It's a rare moment I use my blog for a political agenda, mostly because I feel strongly that I should know what I'm talking about before spouting off my own strong opinions. And frankly, I'm not all that knowledgeable when it comes to politics, or even history for that matter. (Little Jackie trivia: my dad called me "Rudolph" growing up -- because I was always 'going down in history.')
But I read a story tonight that makes me fearful -- totally terrified about the lack of value put on what's right for families of our country.
Four years ago, a North Carolina woman was honorably discharged from the Army. She gave birth while in uniform and again after she was released. Now, mom Lisa Pagan is among the thousands of former military men and women who are being recalled to service, even though they've all left active duty a long time ago.
Ok, there's a war -- I get it. And this isn't the first time in history that people were forced to serve against their own personal wishes. But the idea that Lisa -- who appealed the ruling that requires her to report because she's the only one to take care of her kids while her husband travels for business -- was forced between choosing to head back to the Army, abandoning her kids and facing the chance of being deployed to Iraq, or ignoring orders and potentially face charges.
Am I the only one who thinks this is absolutely horrific? This isn't some woman trying to use any excuse to get out of jury duty! We're talking the future of two children who just happen to be the exact same ages as Jacob and Brady. They are the children of a woman who did her job... served her country... deserves our gratitude for her bravery. She's a woman who should now be allowed to continue committing her life to her two innocent babies and not wonder if she'll be sent away, never to see them again.
I am not only shaking my head at this baffling situation, but the rest of my body shakes along with it. I am truly upset that this is what is happening to our friends, our neighbors -- the families of America. I am saddened and confused. I understand that this is the risk that goes along with joining the military in the first place (and maybe why they don't have enough people joining the military to cover their needs). But please enlighten me -- is there someone out there who can explain this to me, give me ONE reason that taking this woman from her children could possibly be the right thing to do for our country?
We've had countless conversations -- even debates -- here on T-O about the dedication moms vow to their kids and how our very different choices could affect them. But one thing remained, we were talking about OUR choices -- about how WE make decisions first and foremost for our families, even though others may not agree with those decisions that are best for us. Never did I think our country could or would make them for us, forcing us to separate.
So while Lisa spent today braving the stormy 400 mile drive (with her children) to report for duty, I spent mine with the kids enjoying a relaxed and carefree day. And while the day winds down and she's most likely lying in bed awaiting her fate, I will head upstairs and hug them one last time before they drift off to sleep, knowing their mommy will be right there waiting for them in the morning.