This Is a hard article to write, specifically because right now I’m dealing with my own pain and hardship back home and may wind up on emergency leave soon enough. I guess writing is a good release and this is a good vent for me. Pain makes you question why we are really here and is the reason we’re here really worth all the pain it brings. I’ve seen war tear apart families time and time again and it got so bad the Army had to focus a whole program on why and then they made a band-aid to fix the problem. At last count we were at 2700 or so Soldiers we’ve lost due to this war due to enemy actions, some to accidents and friendly fire. To me friendly fire would be the worst way to go, and to have your spouse know it was our own weapons that took their spouses life. In one case the Army tried to cover up the cause of death due to embarrassment and investigation showed it was friendly fire and then to top it all off, there were war protesters at her husband’s funeral calling out, “Baby-killer” etc. Now I believe in Freedom of Speech but come on people show some respect, there’s a time and a place and a Soldiers memorial is definitely not the time or place. On that note, another topic near and dear to my heart is the Pagan headstone campaign. We have Pagan Soldiers at war dying, and when it comes to burial, there family is denied the Pentacle on the Soldier’s headstone. As of this writing, the Veterans Administration has not approved the Pentacle for Pagan headstones although they say they are “working on it”. There are currently, and have been 32 approved symbols for several years one of which is Atheist. It’s a symbol of our beliefs for crying out loud so I really don’t see what the issue is but apparently someone thinks there is one. There really are Pagan Soldiers and the mainstream religions aren’t the only faith-groups fighting for our religious freedoms so this is a big pet-peeve of mine. If I die in combat I would expect to have the Pentacle on my headstone, write to your congressman or woman if you would like to get involved with this. To me, our spouses and other family members have things as bad if not worse then we as Soldiers do. You go from a family, to one parent raising the kids, paying the bills etc. You also have the pregnant family members whose spouses miss the birth. You have agencies and businesses who hassle our family members or refuse to help them because the primary account holder or head of house isn’t present but is indeed at war. Often they won’t even accept the Power of Attorney we leave behind to allow our spouses to handle business. Oh, and they don’t even want to hear my spouse is at war, as they just don’t care. I had one Soldier who had an Arab calling and threatening his family while he was here. How the Arab got his families phone number and bank account information is anyone’s guess but the Army moved his family to safety, point being, these are just some of the things our families go through while we are deployed. Me, well currently my wife’s life is endangered by a life-threatening pregnancy and will soon have to go through surgery to save her but we will lose the babies. My day was distressed and time stopped, I talked to her on the phone and we reassured each-other and the war went on. I will push for a chapter out of the Army upon our return in November or hopefully sooner, as the more I look and think about all the traumas and hardships we go through as military families, the more I know its not worth it. This isn’t the first time I’ve felt this way, we’ll just say this incident was the icing on the cake. You know, the best movie on war I’ve seen has to be “We Were Soldiers” as it’s the only war movie out there that shows the price of war on families. Well worth the watch. In closing, next time you see a military family whose spouse is deployed, please pat them on the back and give them an encouraging word and thank them for service to their country like you do us Soldiers, they’ve earned it. Bright- Blessings.