A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Do you look or turn away when you see one of those bumper stickers that proudly proclaim that someone related to the owner of the vehicle is serving in our armed forces?

I'm a looker. I look and I wonder. Is that his wife? Her husband? Is that his Mother or her Father? I look and I wonder how they stand it. Does having a bumper sticker on the car help with the worry I wonder? Worry.Worry. Worry. My two boys are nearby and I worry about them all the time. I worry about mundane dumb stuff like...

Do they have enough gas in the car? Are they wearing condoms? Is their college loan going to be enough money? Stuff like that.

What I don't have to worry about is whether someone in a far away land hates them because of the uniform they are wearing and is shooting at them just because they are an American. Most gratefully I don't have that kind of terror clutching at my heart each night before I go to sleep.

A couple of days ago there was a truck in front of me at the gas station. We were both filling up. The rear window of the truck was in three sections.

The driver's window said:
Deployed 11-01-2008

In the center it said:
Proud Mom of U.S. Marine
Sgt J___ M______
3x in Iraq. Now in AF (Afghanistan)

The passenger window said:
Guard your men.
Watch your six.
Come home safe.

She's a Mom just like me I thought. How does she do it I wondered? A Marine in Afghanistan who has already survived 3 tours in Iraq? Ho-lee crap! It boggled.

Why I'm bringing this up...

I got another traffic ticket. I was pretty devastated. I mean I went through ANOTHER red light and didn't even notice it? That's dumb. That's scary. That's freaking expensive. *sigh* But, I see this window at the gas station and I start thinking...and counting my blessings.

I'm so thankful I don't have to carry that burden. It was humbling. It was enlightening.

Perspective... is everything.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, as much as I think the Iraq war is BS (not Afghanistan), my heart breaks when I see things like this. Christmas 2007 was the first time I'd been in the US since the war started and I saw some soldiers in the airport and was so shocked (don't know why) and aware of what a tough, tough job they're doing--and how tough it is for those waiting for them to come home.

2:01 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Gabrielle, I remember being on a plane at 12 heading to Japan to meet my Dad (with Mom & sibs). The plane was filled with young men on their way to Vietnam. It was 1967. I've thought about them many, many times over the years wondering if the young man who played cards with me for hours made it home. I now realize they were all 18 to about 22 years old and it boggles my mind.

2:31 AM PST  
Blogger lisabea said...

Re: the ticket.

Apparently, I drive by feel. Equally as devastating and as costly. You and I need to PAY attention.

5:54 AM PST  
Blogger Lori said...

Perspective... very well said. Every now and then, I will say thank you for your service to a soldier I see. They always look shy but say thank you, ma'am. Damn, I'm a ma'am now.

And for crying out loud. Pay attention, woman!

7:29 AM PST  
Blogger MaryMary said...

I don't think worrying about your boys wearing a condom is "dumb stuff". It's about thier safety and well-being, which is what a mom of a soldier worries about. I've been at the airport on "key spouse" duty with the squadron and have either "welcomed home" or had to "farewell" airmen on their way to Irag or Afghanistan. I tell you, I still haven't managed to control the tears. I often wonder how their wives or husbands (which is a whole other thing) cope with the absence, the worry, the what-ifs. I guess like anything(and you know a thing or two about coping with hard stuff) they do the best they can. Parenting isn't for wusses!!!!

About the ticket...be careful, would ya? You're important to a lot of people!

8:44 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

Not just the worry, but the fact that you can't just pick up the phone and talk to you wife, husband, son, daughter, whomever. I've never been to Iraq or Afghanistan - but I'm thinking they don't have pay phones on every corner and you can't hit Starbucks for some WiFi. That would drive me insane.

So Rosie...are you off to traffic school now?

9:20 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

Gosh, Rosie... be careful! LOL :) How many tickets did you get overall? and how does it work? Here, we have a point system... I think everyone has 15 points and when you're down to a certain number (like 3 or 5), they take away your license... Bear in mind... a stop or traffic light is 3 points... speeding might cost you 10 depending on where you're speeding. I don't like it.

4:53 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

LB, can I hear an Amen!

Lori, I get "ma'am'd' all the time by the young whippersnappers at the fire dept. *sigh* I AM the age of most of their mothers.

Paying attention. Novel thought. I've altered my route to work for just that reason.

Mary, my baby sister... you never told me about the airport thing before. Dang. I'd be a blubbering mess. As for the condom warnings, I see many (many) of those in your future since you are raising those three wild hellions nephews of mine.

Wendy, yes! Another good point you make...being out of touch. Gads, I talk to Beanie about every other day thanks to the miracle of cell phones.

Yessssss...traffic school...again!

Nathie, you're killing me here. What do you mean how many tickets does this make it. Crikeys! TWO...okay. But after all these years of driving without a ticket (20 years since the last one) to get TWO in one year for the SAME VIOLATION is just awful. And scary since both times I'm pictured calmly driving my car through a red light.

9:46 PM PST  
Blogger nath said...

Two only? Don't worry then... it's just because you were due... you know. Maybe you're having a bad year or something... I remember one year, I got 3 or 4 tickets... two for running a stop and 2 for parking. it sucks, but it happens... Then, not a sign of a ticket... Okay, so I haven't been driving as long as you, LOL :) But it just happens, you know.

4:18 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Nath, yes only two, but two's bad enough and I'm completely dispirited about it. I also have a sense of disbelief. I would NEVER intentionally run a red light. Believe me I'm totally getting "it just happens" right now because there's no other explanation.

10:45 PM PST  
Blogger Holly said...

Several members of my family are in the armed forces. My nephew was in Iraq during some of the worst fighting and was actually in an accident when a convoy of trucks was blown up (he was there and had to help "his marines" to safety..he was later awarded 2 purples hearts). It's scary. Very scary. Even now that he's home I worry about him and the damage done to him psychologically.

Thinking about his tours of duty, and those of my cousin and uncle, really do keep things in perspective.

Of course, I probably wouldn't have gotten a ticket because I would have told them I'm married to a cop..but still. (snicker)

Good post, babe.

10:56 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Holly, I remember you talking about your nephew when he left. I can't imagine the worry each and every day a loved one is serving. We recently watched the movie VALLEY OF ELAH with Tommy Lee Jones. It's about US soldiers who served in Iraq coming home. It also touches on some of our policies over there and how it impacts these young men. I cried and cried...not just about the story, but for the families and the young men that are suffering.

I sure hope all goes well with your nephew. Thank him for his service and please let him know there are people out there in the world who pray for soldiers every day and appreciate their sacrifice.

10:45 PM PST  

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