Defense Update: What Really Matters (to Both Sides)
Of course our fighting men and women have sacrificed, are sacrificing and will sacrifice everything for home and country.
They do so because they love America; they love Americans; they love their families.
For those who are old and fortunate enough to have young children, there can hardly be greater love than our heroes have for their young children.
Likewise it is difficult to imagine greater joy than that experienced by a warrior when returning home after a prolonged and dangerous absence and into the arms of his young son or daughter.
In the same vein, imagine the grief, pain and anxiety these men and women must feel when they hug and say goodbye to their babies — perhaps for the last time — when leaving for a far-away battlefield, to an uncertain fate.
I found the following two images touching and heartbreaking, respectively.
Marine Corps Maj. James Poppy embraces his daughter, Lauren, during an Independence Day homecoming celebration on Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point, N.C., July 4, 2012. Poppy is the detachment officer-in-charge of Marine Aerial Refueler Transport Squadron 252
U.S. Navy 2nd Class Steven Mayorga embraces his daughter before deploying aboard the amphibious transport dock ship USS Cleveland in San Diego, March 21, 2011, to support Pacific Partnership 2011. Mayorga is an operations specialist. (U.S. Navy photo by Seaman Benjamin Crossley)
In sharing the joy and grief with our troops, we must never forget, however, that those who we are helping and those who we are fighting also have children who mean everything to them, too.
An Afghan villager holds his child while watching a partnered patrol of U.S. paratroopers and Afghan soldiers pass through his village near Muqor in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, June 25, 2012. The soldiers are assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.
U.S. Army Spc. Harley Young greets an Afghan boy while on patrol in Muqor in Afghanistan’s Ghazni province, June 27, 2012. Young is assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team.