If you are a parent...

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If you are a parent...

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dec 28, 2008, 11:55 pm

You love and protect your children. I have met many parents who angrily tell me that their children will never serve in the military. Mine will, but not because I told them to. They want to. When I get home next year my boy will be getting ready to leave for basic training.

You may be against war for understandable reasons. I don't question that. But do you understand who and what we are fighting against? An ideology and mindset that is truly medieval. These fanatics would exterminate us all if they could.

From Kabul, Afghanistan:

A single-file line of school children walked past a military checkpoint Sunday as a bomb-loaded truck veered toward them and exploded, ending the lives of 14 young Afghans in a heartbreaking flash captured by a US military security camera.

The video shows an SUV slowly weaving through sandbag barriers at a military checkpoint just as a line of school children, most wearing white caps, comes into view. They walk along a pathway between the street and a wall, several of them pausing for a few seconds in a group before moving forward again. The vehicle moves toward the security camera while the children walk in the opposite direction, nearly passing the SUV when the footage ends in a fiery blast.

Photos of the bombing's aftermath showed bloodied textbooks lying on the ground beside small pairs of shoes. Afghan officials said the kids were attending a final day of class for the year to find out whether they would move up to the next grade.

Dr. Abdul Rahman, a doctor at a hospital near the blast, said the children were aged 8 to 10.

The US military said the attack in the eastern province of Khost killed 16 people, including 14 children, an Afghan soldier and another person-likely a private security guard that Afghan officials reported killed. The US said 58 people were wounded.

In an angry condemnation of the attack, President Hamid Karzai said those that carried it out "cannot escape the revenge of Afghans and God's punishment."

The U.N. mission in Afghanistan and the NATO-led force also strongly condemned the attack.

US Gen. David McKiernan, the top NATO commander in Afghanistan, said he believes the militant network run by warlord Siraj Haqqani was responsible for the attack.

"The brutality and disregard for human life by terrorists is sickening, as I continue to witness innocent men, women and children being killed and maimed in the pursuit of this pointless insurgency," McKiernan said in a statement.
There have been other attacks especially against female children and adults. Their crime? They went to school and were punished by having acid thrown in their faces.

For any society to survive, it's people must be willing to fight if necessary. As must ours if we are to stop things like this from happening. There are forces out here in the big wide world who consider themselves at war with all who will not submit to their twisted, evil ideology.

This is why, as much as I will worry about him going in harm's way, I totally support my son's joining up. OldSarge is getting old for this game and it's time for the next generation to stand between home and evil.

dec 29, 2008, 12:06 am

Thank you, OldSarge for saying it so eloquently. I have a stepson who just got back from Iraq for the Christmas holidays, and even though I am not his natural mother, I could not be more proud of him and the sacrifices he has made (including missing the births of both of his children). Our military deserves our respect.

dec 29, 2008, 9:51 am

You are a wonderful exception to most parents I have dealt with. I assisted with recruiting once and only once. I walked out and told the recruiter to never ask me to talk to the parents of a prospective recruit again. The mother was so nasty I don't know why she was even there.

It's not respect or a lack of concerning the military that troubles me. It's the attitude of not my child, let some one else do it. I even got yelled at by a member of my family when I asked if my nephew had considered the military.

I guess I'm looking at it differently. My family has worn the unifrom of the US Army since the American Civil War. To me it's a shared sacrifice. The world is full of evil people and they have to be stood up to to protect our society. Sometimes that requires us to go after them and get dirty. Two oceans cannot keep them away as is painfully obvious now.

dec 29, 2008, 8:55 pm

Thank you Old Sarge for stating this, and for your service. My son is too young now, but if he chooses to serve, I will be proud (worried sick, but proud). My dad was in the Guard (before Vietnam) and I have cousins serving in the military now.

I've told my son it'll be his choice, unless there's a draft. If he's called up, he'll serve. I've also taught him to respect soldiers, something not all his classmates do. War is evil, but sometimes we must fight to defeat greater evil. And we all must share the duty and the responsibility for it.

Again, thank you.

dec 29, 2008, 9:20 pm

Neither of my children are in the service. My father was in the Air Force during the Korean War. Thank you for sharing this with us.

dec 29, 2008, 9:52 pm

I have a 15-year old daughter who will probably not be in the military, but she is extremely proud of her father's serving in the Cold War, 1976-1982, as a Submariner. She knows his rank, his boats, and all the stories he's willing to tell her.

My dad served in the Army in WWII and my husband's dad served in the Army in Korea.

We're very proud of all three and all the men and women who serve.