotes that, for the most part, have been silent all summer, began to carry on madly outside… So I got up, got some water and, while passing by the closed office door, decided to check and see if any of the Guys were online. Lo and behold – Vsoldier had at that minute signed on! After pleasantries, he said he had just seen our soldier son “a few mikes ago” and he was OK! … things there are very active, extremely intense… a little dangerous (“eh, a little” he says… that’s like KINDA being preggers.) He was thrilled that more packages were on the way… sends love. I head back to bed and am instantly asleep (magic!)

As those of you who read regularly know, I don’t promote products here, but knowing that lots of folks who ship to soldiers stop by here, I want to mention that we found these very cool (very small) 13.5oz. containers of liquid Tide for $1.00 at our local Fry’s supermarket and bought the last two… but the store manager is ordering more just for us and he was DELIGHTED to be of assistance! I also found hefty-sized microwavable plastic bowls ½ price for just 25 cents (to cook all the food we send)!! I can’t wait to send off the next packages to the Guys!
[Note: For those stopping by for the first time or who haven't read back that far, part of our son's Army company moved a month ago to a camp that has limited shower facilities (i.e., cubbies with a very limited supply of water heated by the sun); no laundry facilities (laundry is washed in buckets); no kitchen facilities (what purports to be food is prepared elsewhere and trucked in twice a day if they're lucky); they arrived to a mess hall with mortar holes in the roof and sides -- nicknamed the "hole-y mess" but it's now under reconstruction thanks to the ingenuity of the soldiers); and no PX to purchase the basic necessities. So soldiers' families and friends send food, detergent, body soaps, shampoos, cigarettes, toilet paper, etc. to keep them going.]
Symbols of Faith
When our son was leaving for Iraq, I gave him the small gold cross my mother had given me many years ago. I have meant to replace it since then but put it off and when I looked could not find the “right” one. Yesterday while DH and I were out meandering I found the perfect one…
and the fact that the first contact in a week (albeit just a sighting) came the same day? Mere coincidence (big smile)...
Replacement Body Armor
So according to press reports they’re replacing soldiers’ personal body armor (PBA) and 70% of the soldiers have it. Despite the panic stimulated by headlines screaming that someone had screwed up again, the armor is actually in response to the lessons we have learned from terrorist attacks against our troops in Iraq. Apparently, the new PBA panels are being produced at just four factories at the rate of 20,000-25,000 per month but the technically demanding process of producing the armor is slow going -- taking the same care as producing heat tiles for the NASA shuttle. But I have a few thoughts on this:

1. Hope the geniuses that set the shipping priority are shipping the PBA to those soldiers experiencing the highest incidents of contact with the terrorists (which would include my Guys!). I’m only hopeful because this would make the most sense… which we all know isn’t necessarily the main concern of some bureaucrat or clerk sitting at a desk somewhere deciding alphabetical order works for them (snicker).

2. Hope the old plates are going to the IPF (Iraqi Protection Force) in those same areas… Of course, that, too, would make sense. (But I am ever the optimist.)

Iraqi Women
Wishing the draft Iraqi constitution had been done on time because every delay heightens the danger our troops and the Iraqis face from the terrorists… but was also glad to hear that the extension was a unanimous vote. I hope the drafters do not abandon the Iraqi women who are the strength and honor and spirit of Iraq… these women who must raise and protect their families under the direst of circumstances and are the hope with their children of the new Iraq and the Middle East – women who went to the polls in parity with Iraqi men. It would be distressing to me and many others I’m sure, if their legal standing was LESS under the new government than Saddam.

However, despite the assertions of the MSM and the liberals – this is IRAQIS driving this – not Americans. While our ambassador and consultants can exert some pressure, it is up to the Iraqis themselves to assure that they HONOR their women and their role in Iraqi society and history. You cannot hope to join the 21st century if your women are forced to return to the 5th century.

This piece in the Washington Post (shudder):
“Meanwhile, Kurds and Shiites, whose interests are aligned on many issues, remained divided over the role of Islam in determining Iraqi law. Shiite leaders said they believed they were close to persuading more secular Kurds to accept Islam as "the main source" of the constitution along with a requirement that no laws be passed that contradict sharia , or Islamic law.
"That position was strongly opposed Sunday by a few dozen female protesters concerned that deference to Islamic law would leave them vulnerable, particularly in the area of family law, where most interpretations of Islam accord many advantages to men. The protesters packed the convention center in Baghdad's fortified Green Zone Sunday afternoon, waving signs and chanting, ‘Our rights for our votes.’”

I am at a loss as to why, if the Iraqi Constitution must include some reference to Islam, why they cannot simply declare in the document or the preamble that the official religion of the country is Islam, but provide for the free exercise of other religions or no religion at all… and that all Iraqis (men and women) are created equal under the law? They are a few of my favorite parts of our Constitution and Bill of Rights…

Time for more than just a “few dozen” (if that description is to be believed) to stand up, be visible, be heard. I would hate for the Constitution to not be approved in October, but if it diminished MY rights, I’d vote against it, no question. Ironic since the symbol of the new Iraqi democracy recognized around the world is a woman just out of the voting booth!

(At the request of some readers with eyes as old as mine, I'm using a larger typeface. )

Thanks to Rightwingsparkle

Copyright 2005. All rights reserved.


At 8/15/2005 8:04 PM , Blogger Stacy said...

Isn't it amazing that you just so happen to have woke up and go into your computer room at about the same time that one of your guys logs online also. Glad that you were able to hear from one of them.

At 8/15/2005 8:19 PM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

what was more amazing was that it was that minute -- not five minutes before or five minutes later, but as I opened the door to the office! It was a little creepy -- but hey, I'm all for His mysterious ways LOL

hope you and michael and all are having lots of FUN!

At 8/16/2005 4:02 AM , Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Our prayers were answered, you got some much needed relief from the anxiety of worry. I also slept like a baby last night...with the help of two tylenol PMs. But It was a goodnight sleep none the less. I agree with you also about the women's rights. It would be ashame if they had more rights under Saddam then the new government.
Yea, Dan said it is really bad over there, right now. He sure got a bad welcome to Iraq.
Thank God, you got your okay message from your guys.

At 8/16/2005 6:19 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you, Lord, for the message from one of your "fellas". It's amazing how something like that relieves stress and puts you back into sleep mode. Just a reminder for those shipping packages to the troops.....don't mix food items with soaps, detergents, etc. The food takes on the taste of the sopa items. Yuck!

At 8/16/2005 6:47 AM , Blogger April M. Shah said...

So glad that you finally heard from one of your soldiers and that your son is doing fine. Wonderful news, I have been praying that you would hear something from him or about him! Mom talked to Michelle on Sunday and Michelle said that she will only be online on Sunday's now because they are way too busy. Plus there was a post from Michelle a couple of days ago on my site. So, while i haven't personally heard from her, I am glad that someone has heard from her.

Glad your son is fine! Great news!

At 8/16/2005 7:42 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

I am so glad you heard from one of your guys & he was able to update you about your son.

I need to find that Tide! The guy I've had the longest is without his main water line and thus, no laundry...I'm sure he could use the extra supplies to help him feel clean.

Beautiful cross. Couldn't agree more about the constitutional needs of women in Iraq. I think women will make the difference in the overall scheme of things there.

At 8/16/2005 7:42 AM , Blogger Melinda said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

At 8/16/2005 11:44 AM , Blogger Some Soldier's Mom said...

Anonymous - as for mixing soap/food -- I have a vacuum packer and all the toiletries get sealed before they go in the box -- that includes bar soaps, shampoos, detergent... I'm just sure the boxes get banged around a lot and take no chances -- figuring any spill (and smell) will be contained in the plastic.

Shelley - my sons all have St. Michael medals -- patron saint of soldiers and sailors...

At 8/16/2005 4:18 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Heaving a BIG sigh of relief for you! I've heard it said that there are no coincidences, just times when God prefers to remain anonymous. This seems to fit your situation to a tee! Continued prayers for you & yours and all the rest of our wonderful Troops & families.


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