Part-Time Mom

God Bless Our Brave Sons
Copyright ©2005 Divisiontwo Magazine

 by Maureen Jambor

Last week, my sister Janine received a phone call no mother should ever have to get.  Her son, my nephew, Daniel, had been killed by sniper fire in Tikrit, on the outskirts of Baghdad, in the early morning hours.  Insurgents had been hiding inside an irrigation channel next to the road Danielís convoy happened to travel that morning.  He was killed along with three others.  Many of the insurgents got away.

Sometimes, watching as the war unfolds in neatly produced segments on NBC Nightly News, we forget that some boys on our side are dying too.  Thankfully we are spared the harshest and goriest details of war on our television screens (our generation saw enough of that in the Vietnam era), but sometimes we need a reality check too.  Every life this war claims, unfortunately, isnít the life of a terrorist or insurgent.

This is a sobering moment for our family, but even more profoundly so for our mother.  Daniel and my son Michael are my motherís only two grandsons.  No mother or grandmother should have to outlive her own children.  Itís the most terrible kind of pain, and I wouldnít wish it onto the most vile terrorist or the most bloodthirsty muslim.  Sadly, though, I remind myself, this is the cost of freedom. 

Daniel's memory reminds us we must refuse to give in to foreign tyrrany no matter what the price.
Axle of Evil: The loss of Daniel solidifies our resolve that we shall not give in to foreign tyranny.

I think itís important that all members of my generation, who lived through and still remember Vietnam all too clearly, stop today, and take a moment to reflect on our beautiful sons who have been lost, who are still being lost every day, who have had to sacrifice their own lives in Iraq so that we can remain free of terror at home, and so that gas prices can remain below three dollars a gallon.

It is thanks to our brave sons and the lives they are willing to give that we can continue to drive our Durangos and Suburbans and not have to fit into something smaller.  We should acknowledge that it is Daniel, and his his countless lost brothers in Iraq, that are securing for our generation comfort, luxury, and style, and making sure that our freedom comes with ample cargo space and seating for nine. 

For the last year since Daniel shipped out, I would proudly think of him when I started up my H2 every day, knowing itís the same vehicle he is probably driving in Iraq, and Iíd feel good knowing that Iím supporting him and our troops.  I feel it even more strongly now.  Now, more than ever for both me and my sister, the meaning and power behind the slogan ďSupport Our TroopsĒ becomes crystal clear.  The last thing Daniel would want is for his mother to have to scuttle to and from the office in a tiny Echo because thereís not enough gas in the pumps back home to fill her Explorer.

How long will the Iraq war continue?  Even the experts on cable news say no one can possibly know.  How much will it cost us, both in dollars and in the lives of our beautiful sons, before terror is eliminated and our generation feels safe again?  No one knows that either.  Most Fox News commentators I watch say it could be necessary to keep our troops in the region "indefinitely", and lately it's looking more and more like we're going to have to do something about Iran if they aren't more forthcoming about their nuclear weapons programs.

But one thing is absolutely certain:  No matter how long the war goes on, no matter how many lives our sons must give, we canít give up this war or this Administration, or we may as well give up our SUVs and our freedom too, and the ideals we fought for in the '60s.  Being able to get up, stretch my legs and walk around a little during freeway gridlock is an American liberty I'm not about to let Osama bin Laden take from me.  Daniel, and the rest of our sons, will see to that.

Freedom comes with a Hemi
Freedom comes with a Hemi:  Supporting our troops means never having to compromise on power.

Even though the Bush Administration has banned the media from showing caskets coming home, sparing us the graphic details we donít need during family hour, the horrors and tragedies of war still come home whenever one of our sonsí lights is extinguished.  I feel tremendous loss in my heart where a part of Danielís soul will always be, but once I get behind the wheel of a four wheel drive, it puts it all into perspective.  This is why I love my country.

Our "boomer" generation, more than any other generation I can think of, deserves our freedom, safety and security.  If we give in to foreign tyranny, if we let those who frighten and terrorize us change the way we live, if we give in to rising gas prices and drive something smaller like we did in our twenties, then Danielís death and the deaths of all our sons in Iraq were for nothing.


Maureen Jambor is an executive management consultant, a business systems analyst, a published author, and a part-time mom.

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