I have written in the past about a difference in deaths and how the difference in deaths of loved ones, even patriarchs of the family where completely different than losing a son in combat far from home. This evening in a discussion some people were discussing the whole gold star parent issue and who is or is not a gold star parent. I honestly have not sat down and read the legalities in the whole mess and really do not understand who in the hell would want to be a gold star parent. This is where I may lose some of the lurkers and some of the parents or people who have stumbled upon this blog to read the words that I post from my thoughts and feelings of this whole damn thing.
For the record I HATE being a gold star father… I hate it! Every second of every waking moment, I hate the whole experience. I would not wish this on anyone regardless of who they are or what they may think. I can understand that losing loved ones is a horrible life altering experience. I do however think that our men and women who are lost in combat are DIFFERENT than those who serve in the military who are lost HERE at home. NOTICE that I did not say better, more important, or any of the other things that I got accused of during the discussion.
What’s the difference? Why do I dare declare that people who lose their military family members here at home? COMBAT! The whole NEW AGE combat experience. And before anyone makes the charge that I myself have never seen combat, this is true… But I am the one declaring my utter and total respect of these kids who go off into the UNKNOWN and horribly dangerous nightmare world of EID’s, Snipers, Savages dressed in civilian garb, bomb laden children, the fatigue the all night door kicking missions when total evil was behind every door, the REAL potential of death and horrible disfigurement and death at every moment.
I honor all who serve, but to all my combat sons, they will never know how much I admire them for willingly going through this and being my son’s brother. Sharing in his life and helping him pass into his death surrounded by the love of his loved ones… his brothers… Micheal knew that he was not home, Micheal knew that he could be killed, Hell, Micheal told me that he was afraid of the very god damned thing that took his life and he god damn lived for a hour and twenty minutes knowing that his worst fear had come true. He died away from home in one of the most hostile places on the face of the earth.
I will not be told that someone who was at home, living their daily lives among those they loved without these constant threats and sharing the nightmarish world of combat felt the same way or lost their lives in the same way. I am sorry that people die in their everyday lives. I understand that parents and loved ones grieve for their lost sons and daughters. They just cannot be serious when they compare the two and damn me for thinking that my son’s death was different than their loved ones was. I was told that “dead is dead” and that I was not respecting the losses of other parents. That’s nonsense. They send their son to live their life in the USA. I sent my Infantry son to Iraq. That very night the clock started… Every god damned day I was worried for him and walked the floors knowing that there were people out there trying to kill him and all of his brothers… I got the call, I was not shocked… Maybe that’s the difference? I expected that it was a possibility that in a combat zone, Micheal could die any day. The parents never had a clue that it was coming. Their loss is just as horrible, their sons are just as gone, but to me there is a difference and that’s the way it’s supposed to be. So damn me, think I’m evil for not thinking that my loss is different… So be it! I’ll accept that.