May 27, 2013
FROM THE ARCHIVES: SON TO THE FATHER, FATHER TO THE SON (via Daniel Merriman):
Fathers, Sons and the Lessons of War (Frank Schaeffer, May 30, 2005, LA Times)
I never served in the military. Before my son unexpectedly volunteered for the Marines, I was busy writing my novels and raising my family, and giving little thought to the men and women who guard us. My attitude has changed. I did not choose to change. I was forced to.
When my son was at war in Iraq I felt anger toward my circle of oldest friends -- mostly well-off, well-educated people. I didn't know one other parent with a son or daughter in harm's way or even in the military. And no leaders were asking Americans outside the military to make any sacrifices. Were we all in this together or not?
My son, Marine Sgt. John Schaeffer, recently came home alive from two back-to-back combat tours in the Middle East. [...]
There are Americans on their knees next to fresh graves from Arlington to Bozeman, from Tampa to Fargo. There are young men and women learning to walk again and receiving skin grafts for horrible burns.
Before my son went to war I never would have shed tears for them. My son humbled me. My son connected me to my country. He taught me that our men and women in uniform are not the "other."
They are our sons, daughters, brothers and sisters. Sometimes shedding tears for strangers is a sacred duty. Sometimes it's all we can do.
Posted by oj at May 27, 2013 12:00 AM
[originally posted: 5/30/05]