"Butterfly Kisses" - A Tribute  

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Well that last post, though necessary, was nowhere near my best work. Today, I offer a special tribute to the troops who are fighting for our freedom and safety in the War on Terror, and their families. These guys are doing the Lord's work out there, and the families are as much a part of that work as they are.

I recently learned a young man whom I had the pleasure of having as a student of sorts was killed at 20 years old while dismantling a car bomb in Iraq. He is survived by a 19 year old wife and a baby who was just 10 weeks old at the time. This tragedy could not have affected a stronger family. Thank God the strength is there to carry them through.

Another friend was called to action from the National Guard. "Captain D" just returned in January from a tour of duty in the Middle East. His wife was charged with caring for their three children for over six months while he was away.

The sacrifices these families make for their country is as important as the ones made by the soldiers themselves. Someone has to care for the children of the soldiers. Someone has to comfort the widows and mothers of those who give the ultimate sacrifice. Someone has to be there to explain where Daddy is and why he is away, or why he won't be coming home at all.

Someone has to be there to see the first board break at karate school or the first dismount from the balance beam; the first base hit or the first touchdown; the first broken arm or the first lost love. These are "Daddy things", and there are thousands, if not millions more of them. This list is only the beginning.

Any time I hear the song "Butterfly Kisses", I think of those daughters who don't get to have Daddy take them on their first pony ride, or taste her first cake; those daughters who won't have Daddy there to admire her wedding gown. These soldiers have sons as well, who may not get to have Daddy there when they first enjoy sports, or ride a motorcycle or help them learn to drive. Some of my fondest memories of childhood were my own father showing me how to hit a baseball. None of that for many of these soldiers' children.

And the spouses ... Can you imagine pledging your entire life to a person you love and then have them spend months at a time in harm's way, or have them taken away from you altogether with so much of your life left to live? These sacrifices are as important and patriotic as those the soldiers make.

This is why it so enrages me when people go on TV, radio and online to trash the hard work these people do. Can it not be understood that without these sacrifices, these people might not even have the right to do what they do or say what they say? Can they not grasp the reality that we are fighting an enemy that wishes us all either dead or suffering under their extreme wacko philosophy? Can they not understand that if we allow them to do what they do and become more powerful now, it will be much more difficult to deal with them later, and at an even greater cost in both military and civilian lives? Are these people blind and stupid?

In this special tribute to the soldiers and their families, I cannot bring my true feelings on that matter forth, as the thought of what is really happening in America is truly too painful for such a somber moment. I will save it for another day. In the meantime, God Bless the United States of America, her President, her true allies, and those who defend her against those who would harm us (often giving their lives in the process), including those who sacrifice both time with their loved ones, and often their loved ones as well.