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You're only given a little spark of madness. You mustn't lose it. Robin Williams

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Location: Kentucky, United States

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Shalom

The last couple of days have reminded me of how I felt growing up under the threat of Vietnam and the Cold war. When I was eight years old, I was already aware that I might end up fighting in a war I knew nothing about. The peripheral of daily life always included the news of war and the lists of the dead. I don’t remember my parents ever discussing it with me, or much detailed discussion around our household, but at times it was an unspoken question of would I die when I turned eighteen.

Later when I was a teenager, I became self aware of the reality of nuclear war, and how it could affect my family and me. I learned the effect a twenty mega-ton air blast would have if detonated over Fort Knox. Twelve miles away the heat would blister the paint on cars. They told us Russia had enough missiles for every town with a population of 10,000 or more, and that some missiles where targeted for individual people. We lived twenty road minutes from a town that fit that description, for population and army leadership. I learned that hiding under your desk at school would not do much good when the shock wave disintegrated the building.

I never had to be drafted, I never even came close. I still held my breath for six years or so after turning 18. Technically, I could still be drafted because I work in the medical field, but they don’t have much front line need for a forty-three year old echo cardiographer.

I have two sons, ages fifteen and twelve. I am holding my breath again.

What would I give for the security of my country? Would I give my life? Yes, I would stand with those who are fighting today. I understand the need of what we are doing. It is much more complex than any sound bite or single essay from either point of view can explain. Would I give the life of my sons? I would gladly endure any torture, fight bare handed and with my teeth to protect my family. I would nuke them all. I would nuke them all. You cannot have my sons.

Today there are two nations of sons faced off against each other. God help us. Pray for peace in the Middle East. They are all our children.

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