Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Less Then 1%

Why blog? Why me? Why am I doing this? Good questions, really. The answer comes down to a disturbing statistic, less than 1%. That is the percentage of the approximately 300+ million of us fortunate enough to claim U.S. citizenship that are actively fighting the Global War on Terror .

(Henceforth referred to as GWOT. It's easier for me to type, and besides, I like the funny sound it makes when you say it. Go ahead and say it out loud - GWOT! GWOT, GWOT, GWOT! Okay, enough of that, back to business).

When the nation is at war, but the country is not, this is not healthy for the Republic. Don't get me wrong, its definitely not due to a lack of support by Americans. I have first hand stories of acts of kindness and respect from citizens that will bring tears to your eyes. And I'm not going to bash those whose sole act of participation in the GWOT comes down to sporting a "Support Out Troops" magnet on their car. Because in most instances, that is the only thing they know to do. Because to them, the GWOT is some vague abstract, yet horrific thing fought on their behalf, but doesn't affect them directly other than a hassle at the airport and obscenely high gas prices (who'd of thought that it would actually cost me $50 bucks to top off my '99 Dodge Intrepid - clearly these are dark, foreboding end-times).

However, to the 2 million plus of us actually fighting the GWOT, 9/11 truly did change everything. I'm not just talking soldiers, but all military folks - uniformed and civilian. I also include homeland security and intelligence services types, as well as first responders of every stripe. We're the ones for whom the GWOT is a harsh, daily reality, for whom "normal" is a profane word. We have fallen through the rabbit hole, our lives been turned inside out, our families stressed in every way, our careers forever altered, our health, physical and mental, pushed to the limits and beyond.

Before you get the wrong idea, I'm not looking for pity, but rather understanding. We volunteered for this in most cases. Our nation most definitely is worth the sacrifices being made. It's just that we as a country, need to know what those sacrifices are and the price they exact. The U.S. citizenry has not only a right, but a duty to know what's being done on their behalf.

Hence this blog, along with many others written by my brothers and sisters fighting the GWOT. Since we make up a tiny portion of the populace, chances are pretty good that most people don't know anyone personally effected by the GWOT. So, it is our duty to keep the rest of the nation informed through venues as this. As it is the nation's responsibility to stay informed.

Keep reading America! I'll leave you with one of my favorite quotes from George Orwell:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

4 comments:

membrain said...

Thanks for the blog and thanks for serving. I look forward to futures posts. All the best.

Shaneniganz said...

Thank you for creating your blog. As others do, I look forward to reading your new posts. I am very happy when I find a new blog from someone in, going to, or returning from Afghanistan, I prefer to get my news this way rather then some over filtered biased fluff that the MSM tries to feed us. My husband is in his 2nd year there in Afg. and this way I can get a clearer picture of the country and GWOT. Enjoy your family time, and I hope you have a safe trip.

mamaworecombatboots said...

"Although I didn't know it, I would never, ever see this scene again."

Ah, the emotions you've conjured up with this one line...

troysteward said...

Mike,

It is good to see you pick up the blogging torch and carrying it forward yet again in Afghanistan. I will be adding yours to a growing list of miblogs that I continue to track. Might I suggest checking out www.feedburner.com and creating a feed for your blog so people can subscribe with RSS readers, etc. It it very convenient for people and will help grow your audience.

Troy
www.bouhammer.com