The thing about vacation is, if done right, it can shield you from the harsh realities of the world. That’s what happened to me last week. I was far enough removed from all news sources (I never read a paper or turned a television on) that I had no idea what was happening, and I was blissfully ignorant. In fact, on the way to New York I was uploading a video to social media of me singing a geographically relevant song to my husband (a tradition we *cough* both *cough* love on road trips) when I caught a glimpse of the 82nd Airborne loading a plane in Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. I messaged our nephew to make sure he was still safely on leave in Kansas City, and he was. He is. For now. That’s all I needed to know at that moment. I fell back into the black hole of vacation bliss.
That was until the train ride to New York City on our last Friday in the hole. My traveling companion made a comment about how she was trying to ignore “Iran” and I desperately tried to ignore it with her. Then a few minutes later I was standing in the dining car with Jackson, loading up on soda and candy, and I overheard a man in a booth saying that our president threatened Iran via Twitter. Bubble bursted.
What’s worse, I thought who would be okay with this?! Who is out there thinking this is fine, and normal, and that we need another war? Then yesterday, when we got home, after we caught a few winks, I logged onto Facebook and I found them. Those people who blindly support our president. Those people who take our military for granted. Those people who forget that we lost 4,500 service members in the long, arduous war with Iraq starting in 2002. Those people. Those people who say, “Oh, you’re scared of Iran? Pft!”
Because yes. I am scared of Iran. Because yes, I am scared of war. And not just because I have a lot of military in my family, but because I can see. I can remember. I can connect the dots of war. I am scared for our people. Our country. Our world. I am scared for the little boys and girls who are 18 years old and being shipped doff to a world they don’t know to fight because our president started a war on Twitter. I am scared for what this will do to our steady-ish economy. What this will do to our children. Their children. Whole generations are torn in war. Do these people really not remember? Have they never read a history book? Are they so blinded by their strict opinions on anything from guns, to abortion, to Fox News that they can’t see past the tips of their noses? The answer is yes. Yes they are.
I know I’m not saying anything new to most of you. Most of you are in the boat with me. Shaking your heads. Checking to ensure your voter card is in your pocket. Holding the cross on your neck. Speaking goodnesses into the world in an attempt to change the track we are headed down. And I thank you. I thank you for all you do, all the time you spend worrying, wishing, hoping, praying. But tell me, what do we do now? Because I am lost in this moment. Lost and wishing for that hole again.
Stay safe out there.