The forgotten soldiers of war

Nise's Notes
By Denise Schoppe

The Marlin Democrat
November 30, 2005

Earlier this month, we celebrated Veteran's Day. It was a day to remember those who have served in war -- many of whom gave the ultimate price for our freedom. These men and women deserve our thanks and respect every day, but there are those silent soldiers right here on our home soil that are often forgotten. These are the families of our soldiers.

My boyfriend is a musician who has spent the last week and a half in European countries bringing a little bit of home to our soldiers overseas. He's previously spent time in South Korea and Japan, but this most recent trip took him close to the heart of the current on-going unrest that thousands of our soldiers are being sent out to face head-on. I'm proud of him and all those with him for their going over there, and it is a no-brainer to encourage their travels in this "Operation Season's Greetings."

However, even as I've known he was as safe as he could be, and I've been fortunate to actually talk to him several times, there's been this underlying fear and stress that will continue until I know he's safely back at home.

It's these feelings that opened my eyes to those right here at home that deserve our admiration.

How dare I feel such concern when I know he'll be back soon, and I know he and his fellow bandmates are being protected by our Air Force? I can't even begin to claim to know the feelings that the spouses, children, parents, siblings and friends of our soldiers feel every day. At least I have an itinerary to follow, and I have a pretty good idea where my boyfriend is at any given time during this trip.

These loved ones of our military personnel don't have that luxury. They certainly don't have the luxury of knowing they're husband or wife will be home at night. They can't take a good grade to Mommy or Daddy. They can't share an important anniversary with their child. They can't share a round of beer during a good football game with their buddy.

These people, too, are making a huge sacrifice for our country. They see on the news about bombings, terrorism, and missile strikes. They know that someone so dear to their hearts could be there, and they know that person just might not come back home.

However, I may be stepping out of line, but I dare to say that a vast majority of those here at home feel a pride in their soldier who is over there fighting. Even as they want them to come home, they're also proud of them for being there.

They go through their days like normal. Most you would never know are members of this silent team of soldiers here at home. It takes someone very special to be the spouse, parent, child and/or sibling of a soldier. They are strong people... strong people that also deserve our thanks.

Thank you to all of you who wait here at home for your soldiers. Thank you for sacrificing memories, precious moments, and for handling emotions many could not handle. You are a lifeline and a string of sanity for all of those who serve and protect all of us.You are very much a part of what happens "over there."

Thank you to all of those who currently serve our country in this silent way. Thank you to all of you who have served in this capacity in the past as well. And to everyone who will be in these people's shoes... it is a thankless job. There is no Veteran's Families' Day. However, it is also one of the most highest importance.

Last week, we all celebrated Thanksgiving. The next four weeks we prepare for Christmas. It's the holiday season, a time of giving, hoping and loving. The forgotten soldiers of war give every day their loved one is away. And it is during this season that their sacrifice is most strongly felt. Please take the time to not only think of our soldiers, but remember their families as well. They need the love and support of all American's, too.
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