"Give me 26 lead soldiers and I'll conquer the world," Karl Marx once said(referring to the 26 letters of our alphabet.) With our words, we have the power to build up or tear down, to comfort or to inflict pain, to bind up or to set free; yet we so easily look down on others and call them weak, worthless, or dumb with the utmost ease. As I begin my first ever blogging experience, I'd like to give everyone a glimpse at the effect that words have had on our lives. Enjoy!! **SYLKY**

Saturday, December 26, 2009

For the Little Ones-- By: Jason "Fear the Media"

for the little ones:

Try something for a minute… Close your eyes and try to picture war through the eyes of an 8 year old little boy. You're in the school yard playing soccer with your friends and family without a care in the world. All of the sudden there is an explosion and before you know it there's chaos. You look at the ground and see your little sister laying there lifeless. You feel helpless, the oldest of 3 children with your big brother responsibilities. They can't find your other sister and you can only assume the worst. The fear going through your mind sends you into shock. Gone from 8 years old without a care in the world to having your family cut down significantly by the horrors of war.

It didn't really hit me until tonight. They have been in the ICW(Intensive Care Ward) for the past week. Tonight we sent them out on a helicopter to go back home. I held the little 8 year old boys hand in mine as we walked the path up to the helipad. The past few days all of the nurses and attendees in the ICW had been spoiling them with gifts, candy and a good time. Almost to the point to where he had forgotten the horrible things he had seen. He smiled and played with the 3 other children they brought in that night. The other little ones still too young to completely understand exactly what had happened to them. I questioned whether or not the one little girl completely understood or not. She spent most of the time in the ICW with a blank expression on her face. As I was walked hand in hand with the little boy up until the moment when he saw the bird he seemed strong. In one fleeting moment everything flooded back to him at once. I'm sure the memories of what happened that fowl night played through his head and it all came rushing back to him. For every moment of life back in the states that I took for granted I am sorry. The strength of that little boy is unimaginable.He stayed strong up until that moment when he saw the helicopter. He cried and turned towards me as if he wanted me to save him from having to go back. Besides the language barrier that keeps me from directly talking to him and consoling him, I decided to stick with the universal language. I knelt down beside him and gave him a hug and told him, "Everything will be ok." I hope to God that I wasn't lying to him. It was a hard night tonight considering we didn't see anything major coming in. Up to now that serves as one of the hardest moments I've had in Iraq. I wish there was more I could do and it's this feeling of helplessness for them that kills me. I don't pray that often, but tomorrow morning before I go to bed I will say a prayer for them.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Communications Blackouts Suck!!!

I hate them. You hate them. We all hate them. For those of you who have no idea what I'm talking about, let me give you a brief explanation. Basically anytime someone gets killed in Iraq, there's a "communications blackout". This "blackout" is so that the families of the fallen can be notified, and basically everything shuts down-- No phone calls, no internet, NOTHING!!! Not only is it sad to know that one more soldier got killed at war, it's even tougher when you know that someone you know is right smack in the middle of that war. That's when the reality sets in and you can't help but wonder: "Are they okay?" Around that same time, all the army wives/girlfriends/future girlfriends really go into our "Oh my God" mode. When they see that their men/future men don't log on to their MySpaces, etc. for a few days, they know what's coming... more bad news. Someone's down. To make matters worse, by the time their men/future men finally DO get to talk to them and tell them they're okay, the media has already blown things way out of proportion.

So, here are my suggestion for my fellow army wives/girlfriends/future girlfriends:

1. "Stop watching the f'n news!!!!" If you're going to maintain any level of sanity for the rest of this deployment, stop torturing yourselves with all the crap the media tries to sell you. All you can do is sit down, turn the tv off and wait for your man to get in touch with you. It's hard as hell, trust me I know, but it's all you can do... so, just wait and pray for the best!!!

2. I know you're all tight like that, and tell each each other everything, but there's certain things that you gotta keep on the hush hush. Like locations and dates and stuff. So, for all those military gals giving out too much information on their men's whereabouts-- Shut the hell up!!!" Do you know that you could be putting your man, let me rephrase that...ALL of our men in danger if the information you post online gets into the wrong hands? I know you want to be informed at all times, and are just looking for other military gals to give you info when you don't hear from your man for a long time, but again.... just wait and pray for the best.

3. Join a club, start a blog, do whatever it takes to keep yourself busy while your man's away. As for me... I enrolled in college. Let me tell you, nothing is gonna keep your mind more busy than to have 500 research papers to write. The amount of work I get in one week is like the amount of work I did throughout my entire high school years... that was about 7 years ago, though. LOL. Part of me wishes I would've started college straight out of high school...I'd have my bachelor's by now... but the other part thinks it's good that someone motivated me to go to college while he's away. It keeps my mind occupied on schoolwork instead of thinking about all the things he's forced to face in Baghdad.

4. Allow yourself time to vent. This is for all of you who think I'm superwoman. Well, I'm far from it! Sometimes, when I get home and I'm all alone in my room with my thoughts...I cry just like any other soldier-lovin gal does. I miss him!! I can't even tell you the times I've woken up in the middle of the night and I swear I can just feel him there beside me. I hate waking up to the reality that he's on the other side of the world right now in the middle of this terrible war. I start to wonder if he's safe, or keeping warm, or if he's hungry-- but I don't allow myself to dwell on those thoughts too much. Still, I always wish that he was here and I could play with his little chest hairs and fall asleep safe and warm in his arms. All I have are the stuffed monkeys and the letters and pictures he's sent me... so I cherish them so very much!!! Anyway, what I'm saying is-- FIND BALANCE IN YOUR LIFE! Allow yourself time to let your feelings out. Women naturally want to act tougher than they are, but it's not good to keep all those emotions bottled up inside. (Oh my God, that was so Oprah of me. LOL.) Yet don't overdue it... if you spend your time thinking about how horrible Iraq is and how much you miss your man ALL THE TIME, you're gonna head into depression fast. So, relax, chill, go take a bubble bath, treat yourself to some chocolate, cookies or ice cream (don't overdue eating sweets either, LOL). Remember that this time spent away from your man, is a time that you can use to really get to know yourself, and learn how to truly appreciate that time to prepare for when your man returns. You're gonna need this prep time. Once you and your man pick up where you left off, there's gonna be a whole readjustment process that you'll both have to go through, and it'll be tougher than any waiting period you're going through now.

5. When your man finally does get in touch with you... DON'T LET OUT THE DRAMA QUEEN. Think about it, do you really think that your man is gonna come back exhausted from days without showering or sleeping, call home to finally hear the sound of your voice, and then have you go all super-bitch on him? Uh, no. Don't start rambling about the problems at home, how you think he doesn't love you cause he hasn't called, and for Pete's sake... do not freak out and become a sobbing mess if he calls you and you hear mortars going off in the distance. (LOL, I learned that one the hard way.) Hello.... there's a war going on!!!! So, tell him that you love him. Remind him that you are going to be right there for him when he gets back. Remind him of all the things he has to look forward to when he gets home. TELL HIM HOW VERY PROUD YOU ARE OF HIM. Little things like that go a long way, and I know that our men need all the love and support they can get right now.

So, to hell with the communications blackouts!!! Count your blessings now, and enjoy every second that you DO get to share with the man you love, I know I do.