Obama just announced a withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. 33,000 by September of next year. This is a good thing. But do not forget, when everything’s said and done, there will still still be tens-of-thousands of our men and women over there fighting for our freedoms. Never forget.
READING IN PEACE
What a sheltered life I now lead.
I wake, dress, eat, drive to work.
Day after day, no bomb percussion,
gray and flame clouds blooming
over close farm fields or treelines.
No gunfire duck-and-run walks
with kids and dog. No low-flying
recon planes or camo’d troops
patrolling my lawn mowing
or our evening-lit windows.
I lie in bed with my wife with no fear
of being forced naked into the street-light.
I send my children to swim
in the neighbor’s pool and they come home
smiling, wrapped in towels, not body-bags.
Police or fire sirens raise ears for just as long
as it takes to guess their fender-bender accident
or kitchen fire destination.
Football rivalries don’t call for jihad
or road-side bombing the visiting school’s bus.
I sit in my well-lit office reading online editorials,
blogs from Beirut that say
I couldn’t sleep for my bed shaking from the bombs.
They sound closer and closer.
Maybe tomorrow they’ll quiet.
* I wrote this in ’06 after Israel began retaliating against Hezbollah for firing rockets into Israeli settlements. Almost ten years after I finished my enlistment in the Army.