27 July 2010
Road Trip Lessons
I am recently back from a cross country road trip with friends, which was a fantastic and badly needed vacation.
One of the goals of the road trip was to get away from everything I do and deal with on a day to day basis. No cell, no email, no news.
I also took a break from all things war-related, as much as that is possible with Bestie still over there.
What I learned is that the war, the wars, are in inescapable.
A lot is made about how much this war is different from others, how detached the general population is, how the American public isn't at war, the military is. That is true to an extent. What I found on my road trip is that while America generally may be able to ignore the war, it has slowly become a part of the fabric of a thousand small communities.
It is in new, shiny signs that declare a patch of interstate or highway a memorial to a LCpl, a Pfc, a Sgt in Illinios, Missouri, and Kansas. It is in the newly unveiled GWOT memorials that have sprung up in front of VFW posts and downtown next to WWII and Vietnam memorials.
It is in the somber passage of family and friends headed to a funeral in a city in Colorado on the day I passed through. A Marine was laid to rest and I couldn't help but think of Bestie. May you rest in peace, Cpl. Harris.
In a few months, a few years, maybe there will be a stretch of highway bearing his name.
Maybe there will be a banner with his picture on it in a town just off the interstate, his name added to the list on the plaque honoring his state's lost in the rest stops.
These wars are a part of us now.