When I was a little girl and again as a young woman dreaming about having children I never, ever, even for a heartbeat imagined that I would ever be the mother of someone that had killed somebody…but I am. There in Iraq in the dusty, sun baked rubble that was once the City of Mosques, Ar Ramadi, Iraq, my son repeatedly engaged an enemy, opened fire and ended lives.
Even before Hurricane Katrina hit, the folks of Plaquemines Parish in Louisiana, knew they would be on their own with no state or federal assistance. The same thing had happened to them decades before after another hurricane. It took twenty years but the people of Plaquemines Parish, in exemplar American fashion, rebuilt their communities on their own. Sadly, the parish has been destroyed once again.
Battle lines were defined last weekend in Crawford, Texas by a little road called Prairie Chapel. On one side was Camp Casey, Cindy Sheehanâ€™s Gold Star Families for Peace site. Over 800 rose and ribbon adorned crosses, two and three deep, extend a quarter mile along the road shoulder. Most bore the name of a fallen warrior of the Iraq war.
Earlier this year, late March, my Marine son returned home from his second tour in Iraq. Seeing him for the first time upon his return I found myself surveying him carefully, holding him close in my arms I assessed him like a mother would a newborn, ten fingers, yes, ten toes, good. My relief and gratitude suffered no boundaries and I poured forth my soul in reverence and appreciation to our ancestors for watching over him; I praised Buddha, Allah and God and thanked my lucky stars and wept profuse tears of release.
â€˜So they allowed it to begin, having obtained for it formal assurances of help from the British Government. Yet none the less the rebellion of the Sherif of Mecca came to most as a surprise, and found the Allies unready. It aroused mixed feelings and made strong friends and strong enemies, amid whose clashing jealousies its affairs began to miscarryâ€™. T.E. Lawrence from his book â€˜Seven Pillars of Wisdomâ€™
Less than a year after returning from Iraq, my oldest son, Lance Cpl John Fett, 24 received orders that he is being redeployed. John is attached to the 2 nd Battalion 5 th Marines and they are being sent over to relieve another battalion in their regiment that has been in Iraq for an extended period. He will be stationed in Ramadi a suburb of the dissident hotbed, Fallujah.
A few days ago, I received some photographs from my son, now a Lance Corporal in the Marines, who has been stationed in Iraq, of late along the Euphrates River in the southern region. He related a tale of one of his experiences that perhaps illustrates the huge, moral decisions forced upon these youngsters, decisions they will bear the burden of all their lives.