It all started with a phone call from Matt that went as follows.
I was about to sit down to dinner Tuesday evening when the phone rang.
I answered it and got the all to typical silence, with a soft click in the background.
Tele-marketers use these auto dialers to dial several numbers at a time, and they answer the ones that pick up first. The dialer hangs up on those who answer when the operator is on the phone with someone else.
The first thought that popped in to my head was, f---ing telemarketers, and I was about to hang up when I heard a muffled voice say hello. I responded in kind, and got, I can’t hear you very well can you hear me. It was Matt, and I could hear him quite plainly. Weird, as usually I have a terrible time hearing him, and the delay is terrible also.
We did the hello, I can’t hear you very well, I spoke up, and how about now, nope no better, then he said I’m ok. Your going to get a call from someone at battalion, I can’t hear you. I’ll call back, then click.
Does anyone know how long two to three minutes is?
It’s one long assed time, I can tell you that.
I waited with trembling hands, and tears welling in my eyes.
Real men don’t cry…..
I fought it back.
I didn’t want to scare my wife and other son.
After what felt like an eternity the phone rang again. And we started all over.
“Hello”, (me) “Hello”, (Matt) can you hear me”. “I can hear you fine, can you hear me”, “not very well”. I spoke up, “how about now”? “Nope”. “Are you alright”? A long silence, “yeah I’m alright”. He wasn’t very convincing.
“I wanted to get in-touch with you before brigade calls and over exaggerates what happened”.
“Ok. What happened”.
“We got blown up earlier tonight”. (Probably wasn’t a bad connection after all) “But we’re ok”.
I asked, “where are you”? “I don’t know”? “We’re north of where I told you we were last time”. “But I’m not sure of where exactly”.
And that’s the way it went.
He kept repeating that he was ok, but I could tell something was wrong.
The phone call from battalion never came.
I got an email from Matt this morning.
He and Webster, Nguyen, and Capt. Beatty were on patrol, it was Matt’s turn to drive. He and Webster are taking turns for the regular driver who is on leave. He remembers seeing a hole in the road and swerving to miss it. Then there was an explosion. He doesn’t know if it was in the hole, or on the side of the road, but it blew out two of the tires, and blew the exhaust cover off the top of the Stryker. They got thrown around some. He banged his head, and hurt his back, and where as they made him go to the aid station, this time, he thought it was protocol that we would be notified and he didn’t want us to worry. He said, “It happens more often than you know”. “But it’s not that big of a deal”. “I just didn’t want them calling, and exaggerating”.
I didn’t tell him, but we worry every day. We’re parents.
What else would we do.
I don’t worry much about him being killed in action.
I know that there's a chance that it might happen, but there’s nothing I can do about it.
If it does happen, I’ll deal with it then.
I worry more about what type of person he’ll be when he comes home.
Will he be one who can put it all in perspective and get on with his life?
Only time will tell.
Whatever happens we’ll go on loving and supporting him.
What else can we do?
When I realy start feeling bad for myself, I think about these guys.
Then I remind myself that I don't have it all that bad.?
When I feel like I can't deal with one more problem.
I remember how much worse it could be.
The next time you see a man or woman in uniform just walk up and say thank you.
It's not easy. I get emotional every time.
But think how difficult it is for them to do what they do.
They will appreciate it.
Before I close, I have a bitch.
Have you heard Toby Keith’s song, I’m Already There? I think that’s the name, or Lay Me Down.
Anyway, I’d like to see everyone boycott this ballad.
What right does Toby Keith have writing a song about a soldier dieing in Iraq.
I seriously doubt that he ever served in the military.
This song has a lovely melody to it, but a terrible message.
It’s a shameless, selfish commercial ploy to play on the heartstrings of country music listeners all for the mighty buck.
There is no glory, or appreciation for what soldiers do, or how they die involved.
Only a story of a soldier who dies in Iraq talking to his mother, father, and pregnant wife.
How does Toby Keith know what a soldier in Iraq feels.
I turn the radio off every time the song comes on.
I am in the process of writing a letter to Mr. Keith explaining how this song makes one father feel.
I can only imagine that there are many other moms and dads that feel the same.
Am I being too sensitive?
Drop me a line and let me know what you think.