My sister-in-law, Sandy, called this morning. We chatted about the fun stuff of life: her alma mater, Ohio State, being in the Final Four; the Ohio State-Xavier game (pitting her university against Michael’s alma mater); my 15 seconds of fame on the Today Show a couple of weeks ago; Virgin Galactic’s head of Astronaut Sales, Carolyn Wincer, coming to KC tomorrow; and Krista and David’s Re-Commitment Ceremony.
When Krista, our niece and Sandy’s daughter, and David were engaged, Krista found out she’d be deployed to Iraq. The lovebirds met in the Reserves and were planning their wedding when the news came. Not wanting to be apart, they decided to marry in a private ceremony and have a formal “Re-Commitment” when Krista returned from her tour of duty.
The big day is April 14th and, as Krista’s website reminds us we have 20 days until the celebration! (http://www.theknot.com/ourwedding/kristaenglert&davidenglert)
When Krista was in Iraq, I kept my friends posted on her activities, often copying her poignant emails to everyone. Whenever I heard about a soldier dying or being wounded, I froze, “Please God, no—not Krista!” Thankfully, Krista made it back home, Purple Heart and Bronze Star in hand; and, hence, a wedding in 20 days!
Krista, a nurse, focused on community health and women’s rights while she was in Iraq. She is bright, pretty, intelligent, and a gifted writer and speaker. One day Lauren, my daughter, and I sat glued to our computers when Krista was interviewed “live” on an East coast radio show. I was so proud of her, the way she articulated her views, described the warm friendships she formed with many Iraqis, the tragedy of her Iraqi friend being assassinated, and Krista’s humvee being hit by an IED.
So, we are so blessed to share in the joy of this union of two brave American soldiers (David had already completed a tour of duty in Afghanistan when they met).
And I am so angry, full of sadness and rage—Krista found out two weeks ago that she is being re-deployed to Iraq in early summer. Last time she was based in Mosul, not exactly a walk in the park. Today, however, Mosul is a lot safer than many other parts of Iraq! Krista doesn’t know where she’ll be based (and I’m not sure she could tell us if she did know—Army rules, you know!) and David plans to volunteer to go to Iraq with Krista. Now, these two beautiful, vibrant young people will be headed to the dangerous morass we call Iraq.
Krista is committed to focusing on the celebration that will occur in 20 days and I will honor her wishes and concentrate on the good, the hope, the love David and Krista share. Privately, in my heart, my mind, and probably on this blog, I rage at this war. The latest “surge” requested by Bush is what is taking Krista back to Iraq so soon (“at all” is what I really mean!). There used to be a rule that a reservist had to be home a year before being asked to return to duty in Iraq, but what’s a guy to do? Our prez needs some fresh bodies over there and, after all, he’s the “Decider” isn’t he?
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