Thursday, November 17, 2011

~ Message From A Soldier ~

Letters To The Editor ( The Post-Record Camas -Washougal, Washington)
Message from a soldier

I am a Washougal resident and local middle school history teacher who enlisted in the Army in 2008. Today, I said goodbye to my family to join my team in deploying to Afghanistan for a year. Since so many people in the media and in politics so often love to speak on the behalf of soldiers, I wanted to write you and share with you why I’m doing this, in my own words:
There’s been enough written about 9-11, the War on Terror, duty, honor, service, truth, justice and the American Way and all that to fill the Library of Congress, so I won’t regurgitate it here.
And while all of those things carry a very sacred and deep meaning for me and are a part of my motivation, now — on the eve of leaving for war — they’re not where I choose to focus. At the moment, I’m choosing to focus on what I see everyday, and how it all compels me to leave my life for a year to fight in someone else’s country around people who hate me.
I’m doing it for the parents working two jobs to pay their kids’ tuition. I’m doing it so that kids can learn and grow and feel safe at home in a country where they’re free to become whoever they want to be. I’m doing it for that single mom who pulls double shifts everyday and then goes to night school after tucking the kids in. I’m doing it so those kids can hope for a better future than their current present.
I’m doing it for people like my friend, who pours his heart and soul into his non-profit, where he fights everyday to turn his passion into a better reality for South African school children, one soccer scholarship at a time
I’m doing it so that a place like America continues to exist; where people with big hearts and even bigger ideas can pursue better lives for strangers around the world, asking for nothing in return.
I’m doing it for that immigrant who finally succeeded in moving his family here (legally) can taste the American Dream. I’m doing so that American Dream can still exist for his kids and their kids.
I’m doing it for the guys who froze to death crossing the Delaware that Christmas night in 1776, whispering “Victory or Death!” as they lay down forever in the snow drifts, and so that no American ever has to sacrifice that much for our own survival ever again.
I’m doing it for all the wonderful things my family and I enjoyed recently: For pumpkin patches at family farms; so that small family farms can continue to work and thrive in a free country that rewards hard working families.
For things like football on Sundays and World Series that truly are Fall Classics; so that we as a nation will always share in great moments like College Game Day or Game 6.
For sunny days on breezy beaches or rainy days by the fire while watching “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”
For all the little moments that make life in America so freaking good; so good in fact, that we almost never realize that our lives and the way we get to live them are the exception, and not the norm in this world.
I’m doing it in the slightest of hopes that it means that someone else, somewhere, someday, won’t have to.
I’m doing it for my students, in the hopes that they can learn, through me, that it’s not enough to read about history, but that to truly understand history is to honor it; to honor the sacrifices of those who’ve come before us in places like Gettysburg, Valley Forge, Normandy and Arlington National.
I’m doing it for my sons, so that they can one day understand and appreciate the price of the freedom they’re still too young to fully get, much less appreciate. And so that, God willing, their daddy is the last Goble to have to fight in the Middle East (though I doubt it).
I’m doing it because at the end of the day, I wouldn’t know how not to. According to my research, a male in my family has been in every American war since the Old North Bridge outside of Concord in 1775. It’s just my turn, and I can’t shy away from that responsibility.
That’s why I joined the Army. That’s why I’m going to Afghanistan. That’s why I fight.

Sgt. Chris Goble, 445 CA Bn, 82nd Airborne Division

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...a man among men! ~ Storm'n Norm'n

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