On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was a senior in high school listening to the morning announcements. I remember the silence that fell over the room as we watched the news on a television sitting atop a rollaway cart. I remember sneaking to grab my cellphone to text my parents, inquiring about family members who call New York home. I remember the feeling of terror and helplessness. Yes, acts of war had touched this country before, but I read about them in history books and visited the Pearl Harbor Memorial on a family vacation to Hawaii. This was different for me. This time my generation and life as we knew it were irrevocably changed.
I recall wondering what all of this would mean for my boyfriend (now husband). He was in college and in the ROTC program, but I don't even think I could conceptualize what war would mean as the days unfolded and this Nation took decisive action. It wouldn't be until he commissioned and after we married that his time came. We were married for four months when I found out I was pregnant and no more than a month later, we found out that he was scheduled to deploy. I remember a terror very similar to what I felt five years before--the unknown is an incredibly scary thing.
As the years pass, for the majority of this Nation, war fades from our daily memory. Much of this Nation is more consumed with politics than with people. The truth is, though the language has changed, troops are still deploying every. single. day. I have friends who are pushing through the various stages of deployment and living with a keen awareness of this Nation's engagements overseas. I know many of you are keeping it together and anxiously anticipating crossing one more day off of the deployment countdown.
For others, the missle attack our Nation launched last week has invoked a sense of terror in you. Many already know the sting of war and the uncertainty of deployment, but a growing number of Service Members and spouses do not and phrases like "boots on the ground" or "readiness level" only add to the consternation. To all of you, I say fear is normal. There is nothing comforting about the events of last week; however, I would add this, a verse that seems to become more applicable to my life as the years go on:
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34
Do not worry about tomorrow. Awareness and preparedness for today bear enough weight. Cherish the time you have together. You never know if and when orders will come. Limit the "what ifs." Speculation and assumption aren't good for anyone. Lean. On your faith, on your family, on your village. The good news is, you're not in this alone.