Thoughts from the Mother of a Soldier
This was written by Georgia Stilwell, member of Military Families Speak Out. Earlier this week, I interviewed Georgia for an article about Operation House Call. It should be running tomorrow on AlterNet.
Distracted, damn right I am!
When I returned home from my trip to Washington DC. Where I met with various Senators, Representatives and the Speaker of the House as part of Military Families Speak Out Operation House Call, I received a notice of pending termination of my employment on Aug. 31st. It seems I have been distracted.
My priorities in life have changed since the war began. It has become my passion, my mission to be part of the frontline of peace.
How can I not be? On a personal level my son is still suffering from his participation in this war. He has killed men, women and children. Yes let us not pretend that our soldiers are not killing innocents. My son lives with it everyday. "We thought the little boy had a bomb." My son weeps as he sits in the bottom of the shower and I recently found out he is experiencing combat flashbacks. No wonder my son drove his car over an embankment. No wonder he feels there is nothing left of his spirit at 22. Alive but dead inside.
On a global level...I deeply feel the pain of others. I listen to Gold Star Mothers cry and beg God to bring back their child just one more time. I relate to the Mother's whose soldiers cam back and killed themselves. I still wonder when I am going to get that phone call. I hear the similarities of stories like my son's. I think about the wives whose husbands return and vent their frustrations on them. I work in human services and have started to see the Iraq vet's here. They are in so much pain, bleeding all over the place with invisible blood. And then there are the Iraqi people. Forgive us! My heart breaks again.
Most nights I don't sleep well. I keep thinking is there more I can do? We do not have another second, not another child to spare! My job has become so unimportant. And I can't stop being distracted.
I have been to DC twice this year already. Telling my story, telling other's stories. "Bring them home now, Take care of them when they get here and never put our loved ones in harms way again for a lie."
I remember looking in Dennis Hastert's blue eyes and thinking about PFC. Steven Sirko's blue eyes that will never open again. The Congressman comparing Iraq to a football game and me touching his arm and saying "Congressman our children don't die in football games." "We don't have another child to give you."
Begging Senator Obama help us. "We are looking to you for great things." Save our children.
I can not express in words the urgency I feel. So I may lose my job. I may lose my home. I may not eat on a regular basis. Since I started on this mission of peace I have been evicted (some landlords don't like when you post the number of dead) I have had an IRS audit. I have had people look at me with so much hate at times it was unnerving. So What? There our people dying as I write this and another Mother cries.
I am driven; my spirit will not let me rest. I will still stay in the frontlines. I will engage in acts of civil disobedience if necessary, I will not let a politician say they can not see me. And I will always be of peace. I have hugged the recruiter in my town and we have shed tears together. I have hugged the Speaker of the house. I must always show that I am of true peace. I shake the hand or hug every soldier I see. And the soldiers that have made it home, if I come into contact with them I tell them if they ever need help I am here. If there is a soldier who wants out , I will find you refuge.
Martin Luther King Jr. said "There comes a time when silence is betrayal." I have embraced that thought 100%. I do not pretend to have political savvy or be well versed on foreign affairs. I am just the mother of a soldier.
I beseech the people of America step out of your comfort zones; get out of those easy chairs. Pour out into the streets and demand an end to this war. Many of us are out here in the frontlines are waiting, wondering "Where is America?" Our children are dying, again.
Member of Military Families Speak Out