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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

"For the most part, I mean, it was a big adjustment (when I got home) just trying to get in that mindset of being able to just roam, run around without fear of being shot at or where to look for danger. … It's unexplainable. I mean, just to go from that mindset to being able to walk around freely and just enjoy it."

Above is a quote from a CBS story entitled Marlboro Marine’ : Home Front Woes about a young man, Lance Cpl. Blake Miller of Jonancy, Ky., whose picture was featured on many news services around the world as particularly representative of the military in Iraq.

What struck me most about the story was how much we here at home truly take it for granted that we can walk around freely as he says. Oh, we may lock our car at the mall or cast a wary eye on suspicious looking strangers when walking in an unfamiliar spot, but for the most part we wander around oblivious to our surroundings and quite contented to be that way. Out here in the country I always have an ear cocked for rustling in the bushes, because you never know when a bull might get out or a coyote come prowling too close to the house in search of barn cat sushi. However, unless I am out in the fields during hunting season I certainly am not worried about getting shot or listening for incoming missiles and watching out for snipers in doorways. This poor young man instead has been panicked by merely hearing something that sounded like a rocket propelled grenade.

How at once terrible and yet wonderful it must be for our young people to come home after their time away from that privilege of freedom. It must constantly be on many of their minds, how great the contrast is between here and there. I am sure they appreciate the here a good deal more than most of us who haven’t been there.

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