Godspeed: a wish for a prosperous journey, success, and good fortune.
While paging through the usual drivel in the RedEye on my way to work this morning, I stumbled through an article about Bush and his plans for Iraq. Suddenly I saw something that made this war more real to me than ever before..
Under Bush’s plan, thousands of troops will be alerted that they may be needed in Iraq – including units already there whose service would be extended, or others that could be sent earlier than initially scheduled, said one official.
Moving first into Iraq would be the 2nd Brigade, 82nd Airborne Division, which is now in Kuwait and poised to head quickly into the country, the defense official said. The Brigade, numbering about 3,500 troops, is based at Ft. Bragg, N.C.
One of those 3,500 troops is my friend, Liam. I had received word of his deployment late one night in December. I had returned late from a party and I immediately tried to call him, with no regard to what time it was or how drunk I sounded. I left him a voicemail and we had been playing phone tag ever since. I had no idea his deployment was coming up so quickly. On January 2nd I received a phone call from his wife Danielle who filled me in on his deployment and also told me that he wished he could have spoken to me before leaving. I too wish that could have happened. Instead I had a wonderful conversation with her, with his new baby boy cooing in the background – united their family is stronger, no matter the distance.
It has been far too easy for me to disassociate myself from what is going on in Iraq. Now that this has happened, I feel a new conviction to support those who have gone to fight for our country, regardless of how I feel about the choices that this administration has made. For every one of the 3,500 troops from the 82nd Airborne division, there is a family… there is a story… there is strength. The same can be said about the hundreds of thousands of troops already in Iraq.
Please join me in wishing Liam, as well as the rest of the troops Godspeed.
We are there with you in heart and spirit. When you return your family and friends will be waiting with open arms, and the bar will be waiting with two Gin and Tonics for us both.
It is a shame we didn’t get to speak before you left – but I am there with you now and will be here upon your return. Godspeed, my friend.