Sunday, September 10, 2006

To Young to Be a Widow

One of my favorites on my blogroll is The Library Lady Rants. We’ve a number of things in common- we are both librarians, liberal Democrats, the mothers of daughters and lovers of kid lit.We actually found each other via the Betsy Tacy list and then meet up again a number of years late on Blogexplosion.

She marked the upcoming 5th anniversary of 9/11 with a post entitled “Dead at 21”.
Some 3000+ young men and women have given their lives for The Shurb’s little overseas adventure. I’ve been ruminating a similar post round in my brain for some time.

The local news always covers “The Death of a Hero”. There have been all too many of such sad segments. Texas has more than its fair share of enlisted men and women. Most are Hispanic or African American – reflecting the racial make up of our “All Volunteer Army”. The Anglo soldiers hail from East Houston and smaller towns surrounding the Houston metroplex – areas that are overwhelming blue collar – the land the urban cowboys call home.

These soldiers are oh so young and most are fathers. Only 19, 20 or 21 they already have a wife and one, two or three children. Many of the wives are living with their extended family and look much too young to be bear this kind of burden. They are 17, 18, 19 years old and should be in school, out shopping with friends or exploring the world. Instead, they are coping with motherhood, single parenthood and now widowhood. A lifetime of living in just 3 or 4 years.

That is not the way it is supposed to be. Nature intended us to spend 30 or 40 years on this life path, not 3 or 4. They look at the camera and talk about being “proud that he died doing what he believed in” yet we never see any follow up stories. We don’t know how they feel 6 months or a year later. Do they still mouth the party line? Or has reality set in? Do they realize that their husbands gave their lives for oil prices and party politics?
Are they angry? They should be.

The politicians sent their husbands off to war and turned them into widows’ way before their time. Yet the children of said politicians are safe in college, marrying, starting families, beginning their careers with no thought of going forth to fight and die in the heat and squalor known as Iraq.

In the eyes of the administration, the war is a good war, so long as the black and brown citizens of America are fighting it. What is going to happen when we run out of black and brown cannon fodder? The Soccer Moms who brought this President to office will turn on him like a lioness defending her cubs if the draft is reinstated to feed the war machine.

And the first one will be the Wife of the Shrub – her blond, blue eyed daughters are just the right age to go forth and fight their Daddy’s little war. He knows they never will, which is why he thinks it is a good little war. The newly made widows would beg to differ.


landismom said...

Yeah, I agreed with TLL's post, and yours is right on too. Although it's inconceivable to me that Shrub would draft women, so I think the twins are safe from any fate except the widowing one. (And even that seems highly unlikely, given that Daddy's the CinC.)

MsAbcMom said...

Well stated.

Library Lady said...

Even if the draft did get instituted, you know dern well that the children of our politicians would end up with deferments, waivers or serve in the National Guard. After all, that's what the current ones did.
Though the National Guard is no longer a safe haven, is it?

They'd all be officers anyway. Still in danger, but less likely than the enlisted types to end up as cannon fodder--or, to honor Star Trek's birthday--as "red shirts".

Anonymous said...

Here, here! I could not agree more!!!

Julie said...

Well said, Guusje!