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Serving Our Country

In an earlier post,  I said I had been gone for a few days.  5 days to be exact and Miss Kathy had my back.  Thank goodness she is a lot tougher than she looks.

I went to my folk’s house outside of Baytown, TX because my best girl Cait was there along with the numero uno grandson Hank the Tank.   She was on leave from the Air Force for a few days and flew into Houston for a quick visit.

Cait and Dad - 2005

This whole thing began 6 years ago when she enlisted in the Air Force.  I was proud of her then and I am proud of her now.  It just seems we have lived a lifetime in those 6 years.  Over the years we have stayed in touch and there have been some great visits. Maryland when she got out of Advanced Training, Northern Italy when Hank was born and most recently, Tucson, where she is currently.   I was just fine with all that.

With the arrival of Hank and World Affairs getting so upside down, I asked her to consider returning stateside at her first opportunity.  Being in a foreign country with a small child is no picnic when things get nasty.  She agreed and the next thing I know they are in Tucson and I am loving life.  That was a little over a year ago…..

This Spring I get a phone call that every parent  knows will come if they have children in the military during war time.   She had orders to deploy to Afghanistan as part of a Public Affairs team attached to an Army unit.  Sometime in August, after special training for this and that, she will be on her way.

So I tell people my daughter is being deployed to Afghanistan when they ask after her and they always say the same thing “I thought that was about over.”  Well so did I.  Needless to say, I am NOT OK with her going over there.  Not in the least.   I am not saying the war is right or wrong; as a matter of fact I have no opinion one way or another when it comes to that.  I support our troops 100% and admire their courage and commitment to accomplish the mission they have been given.  But by god it changes when you have a dog in the fight.

Cait and Hank - 2012

What parent would not be concerned for the safety of a young son or daughter in this situation?  Hell, I worried about her when she was in Italy.  It feels like the weight of the world descended on my shoulders with the orders for Afghanistan.  Yeah, I got a little bit of a pity party going on; some whining and sniveling and I am making no apologies.  I just don’t like it a damned bit.   Cait, on the other hand, is setting the example for her maudlin’ old Dad.  She would rather stay in the States if possible, who wouldn’t?  She would rather not be separated from Hank for almost a year, what Mother would?

I am unbelievably proud of her for realizing this is what she signed up for and it is her duty. She swore an oath to protect our country.  Thousands of young people before her have been willing to put it all on the line to insure the freedoms we enjoy as Americans.  She is eerily calm and resolved about going to war and leaving us behind.  In her mind, there is nor has there ever been an Option B to shirk her duty.

I am holding out hope that perhaps something will change radically as far as our presence in Afghanistan.  Since it is an election year, I guess anything could happen and quicker withdrawal would be just fine by me.

Cait - 2012

 

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5 comments to Serving Our Country

  • Cait will be OK. She’s got the courage to ‘push on through.’ It will be tougher on you than it is on her. Thank God for parents such as yourself.

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  • David

    Andy, please thank Cait for her service.

    Thoughts and prayers with you and her for a safe deployment.

    My son is now out of the AF after (I think) 7 years. He made Staff Sgt, saw Texas, Mississippi, New Mexico, Nevada, Guam, Korea, and Germany. I think the longest we went without seeing him was the year in Korea.

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  • Larry Worsham

    We thank Cait for her service and willingness to due her duty. My daughter, US Army, was sent to Afghanastan early in the war. Each day she was there was tough on her Dad and Mom but she too had a strong since of duty, honor and country. Fortunately the communication between here and there work well so we could keep up with her electronically.

    Our family and friends went into support mode so she was never out of those special supplies they were sent to help keep her comfortable.

    We have raised a truely special group of kids and this country needs to support them in every way they can.

    God Bless, Larry

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  • I know you hate to see Cait deploy to a war zone; but you have to admire her for doing her job and serving the country. As a retired submarine driver; I realize that many times I left wife and family behind while I went to dangerous places in the world…but that comes along with the job. To this day, driving a submarine remains the best job I ever had and I was proud to do it. I retired in 1994, spent the intervening years as a DoD contractor, and retired last August to spend time on the road with my sweetie. We hit the road in our New Horizons 5ver next month; looking forward to it and meeting some of our RVing friends once we’re on the road.

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  • We are fortunate to have the next “Greatest Generation” protecting us today. So often you hear them called the “Me Generation”. Heros like your daughter put that misnomer to rest.

    It will be a hard year, but she is answering the call and proud to step up when the need her talents for arises. We need more like her in this country.

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