Monday, 1 October 2007

As I sit here in Afghanistan, I wonder how many people truly appreciate . . .

As I sit here in Afghanistan separated from my son, my family, and boyfriend, I wonder how many people truly appreciate the sacrifice that we as American soldiers and airmen make.

With so many people arguing that we need to pull out of Iraq and Afghanistan, you'd think they've forgotten what caused us to be here in the first place.

We are here trying to make sure that 9/11 never happens again.

But what most Americans don't seem to realize is that while some of us may not agree with being here, it's our job.
We have no choice!!!!
When we are given an order to go, we have to go!! Whether we want to or not.

Another thing that most people don't realize is truly how hard our job REALLY is. . .

Every year we have to leave our loved ones for months and sometimes over a year, to do a job that most people don't seem to want us to do.

This is especially hard for people such as myself who are single parents.
In an effort to do my job and serve my country, I am leaving behind a five-year-old son who started kindergarten a month before I left, a boyfriend who loves me very much, family, and friends. So while most people are getting their children settled into school, I'm missing my son's first year of school. Moments that I will never be able enjoy or even be a part of.

Not only will I miss that, but I will also be absent this holiday season.
No Thanksgiving,
No Christmas,
No New Year's, nothing.....

So yet again while millions of people will be spending this holiday season with family and friends, I will be alone in the Afghanistan desert wishing I was with my son, boyfriend, and family. All in an effort to serve my country.

You know the old saying,
"You never miss your water til the well runs dry" hits home.
You never realize what you take for granted until it's taken away from you.

Something as simple as:

Waking up in the middle of the night and walking three or four steps to go to the bathroom verses having to get dressed and walk outside to a completely different building.

Or . . . Being able to get in your car and drive wherever you need to go verses having to walk EVERYWHERE.

Or . . . Being able to hold and kiss your child.

Or . . . Being able to tell your significant other that you love them in person and not over the phone.

Simple things that you do on a daily basis.

I wonder if the people who want us to stop defending America would be willing to make such a sacrifice as myself and the thousands of other military members do time after time.

Especially when it seems like not many people appreciate it.........

S Sgt. Christina Webbs

Blogger note:
Please leave your comments for S Sgt Webbs.

If you would like to email her, use the email on my profile (Haole Wahine) I will forward your emails to Christina.


Terri said...

SSgt Webbs, even though the media continues to show the negatives of things here in the US as well as the negatives of both Afghanistan and Iraq, please know that there are MANY of us who stand behind, YOU, the men and women serving in our Country's Armed Forces. We spend our time fighting to ensure that the people here at home, know what's really going on downrange, on our blogs and our interactions with others. Thank You SO MUCH for the sacrifices you make daily for our Country. Know that you are very much appreciated.

Hope said...

{{{Christina}}} I think of you all often during my day. Someone asked me once why I support the military. It was a lond thread actually. Lots answered. Here is my answer. I hope you find some comfort in it and know that you can email me anytime to vent or rant or just talk. I would love to help you and yours there in Salerno in anyway I can here in the states. You just name what you need.

Here was my reply to a forum query as to why people support.

I saw Marine's face somewhere...I can't remember if it was a magazine or a segment on television or Youtube or what....

He looked so tired.

I remember thinking exactly what Ed said. This is someone's son, father, nephew, brother, friend, lover, could be any of these or all. I can't imagine what they deal with day to day, but I know they sacrifice not just time, putting themselves in harms way or a good job, but more than that--- a part of themselves they won't getback...not ever.

Their eyes will see and their hearts will feel things, which they, in order to make manageable in their minds, will have to create some space within themselves to sanely absorb it. I know that it can make them stronger, but I also believe that adapting to war changes them whether they want it to or not and it changes them forever.

This sacrifice of self coupled with missing that first step or word, a promotion, graduation, the strain on relationships--all of it, it is so hard to wrap my mind around I employ the luxury I have-- which they bought for me, of not thinking about it too often. It hurts my heart to.

Love from one human to another on its own merits and free from obligation must, in some way,mitigate the hurt they will suffer even if they come back physically unscathed. I believe that what we do here is ciritical to how they return to us and to their own lives. If they suffer, but they know they are loved than the suffering is lessened. If they suffer and they feel forgotten or unloved than the suffering is magnified.

I do this because I love my country and I love the men and women who put their lives on the line everyday because they love their country, too.

Hope said...

PS. Those that I support are all male units...I hadn't thought about the pronoun issue this leter originally being in context with who I have been assigned to or have taken on. In this context it goes without saying---but I'll say it anyway--lol...this is for all the men and women in our armed services...

Leta said...

Dear SSgt Webbs ~ This is one American who cannot say enough or do enough to tell and show you all how much we care. Admittedly when I first got in to supporting our troops a few years ago I never imagined it would entail more than sending letters and "care" packages. As time has gone on seeing the need for emotional support honestly caught me off guard.

It's often difficult to know what to say or do when it comes to more than sending those letters telling about what is going on "back home". How do you "talk" to a person you don't even know. How do you tell them without sounding patronizing that you really DO understand how difficult it must be to be away from home, family, friends, comforts? Please don't think I'm trying to turn this around and put it back on you. I am absolutely not. Knowing what to say is so difficult.

But do know one thing - we DO appreciate you more than any words or actions can show you. We DO know the sacrifices you and your loved ones make EVERY day. We DO know there is a war in Afghanistan as well as in Iraq. We DO know that your living conditions and work conditions are stressful EVERY day. We DO know that there are days when you would rather just pull the covers up over your head and stay there. Most of all please know that we CARE!!!!

The work you all do at the hospital at Salerno is amazing ~ not only because of what you do but because of the conditions in which you do it. You have my deepest respect and admiration.

Keep up the great work for those who are wounded and need you. Know that what you are doing is honorable. Above all never let one day go by that all of you don't feel the love, respect, admiration and deepest gratitude being sent you way.

Anonymous said...

You are appreciated, all of you; regardless of our agreement with any particular president. It is important that there are people who choose joining the military. Your choice can be the difference between freedom. Further, if we don't have both people who choose to follow the presidents/joint the military, as well as people who stay home and run the affairs of our country/homes, then we would not be a well rounded nation. Please do not forget that when you are on a plane, we clap for you; when you are gone, we cry for you; when you get hurt, we take it personally. We love you, all of you.

David M said...

Trackbacked by The Thunder Run - Web Reconnaissance for 10/01/2007
A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the check back often.

margo said...

I hear nothing but support and appreciation for the troops here. I am in a VERY conservative part of California, but even those who disagree with the president appreciate your willingness to do the job! Thank you!

My dear soldier son is being moved from the "luxury" of Salerno to a place without the frills. He too didn't consider Salerno luxury until he found out where he is going instead. :(

I appreciate the team at the hospital standing ready in case my son needs you! I take comfort in seeing the extreme amount of skill, talent and education waiting to care for the patients. I hope that if something happens to him, he still is transported to Salerno to be patched up!

I only hope that I have been able to convey how VERY much you mean to me! Tell your son, and boyfriend that we appreciate their sacrifice also!

Amber said...

SSgt Webbs, I read your blog and while I was considering what to say I read the other comments. They have already said it all. We think of you all often and while we can't be there to go through it for you, we are here to listen to you when ever you need it. Even when my husband comes home from his time there, I will still feel connected to Salerno since it is on my mind so much everyday. I hope you make good friends there.

mikentexas said...

SSGT Webbs: You are not forgotten by the vast majority of Americans. What you are reacting to is the pitiful whining of elitists in our media who would rather see you fail than win. We know better and we appreciate all you have given up to serve your country.
The work you all are doing is both wonderful and inspiring.

Sarge Charlie said...

Hi Christina, Please stop by my blog and find an old soldier that is thankful for people like you. I understand you feelings, I did my turn in Vietnam, if you have read your history you will know how soldiers were treated then.
That is not happening today, most airports have welcoming parties for returning soldiers, you can bet that this old soldier will be some where to look a soldier in the eye, shake his hand, and thank him or her for their service. I for one am thankful for what you guys are doing and if you stop by my blog you will see that I have a lot of people who agree with me.

We love you.

Dave Phillips said...

SSgt Webbs (and fellow combatants) -

Please don't question the support of the American people for the folks like you that are doing the job. We are behind you all the way!!

One thing that worries me is the tone of some of the notes coming from people in your situation, questioning the support of the folks here. Please don't confuse a discussion here with any change in feelings about the folks there on the front line.

One my recent trip back to Georgia, a young military person was on the flight with me and the steward moved him up to First Class - with the entire rest of the plane smiling and nodding. That is the way we feel about you all.

That said, please try to understand that a rational discussion of our future there is going on here in the US. Those folks that have studied military doctrine and military history have lots of legitimate concerns about our efforts there. The recommendations of Gen Shinseki and the Joint Chiefs were totally ignored before we invaded Iraq. The military doctrine developed over a century was not followed. The people that got us into a difficult situation need to also show the concern for the lives of the people sent into harm's way.

Many of the people asking pointed questions are not some leftist elite, but are people with years of miitary experience who are looking out for the long term interests of the country and all of it's citizens. And your long term interests are part of that.

So - do your job and trust us.

Dave Phillips
LtCol, USAF (Ret)

Haole Wahine said...


If you don't mind, would you just tell everyone thank you for the support and warm wishes I and everyone else over here appreciate it.

Thank you

S Sgt Christina Webbs

Anonymous said...

SSgt Webbs,

My son is with the 4BCT, 82nd Airborne stationed at Salerno. While he was going through basic combat training at Ft. Benning, he had a not so enjoyable day and was feeling kind of down, and was wondering why he was doing what he was doing. Here is what I told him....You are doing what you are doing so that your younger brother and sister never have to be afraid to be an American. When they are older and want to travel or go to college overseas, they will not have to be concerned about enjoying the freedoms we enjoy now-the freedon to worship where we want, to speak out and to disagree with the current political leadership, the freedom to work where we want and to persue the career that we want. You are fighting for the safety of future Americans not only here in the US, but overseas.

SSgt. Webbs, I, as a father and fellow American, truly thank you for the job you are doing.

BrianFH said...

On the other side, in years to come you will recall having been involved in actions and events "of great moment" (it's a physics term, meaning power and momentum; i.e., significance). You are among the few whose actions have far greater consequences and importance than you can easily imagine. In fact, the danger is that much of your subsequent life and environment may seem trivial by comparison.

So what those passengers were expressing was not just gratitude, but admiration and a certain amount of envy. You're important.

BTW, it's "versus", not "verses". Unless you're a poet. ;)

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