When I was 14, my dad was sent to fight someone else’s war. Saddam Husein’s army had invaded Kuwait and the US military had acted swiftly and decisively to protect Kuwait with “Operation Desert Shield” which in turn became “Operation Desert Storm” and my father fought the storm on the front lines. My parents broke it to us kids by surprising us after school with stories of The Christmas Bunny, a confused rabbit that hid Christmas gifts for us throughout the house. As soon as we could shrug off our backpacks we were tearing through our house in search of misplaced Christmas gifts. My six foot four father pranced around the living room extolling the virtues of the Christmas bunny in a falsetto voice, while my mother, calmly, and with no hint of emotion in her voice, told us that my father was shipping out in a few short weeks, that he wouldn’t be home for the holidays.
I would like to tell you that at 14, my heart broke upon hearing the news, I would like to tell you that I was not so self absorbed in my teenage fog that it consciously registered that my father was going off to risk his life for total strangers, but I can’t. Read more