It's weird that in an endeavour I entered with the intent of documenting as much as I could that I have fallen off so badly as to not keep up with it. Not that that has anything to do with the title of this entry. I'm listening to the one studio cut The Frequently made, Falling. I just returned from giving one of my guys a ride to the passenger terminal where he's headed back up to Herat and on the way back I saw a female Specialist standing on the side of the road with a long rifle (there are still M16s over here, but most have M4s and I didn't stare long enough to identify the difference), waiting on a bus. It brought to mind an incident back in July when I was walking down the opposite side of the street from another female Specialist with long rifle waiting on a bus. I was with Pat, a Lieutenant Colonel in the National Guard He commented that he wanted to take a picture of her to send to his daughter to encourage her to stay in school, get a degree, and not end up in a war zone in the Army. A sound sentiment ironically multiplied by the fact that between the two of us we had five degrees and we were walking down the side of the street in a war zone. Maybe he just meant that we weren't waiting on the bus?
I rode the bus once here, it didn't take me where I wanted to go, or where I needed to go either. After a half hour I got off the bus about 200 meters from where I got on the bus. But the circuitous route to nowhere isn't the point here. His sentiment, while a bit misplaced, was sound. It stems from desiring better for our children than we have for ourselves. While I sit in a room in Kandahar with four pieces of parchment on the wall, licensed as a professional engineer in two states, have an Administrative Contracting Officer's Warrant that enables me to commit the US Government to spend money, and sign all my correspondence with at least 2 of my 6 pretentious initials, I intend to use all of my superpowers for the good of bettering the lives of my family.
Having said that was no intent to slight my wife's role in any of this. I would not be the man I am today were it not for her and her support. She held the rope for a very long time while I went to school to get those degrees, the warrant, and the licenses. She continues to hold the rope as I have told her multiple times her part in this Afghanistan adventure is harder than mine. All I have to do is go to a war zone and work seven days a week. She has to stay home and manage the family, the house, the vehicles, and everything else. Luckily for me those are her superpowers.
Whenever I hear, or see, my children take for granted the things they have I feel at once angry and satisfied. Satisfied that they don't know what it took to get it for them. And angry that they don't know what it may be like to stand on a dusty road in a war zone with a rifle waiting on a bus that goes around in circles and never really goes anywhere.