Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Wake Up and Smell the Lilies

31 January 2006

I was at Green Beans the other night getting coffee when I ran into a friend of mine. She asked if I had taken the time to read the link that she forwarded to me with her new website and her new journal. I had told her no, not yet, but I would. Then (foolishly), I asked why. She replied that she mentioned me in terms of comments that I had made to her a month or so ago. I will quote her so that I don’t misquote her words…besides, they are on the web.

“A friend of mine told me that I can’t write about my experiences without including the war and the bloodshed and the horror, since that is what war is, but I am learning that war can be used to build and to unite and to do good. This is what I want you to see…”

“…I hope my little anecdotes and logs bring a smile to your face and help you to feel just a little bit of the experiences I have had so far. I have decided that I am not going to concentrate on politics or war or fear or anything negative. This is a positive time in my life and I want to share it that way.”

Well, Snow White, maybe in your perfect little domain in Florida at Disney World, life is grand and life is perfect. I’m sure that your wars are fought with marshmallows and your IED’s are like whoopee cushions planted in seats. However, in the real world, real people’s lives are destroyed. Real people feel the anger, disappointment and sadness because of the war which you believe “can be used to build and to unite and to do good” while the blood of over 2000 of our soldiers have spilled in the streets in your perceived peaceful little paradise. You may choose to see things through rose colored glasses, but hopefully you won’t be so surprised when (one day) the realities of this little party here hit you and you realize that it sucks and it won’t be ignored, pushed to the back page or prettied-up.

This may be a “positive time in your life” and you may “want to share it that way,” but for many others, the ends aren’t justifying the means. You haven’t been here to live through the rocket and mortar attacks; to see anyone in the trailer next to you burned, maimed or killed; and as a civilian, we certainly haven’t been called upon to accompany the patrols that leave the gate to perform patrols in downtown Baghdad.

I’d like to share with you a letter from an old Air Force buddy of mine. Cary wrote me this email just this week…only hours after I read what a wonderful experience this other friend of mine is having here in her non-confrontational Zen corner at Camp Victory.

I’m sure that Madison will never share the rosy outlook of my friend, and certainly not during her life will anyone ever be able to justify not having her Daddy to share her special moments with throughout her new life when she is born next month, in March. (See Below)

At least our friend here is still having a great time in Iraq accentuating the positive. I’m sure if she keeps those positive thoughts coming, Iraq will be a better place real soon. And remember honey, when you go on leave, wear your rose colored glasses, don’t get spooked when the planes send out flares as a “just in case” against missiles launched at them, and, above all, phone ahead to make sure that you don’t have to share the cargo hold of the C17 or C130 you are flying back to Kuwait in with any flag-draped remains going to Kuwait en route to their destination Stateside.

Cary, may God keep you, everyone that Kyle touched and especially little Madison’s family in his comforting embrace during this difficult time.

“Friends, Scouters, and Family,
The young man mentioned below died in Iraq less than two weeks ago. This really hit me hard as I spent 3 weeks in the summer of 2003 with him backpacking in New Mexico at Philmont. Kyle was a fun kid to be around. This is my first causality of the war. I sit here with tears in my eyes thinking about Kyle.
Please keep his family and friends in your prayers. Hug your kids, kiss your parents, and tell everyone that is important to you that you love them because you never know when your time on the earth will end.
God bless you, our military, and the USA!

Marine from Southern Illinois is killed in Iraq
By Aisha Sultan

A 19-year-old Marine from a small town in Southern Illinois was killed by enemy fire while on guard duty in Ramadi, Iraq.

Lance Cpl. Jonathan Kyle Price, of Woodlawn, was due to return next month and planned to marry his pregnant fiancée within days of his return. Family members learned of his death Friday.

"He wanted to go over there and fight for his family and his country," said John Hunsell, Price's stepfather. Although details about his death were still sketchy, family members said they had been told Price was on security detail for Marine engineers when they came under fire.

Price was an Eagle Scout and graduated from Woodlawn High School in 2004. He was sent to Iraq in August.

"He always wanted to be in the military," said his mother Cheryl Hunsell. "From the time he was a little boy."

Ron Riley, a family friend and Price's former scoutmaster, said Price was involved in the community and his church. He played baseball in high school and joined the Young Marines. He was also part of the yearbook staff.

"He was outgoing, making friends with anybody," he said. "It would be pretty hard not to like Kyle."

Riley said friends and family had been praying for Price's safe return. The young couple had planned to be married wherever Price landed.

His fiancée, Brea Tate, said Price was excited to come home to her and a new baby.

"He would have made the best father in the world."

Their baby girl is due in March. Her name will be Madison.

God Bless you Dave, and all the folks over there doing the right thing
# posted by Cary Purcell : 3:56 AM

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