I think we have forgotten that we still have tens of thousands of soldiers still fighting on two fronts in the Middle East. We go on with our lives without feeling the pain of actually being at war. The evening news shows a 20 second clip of something every night, but the days of hours of coverage of what really is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan are over. We worry more about our everyday lives than what is happening 5,000 miles away, it’s only natural.
Friday night I was reminded that we are still at war. I went to go see Pat Green at the Texas Stampede and was able to go to his pre and post parties at the Hard Rock Cafe. Earlier in the day I went to the Dallas National Cemetary to visit my son-in-law and granddaughter’s gravesite as I didn’t make it for Veterans Day earlier in the week and Maddie would have turned four today. For those new to the blog, they were both tragically killed by a drunk driver nearly two years ago in Roanoke after leaving our house in Keller. Josh had just gotten back from deployment and they were in the process of moving to Corpus when they were taken from us.
During the party at the Hard Rock before the show, I got to meet a young man by the name of Charles that flew up from El Paso to see the show. A West Point Grad and a Captain in the Army, he is being deployed back to Iraq in a few weeks for his second time. He told me the story (and showed me the scars) of getting “blown up” on his first tour, when his tank hit an IED. He was fairly light hearted about it, but you could see that it affected him in a way that he couldn’t talk about. After the show, he told Pat about the incident and told us that the tanks allow for the soldiers to plug their iPods into their communication head sets and at the time he was “blown up”, Carry On by Pat was playing at the time of the explosion. Pat got a shocked look, but commented to Charles the same thing a lot of us had said through out the night, on his next trip over, keep your head down.
Charles is the type of young man that makes you have confidence that this country will be just fine headed into the future. When I told him about my visit to the cemetary earlier in the day, he told me that one of his soldiers was buried in the section right next to Josh and Madison. He asked for the grave site number which he put into his Blackberry and promised to place flags on the grave every time he visited his buddy.
I was able to get his email address and I will attempt to keep in touch with him during his deployment and we promised to get together to see Pat again we he got back from “the shit”. Every time I hear Carry On from now on, I will say a quick prayer for Charles and all of our troops overseas. Since it is one of my favorite Pat songs, it will become a regular part of my routine.