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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Every Day Hero

*From the weekly series Every Day Hero at Assoluta Tranquillita*

My regular readers know I have enormous respect for the families of our troops. In December 2009, I designated military families as MY Heroes of the Year. You can find that here. In that column, I included a poem:

The Girl Behind the Man behind the Gun

by MacDonald, Wilson Pugsley, (b. 1880)

You have seen the line of khaki swinging grandly down the street,
You have heard the band blare out Britannic songs;
You have read a ton of papers and you've thrown them at your feet,
And your brain's a battlefield for fighting throngs.
You have cheered for Tommy Atkins, and you've yelled for Jack Canuck;
You have praised the French and Belgians, every one.
But I'm rhyming here a measure to the valor and the pluck
Of the Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun.

There's a harder game than fighting; there's a deeper wound by far
Than the bayonet or the bullet ever tore.
And a patient, little woman wears upon her heart a scar
Which the lonesome years will keep for evermore.
There are bands and bugles crying and the horses madly ride,
And in passion are the trenches lost or won.
But SHE battles in the silence, with no comrade at her side,
Does the girl behind the man behind the gun.

Fact is, in every war there are women left behind on the homefront. In WW2, most of those women worked in munitions factories (Rosie Riveter anyone?) and in England, many of those "girl[s] behind the man ..." joined the Women's Land Army to make sure that food was still produced to feed a nation at war. The women in my family have shared many stories of their escapades in the WLA!

In this current war, women are - again - playing a vital role contributing to the war effort. Yes, women now are in the frontline combat roles, but there is also a group of women whose war efforts are every bit as critical as their sisters commanding tanks, machine guns, in the sandbox.

They are the wives, the mothers, the bloggers. Seems fitting to me that in this war, being fought on two fronts at home, (the msm and the rest of women are writing about their lives as connected to the military. These women have a unique perspective, that the rest of us do not. Their contributions to the GWOT are every bit as vital as the man with the gun. I suspect the men with the guns would agree with me!... (read more about some of my family heroes - who continue to serve - here on Tanker Bros)

Recently I came across a video produced by a Canadian military wife, and discovered another 'Girl Behind the Man Behind the Gun.' Her words give insights into the incredible commitment our military families have, not only to their loved ones serving in the sandboxes of the world, but to our countries. Without the dedication of these families, our countries' troops could not function as well as they do.

Take a look:

(H/T Tribute to our Soldiers)

heinsight | September 30, 2007

This is a narrative story with a poem I wrote back when my Canadian Soldier was serving during Op Orion in Afghanistan during Jan-Aug 2006. I end the story with my husband's last email to me before boarding a plane to come home after he finished he combat tour. My husband has now gone back to Afghanistan for a second combat tour in 2008 and came home safely (here)

And this Canadian wife also adds this:

If this poem touches you or gives you more insight to what a military family goes through when their loved one is deployed. If it can help you understand what a soldier has to endure during a deployment to a war zone then I have achieved my goal. (here)

I think 'heinsight' most assuredly achieved her goal. The family also serves. They ARE heroes, every single day. My respect and gratitude to ALL the military families of our coalition troops.