• Matt Smythe

READING IN PEACE

Updated: Jul 10

Obama just announced a withdrawal of 10,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of the year. 33,000 by September of next year. This is a good thing. But do not forget, when everything’s said and done, there will still still be tens-of-thousands of our men and women over there fighting for our freedoms. Never forget.


READING IN PEACE

What a sheltered life I now lead. I wake, dress, eat, drive to work. Day after day, no bomb percussion, gray and flame clouds blooming over close farm fields or treelines.

No gunfire duck-and-run walks with kids and dog. No low-flying recon planes or camo’d troops patrolling my lawn mowing or our evening-lit windows.

I lie in bed with my wife with no fear of being forced naked into the street-light. I send my children to swim in the neighbor’s pool and they come home smiling, wrapped in towels, not body-bags.

Police or fire sirens raise ears for just as long as it takes to guess their fender-bender accident or kitchen fire destination. Football rivalries don’t call for jihad or road-side bombing the visiting school’s bus.

I sit in my well-lit office reading online editorials, blogs from Beirut that say I couldn’t sleep for my bed shaking from the bombs. They sound closer and closer. Maybe tomorrow they’ll quiet.

* I wrote this in ’06 after Israel began retaliating against Hezbollah for firing rockets into Israeli settlements. Almost ten years after I finished my enlistment in the Army.

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© 2017 By Matt Smythe