Just Plain Foolish

Just a chance for an old-fashioned, simple storyteller to say what needs to be said.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Thank you, Senator Webb

At a recent White House reception, Jim Webb, Virginia's new senator and father of a currently deployed marine, was asked by President Bush how his son is doing. Senator Webb replied that he wants them out of there. And that was it. When President Bush continued to press, Senator Webb walked away.

Now, I can't speak for Senator Webb. I've never even met him. He claims as his two favorite presidents two that drive me nuts, Andrew Jackson (whom I see as very similar to our current president) and Ronald Reagan. The only characteristic that I know we share is having a loved one who is currently deployed. But I can tell you that the question of how he's doing is one that worries me a lot. When will he be in convoy? I don't know. When will he be in the air? I don't know. What are the conditions on his base? I don't know.

On Christmas, will he have a chance to watch the various versions of "A Christmas Carol" that I sent him with? No clue. I somehow don't think it'll be a magical day of peace for him. (I hope, though, that he catches his favorite bit from his favorite version.) I do know he won't be having apple cake, not even the kind sweetened with that wierd pseudo sugar stuff. I know that he won't be headed to Florida to spend time with his aunt. I know I can't just ring up his cell phone to wish him a Merry Christmas, or invite him to the polka hall I just discovered (4 hours of polka for $5, and inexpensive refreshments!) I know it'll be summer before I can bring him to a local spot for Carolina BBQ.

I'm pretty sure that when he comes back, it'll be like last time. He'll watch televisions that have been turned off. He'll jump when a truck drives by the restaurant we're eating at. He won't be exactly the person we said goodbye to.

Until, President Bush, you've said that goodbye to your daughters, don't ask us about our loved ones. You're not qualified.


Blogger Little Black Car said...

Never mind that it's utterly pathetic that Bush should even ask such a mindless question. How is he doing? He's getting shot at. People are trying to kill him and his own government doesn't want to give him body armor or protected vehicles. He's having a lousy time. You're the President--you should KNOW how he's doing.

11/29/2006 11:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for writing about this event. I applaud Senator-elect Webb for taking a stand. That was a rude question from President Bush. I hope and pray that Sen. Webb and others can put an end to the endless cycle of killing and missteps by this administration.:-)

11/29/2006 4:47 PM  
Blogger Plain Foolish said...

Thee, Hannah!, indeed, and when body armor is issued, sometimes it's in jungle green. The picture I have from my dad (last time he was deployed) of him waiting in the Thanksgiving chow line shows him in bright green jungle camo armor against a beige background (and even against his desert camo uniform - blatant stupidity).

Don, had the question come from someone else, nearly anyone other than the president and his posse, it would have been a different thing. I've grown accustomed to friends, especially those who know my dad, asking me how he's doing. While it's a hard question to answer, it's one that usually comes out of love. I try to pass on any little anecdotes he chooses to send home, and just say we're still praying for him.

That's one of the hard things - everything about his life right now is out of our control, save for letters from home and any pressure we can bring to bear to treat our soldiers properly and to bring them home.

11/30/2006 6:49 AM  

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