Five years. It hardly seems possible that we've been at war with Iraq for that long. Five years ago my babies were still babies. My oldest had just turned four and my youngest had celebrated his first birthday only a few months prior. Our little nuclear family had just moved into the new house and hadn't even had a chance to do more than upack the boxes we had brought with us. The first flower bed and garden were months, maybe even years, away yet.
Now the garden has seen several harvests. Flower beds accent the porch and deck. A swingset sits in a distant corner of the yard, the rock-wall steps sun-bleached. The interior of the house has taken on new life as well. Warm colors hug the once white walls. The pictures on the walls reflect the passage of years as my boys grew from babies to little boys. My dog has twice as much gray hair and we've lost several cats to the wild critters lurking in the woods outside. Much has changed.
The war with Iraq has changed, too. We're no longer shocking and awing anyone. Our casualities have grown with each passing year. Our stakes in the war have become less defined and more open to question.
What hasn't come more into question, at least not in my house or heart, is the need to support our troops. I'm not convinced they want to be over there any more than we want them deployed to such an unsafe military zone. They're doing their jobs. They've received their orders and they're soldiering on. While we sit safe here on American soil, our troops are risking their lives. It doesn't matter if we agree with the reasoning behind the orders. We still need to remember to say "thank you".
Bitch about the President all you want. But remember to say a prayer to keep our soldiers safe as they begin up another day or night of duty.