What We Signed Up For
While speaking with a friend at a school assembly, I shared with her my concern about the sequester. With Obama back in office, we have the exact same thing that we have had for the past four years: a stalemate. My friend said simply, "That's what you signed up for."
At that same assembly, the most beautiful thing happened: after a song celebrating veterans, a dad came home from war. We watched with tears streaming down our faces as father and son embraced after too much time apart. Then this courageous man came to the microphone and spoke to us while his son stood by his side. He ended with this: "I give my time so you can have yours."
That perfectly describes why we sign up.
I remember when I learned that my husband was going to be deployed. Even though you know it can happen, it still comes like a punch to the gut. Imagine being told that you have to live without half of yourself for a time -- that you have to willingly give up an arm and be happy about it. We were blessed and had several months to prepare. Many do not.
My husband serves our country and willingly goes away so you can have time with your family in a land that is free -- a land that God blessed us with and desires us to protect. A country unlike any that came before it and, quite possibly, unlike any that will come after it.
Watching the reunion made me think back to when my husband came back. My son and I picked him up, and we immediately went to the school and checked our daughter out. Neither of them knew that Daddy was coming home that day. When we reached the school, we waited at the end of the hallway as our girl was coming towards us. I remember her screams as she saw him and ran into his arms, the way she wouldn't let go of him. It was one of the happiest moments of my life, and I would willingly go through it again...and the pain that came with the absence.
My husband volunteered for the deployment. We had been fortunate and had not had a long separation yet. With an upcoming promotion, my husband made the decision that he could not ask others to leave their families if he were not willing to do so. We came to the decision together and willingly put it all on the line for you. We give up our time together so you can have your time.
The only thing we ask in return is that we have your support as you enjoy your freedom. We ask that the leaders back home do the best they can to take care of our military men and women. We ask that when they need something to survive, they get it. We ask that you take care of us, the families, who are left behind. We ask that we do not become some political ploy in an endless dance and shuffle to see who comes out on top.
This idea of sequestration is a means -- a way to force people to come to agreement in order to stave off disaster. Now it seems that perhaps this was the game after all. This is how they win...and how we lose.
The sequester is a trigger that was put into play to force the leaders in Washington to agree to an amazingly grand budget bargain. But the problem with triggers is that sometimes, when there is so much junk clogging the barrel, the gun blows up in your face. In this case, the explosion is $1.2 trillion in across-the-board government cuts, with over half being in the defense department.
Who wins in this scenario? Not myself and my family; not your families. The only winners are the people in Washington who can say, "We stood by our principles and refused to back down."
I hope you enjoy those principles when over a million jobs are lost...I'm sorry, furloughed (we do need to keep up political correctness, do we not?). I hope you enjoy those principles when the military is slashed to such a dramatic extent that it invites attacks because we're flat on our backs. After all, that's when terrorists attack...when the chips are down. They attack to strike terror, and our military will be so weakened that it will not be able to do anything to help you except throw a weak right hook and get knocked down.
In March, the civilians employed by our government will be facing indefinite furloughs and up to a 20% pay cut. Many of these men and women are former military, the best and the brightest, who are still looking for ways to protect you. To uphold what America stands for: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Contractors will be unable to retain their contracts bettering our bases because there will be no money. Who will fight for life when liberty dies? It won't be your military. We're on furlough. Sorry -- save yourself, or call Washington.
In March, I do not know if my husband will have a job. Maybe he'll volunteer for another deployment, but then again, with America falling, what is there left to fight for?
In March, I do not know if my husband will have a job. But we do have a savior named Jesus Christ who commands us to fight for the least of these...and that is why we strive against insurmountable odds.
I've heard it said that only two forces are willing to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American soldier. Let's pray we don't lose any more soldiers because of this asinine idea of sequester, because I fear that the worst is yet to come.
No, we didn't sign up for this. However, we will willingly stand in this gap, because in the end, that is what a hero does.