A Soldier’s Wife, On Afghanistan
posted at 3:58 pm on April 26, 2010 by Tanya
Isn’t it funny how sometimes you can’t read something good without hunting for the tarnished, dark lining? I’ve read this twice, and I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have one.
When you think of the war in Afghanistan, what images come to mind? Taliban fighters? Burqa-clad women? Poppy fields? Debating politicians? War protesters?
The most recent image that comes to my mind is my toddler son blowing kisses to the governor of Shah Wali Kot District.
It’s an editorial written by the wife of a soldier on his sixth deployment to Afghanistan — a woman from San Francisco, no less. And her great outlook and huge heart made me smile in several ways.
It’s said that Americans have never before been so disconnected from the soldiers who are fighting on their behalf. You can change that. Find a family with a loved one serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Listen to their stories. Learn how they see the war – and how they cope with kin in combat.
Not bad advice, huh? And on a website like CSM, she’s not preaching entirely to the choir, either.
But check this part out. Her husband’s company helped open a school in Shah Wali Kot, and she decided to help too, by holding a charity drive to raise money for supplies needed at the school — to help the kids her husband saw every day, half a world away, but she could never expect to meet.
“The district governor wants you to know,” began the interpreter, “that because of those supplies, 200 children who are so very poor now have a school.” He went on to explain, “Before your husband came here, the area was so dangerous. Now people are safer and happier.”
Meanwhile, the evening news often shows only the dark side of war. A roadside bomb or missile strike will always get more attention than quiet, yet far-reaching, acts of diplomacy and nation-building between US soldiers and Afghan civilians.
Do yourself a favor and go read the whole thing. It’s nothing all that special — just one more American family trying to patch back together what the Taliban broke — so of course it’s amazingly special. And if you’re the sniffly sort, this serves as your official kleenex warning.
My son doesn’t know about war yet. But one day he will study the Afghan war in school. When he does, I’ll remind him of the morning he blew kisses to the district governor of Shah Wali Kot and his dad in uniform, next to him.