Wednesday, July 21, 2004
From a Female Soldier in Iraq
"I've had people say they're sorry their letters are boring or something. That must be why I read them and get all misty-eyed for home. That's what we want.
We want to be bored. All that stuff---we've left it behind, the house payments, the bus stops, the car troubles. We can't imagine that stuff even existing any more. What's normal here is not boring. We'd like to be bored, and so we eagerly try and remember home, cocooning ourselves in our little cubicles, trying to squint and see home. It almost seems like it doesn't exist any more, this place is so different. We're so far from home that every little bit of it, especially the mundane parts, is what we want. Every little atom of boredom is a relief, because boredom is most definitely not something that comes with explosions.
So, guys? Bore away. Seriously. I've saved every letter, and when I'm conscious, I try to answer them. But I have to say, it's hard. How do you put this stuff into words? "Thank for taking me away from this place for a few minutes, even though it's really selfish that I asked. And possibly creepy and voyeuristic, but hey, let's not even go there, okay?" I remember thinking that cats and beds didn't exist during a battle that you think you've already lost, and even during the day, it's hard to imagine going home. It's hard to imagine home being there still. So when you talk about what you think are boring things, you're actually prodding rusty gears in our heads. Oh, yeah, cats and kids and gardens. I know they exist somewhere. The rest of the time they're fairytales.
You're helping us believe in fairytales.
NOW - Go to Soldiers' Angels, adopt a Soldier and help them remember the home they left behind.
KEEP YOUR HELMET ON!