Letter to a Soldier's Baby
by Mark G. Brennan
by Mark G. Brennan
Congratulations on getting your picture on the front page of today's New York Times. That is quite a remarkable feat for someone five months old. Anyway, I have to tell you that the photo moved me to tears as I ate my breakfast this morning.
Seeing your father feed you while your mother and grandmother looked on reminded me about everything good about families. Your father's care and love shine through brilliantly in the photo. You are lucky to have 2 parents who care about you so much. And it's wonderful that your grandmother is still around to see both her son and grandson in such a tender moment.
I know you are too young to appreciate the feeding and care your dad gave you yesterday morning. One day you will look back on it with fond memories. Speaking on behalf of all my fellow Americans, we hope that you will reminisce with your father and not about your father as the clipping ages in your scrapbook.
Your father is a brave man. For that I commend him. Like Rep. Ron Paul I support the troops, your father being the foremost example. To best support them we should bring them home. I will pray for your father's safe return. As a patriotic American it is the least I can do for you and your family.
One day you might wonder why the government decided to send a true patriot like your father halfway around the world at one of the most precious moments of your life. Trust me — your father will miss you more than anything he is leaving back home in Georgia. Both you guys will make it through this horrible experience and your mom will do her best in the meantime.
Believe it or not, the United States government did not always split up families the way it is doing to yours today. Until 1898 our leaders rarely saw a reason to send our honorable forces overseas to meddle in other nations' affairs. But in the early 1900s President Woodrow Wilson made the fateful decision to intervene in a foreign war. He mouthed all the same bromides and war whoops that his successor George W(oodrow) Bush is spouting today. Wilson's foray into the Great War set a precedent that we can not shake to this very day — the United States as global police force.
Your dad will be fighting in a war that I have seen described as necessary to the survival of this nation. Those screaming that assessment never volunteer to serve in the military like your dad. As a result of this global, messianic crusade, you, having just arrived on this planet five months ago will pay a bigger price than 99% of all Americans. While the rest of us watch the Super Bowl, eat to the point of diabetes, and argue about who should have won American Idol, you will be missing out on the love that only a parent can provide. And this will occur during some of the most formative months of your life. It's sore consolation, but your father will probably suffer more by his absence from this exciting period of your life.
Your father might miss your first steps. He will most likely miss your first birthday party. We will pray that he does not miss all your birthdays. In any event, regularly send him a photo of yourself with the biggest smile you can muster. After the flashbulbs go off, feel free to cry in your mother's arms for as long as you want. Those who have spilled so much ink demanding that heroes like your father go risk his life so they can keep writing white papers inside the Beltway do not know what a sacrifice is. You are living a sacrifice that few other Americans can imagine. But be strong for your dad. His life in Iraq will be hard enough without imagining how hurt you might feel. You are a trooper; your father will be that much more proud of you when he returns.
Best of luck and give your father a hug on behalf of all of us who appreciate his courage while loathing the traitors who put him in the line of danger.
Mark G. Brennan
February 5, 2007
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