As I sat on my parent's couch and person after person thanked the "troops" still fighting the war on terror, I realized that they were thanking my husband.
Before I ever met Kyle, he made the decision to sign up for the NAVY Reserves. A few short years after he returned home from boot camp, he was called to serve a tour in Fallujah, and then Ramadi.
Two days after he returned home, he came to Arkansas to work. That is when we met.
When we first were married, it did not occur to me that he was still in the NAVY. It wasn't until he had started reporting again for the monthly weekend drill, that the fact that he could be called at any time to again serve our country hit me like a ton of bricks.
And I have to be honest. I resented him being in the NAVY. What would happen to me if he was called to do another tour? And then he would occasionally mention wanting to serve 20 or more years in the reserves. That really upset me. I was hurt that he would be willing to put our family in jeopardy, or at least that is the way I saw it.
But this weekend, it all made sense to me.
I was going to post a long story of where I was when the towers were hit, what I felt, and how scared I was, in a "tribute" to the events of 9/11. Then I thought, "How sad is it to focus on the negative?" While I agree it is good to remember those events, and trust me, I do remember, how much better is it to focus on hope? Hope for a future? Hope for a future of a world that is full of a united citizenship, a common thread of brotherhood, full of people that recognize their potential.
I am sharing with you today a video that Kyle shared with his family during Christmastime 2008. While he was a world away, this was the message he sent to them. This video explains his desire to serve our country. He believes in the freedoms that we have as Americans, and innate rights of all individuals, and desires for other nations to have these same freedoms as well.
The songs that he chose to accompany the video render me speechless. They are not the popular songs full of hate and American pride that were so popular right after 9/11. They speak of action, change, responsibility, kindness, peace, reaching out, comforting, and encouraging others.
So many people have a deep hatred for the people of Iraq, Afghanistan, and other middle eastern countries. What Kyle sees that so many others do not is that not ALL of the people in those countries are hateful. Many of them are just like us.
It all made sense as I was watching the memorials while sitting on my parent's couch. Kyle was their hero. He had come to their back door, he was an American. He represented everything that they had ever dreamed of having. He gave them a glimpse of what freedom was like. He showed them compassion. He showed them that he cared about them, that he viewed them as people and not as the filth of the world.
Here is Kyle's short video from his time in Iraq. It is my wish that it would show you hope in this time of great remembrance.
May we never forget the events of that day, and the brave souls who changed our lives then, and continue to change them today.