Janet's Jargon

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Iraq Vet presents a special moment

A couple of nights ago, when it was warm enough for my husband Ivan and me to come out of hibernation before another cold wave hit North Dakota, we ventured over to our favorite haunt, Red Lobster.

Seated at the table next to us was a young couple, two little boys--I guessed that one was about 2 and the other one about 4, and a middle-aged couple. Listening to their chatter, it was obvious that the older couple were "Grandma and Grandpa," but they seemed to be nearly invisible, at least as far as the boys were concerned. The kids did wave at us, then began to talk a bit, and before long we discovered "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey would say.

The dad had just finished a tour of duty in Iraq--his third tour. It was his first day home. There was no need to wonder why the boys were so clingy to dad. In their little minds, they were probably afraid he would leave again if they didn't hang on tight enough.

There was no talk about the war and whether it was right or wrong. There was talk about how proud of him we all were. When they finished their meal, we called the waitress over and told her to have them order dessert, on us. They were delighted, especially the boys.

It is not often we get to see such a special day so up close and personal. It was a delight for us to be allowed to intrude on this special family.

No matter what we think of the war, these young men and women are true heroes, and my hat's off to each and every one of them. Thank you.


  • At 7:18 PM, Blogger Abigail Farrier said…

    This is one of those stories you won't hear on television because the media doesn't show the feel-good moments. If this man (God-forbid) had died, he'd get added to the statistics used to "prove" how we have no business trying to emancipate anyone.
    Thank you for sharing something positive. Something good. And I hope he doesn't volunteer for any more tours! A friend of mine back home has volunteered to go back - has already left. While we're all proud of him and his courage to "do the job he's chosen," we still fret for him.
    God bless our soldiers and marines.

    "Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

  • At 7:55 PM, Blogger Ingrid Taylor said…


    That was a great story and I'm so glad you shared it with us. I agree with Abigail's comment that the media won't print anything like this. What a shame. This was really special.

  • At 8:21 PM, Anonymous Pat said…

    Thanks for sharing, Janet. How wonderful to be a part of this family's special day.

  • At 8:26 PM, Blogger NightRainbow said…

    Beautiful story, Janet--reality beats anything our minds can create, doesn't it?? I agree--we need to separate the war and the soldiers--they are doing what they believe is right--and they care enough about us (total strangers) to do so--these man deserve our utmost thanks and respect!!!

  • At 8:32 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Janet, I'm not anonymous,just too lazy to log in.
    Thank you for posting this story.
    Abigail, and Ingrid, said it far better than I ever could. The media doesn't like good stories.
    Thank God we have such wonderful, caring men and women in uniform who really love America enough to place their lives on the line for it, and us.
    Thank you for sharing some of your royalties, :) ,with two little boys who will probably remember this day all their lives.

    Jay Hudson
    Jay's Writer's World

  • At 8:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am grateful for his service and that he has come home as whole as possible. There are some who are on their sixth tour. Recruitment is down and there is a greater need than every before. I'm not going to turn this in to a political editorial, but a prayer for peace through wisdom, justice and tolerance.

    The system wouldn't allow me to log in
    Theresa Chaze

  • At 9:15 PM, Blogger Carolyn Howard-Johnson said…

    Dear Janet and Janet's Readers:

    Thank you for this. As you know, my grandson just returned from Iraq, too. Many of you also know that I wrote the foreword for a lovely little giftbook published by Andrews-McMeel called Support Our Troops. The proceeds go to Fischer House, a Ronald McDonald Home type charity that benefits the families of our wounded troops, more than 22,000 of them, I heard on TV tonight. It is available on Amazon. Designed by Eric Dinyer, it is full of patriotic quotations and makes a lovely little (inexpensive) gift for loved ones overseas. Learn more about it on my site http://www.carolynhowardjohnson.redenginepress.com/journals,_anthologies_&_more.htm.

    And, Janet, I plan to blog a bit about this and send people to your blog. Thank you, again.

  • At 8:32 AM, Blogger Robin Bayne said…

    Great story! I am so grateful to all our servicepeople.

  • At 8:33 AM, Blogger Mary Emma Allen said…

    Thanks, Janet, for sharing this moment. We're so blessed to have men and women defending our freedom like this. My prayers for all of them.
    Mary Emma

  • At 8:43 AM, Blogger Linda L Rucker said…

    Glad to see you got this thing up and running. it looks great. I love the post, by the way.

  • At 10:43 AM, Blogger The Belle in Blue said…

    These brave men and women deserve so much more gratitude than we could ever give them, but I know little things like this show them how much they're appreciated.

    For another way to show them we care, see my blog entry entitled "Books For Soldiers." :-)

    ~Joyce Scarbrough

  • At 1:53 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The life of a soldier is a hard one. Not only on the person but the family too. Yet where would we be without them?

    God bless their bodies and souls
    Nancy Louise

    PS also had trouble loging in. oh well.

  • At 5:59 PM, Blogger Barbara Williamson-Wood said…

    Hats off to you and Ivan for that special thank you. In a time when so much negativity is going on, people tend to forget about
    the feelings of these men and women who put their lives in harm's way to ensure peace.
    How many of us have said thank you to a Vet or to a soldier....
    I hope this soldier remains steadfast in the safety of his family.
    This act of knidness, may seem small to some , but it shall remain with this man for all time.. for his heart was up lifted. Someone showed their support and that is what is needed , now more than ever..

  • At 7:38 PM, Blogger Susan S said…

    Hi Janet,

    Thanks so much for sharing this story. I'm sure your generosity and kindness really touched that family. It was so nice of you to reach out to let them know you appreciate that young soldier's service to our country.

    I hope you are staying warm...somehow! Sending you some California sunshine! :-)

  • At 2:25 PM, Blogger Anthony said…

    This is a great story; the type of moments that make the world go 'round.

    What I find most unfortunate, though, is the reference about discussion of whether the war is right or wrong.

    It's sad that those sort of discussions are rampant. Needless to say, there was no discussion after World War II, which is what the September 11th attack most resembles. In that war, we had an objective which we pursued until it was achieved. That does not exist in this war.

    I'm most thankful that the kids had their dad. And secondly that you were able to witness it.

    ...the post I hated to publish


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