Since our son-brother, Casey, was killed in Iraq, even precious and happy moments are tinged with grief. Today is such a day—it is Casey’s youngest sibling’s birthday.
As I write this, I vividly remember the day Janey was born back in 1985. I gave birth to my babies at home with the assistance of midwives and surrounded by treasured loved ones. As the youngest of four (Casey the oldest was 6 ½), Janey was especially loved and spoiled by all, but her big brother was her protector and “go to guy” when she felt that her parents were being too harsh, or “unfair,” (popular child-whine).
Fast-forward to Janey’s 18th birthday in 2003—the day Casey came home for a visit for the final time before he was killed in Iraq. I even remember what I prepared that night for Janey’s birthday and Casey’s welcome home party.
Now we are here in 2009. Casey has been dead for 5 ½ years and I have always been dreading this day a little. My youngest child has become as old as her oldest brother was when he was killed. Casey, my oldest will now be the youngest as he was eternally frozen at 24 when he was killed in the Robber Class war for profit in Iraq.
When I set up Camp Casey in Crawford, Tx—our family’s private anguish was laid open for all to see and we have been mourning in a very public way since—which can be harder for us, but I believe it’s necessary for a nation so far removed from the violence of a war that rages on, to have to share a little in the pain. Too few have had to bear the burden of these illegal wars for profit.
Every time that I hear of another troop being killed, I immediately think of the mother and a piece of my broken heart flies to her because she has no idea the depth of the pain that she is being forced into, nor does she know at that time how she will survive it.
I received an email from a military wife yesterday begging me to expose the rise in military-spouse suicide and I have just read a report on the disastrous effects of repeated and longer deployments on the children of our troops. And no matter how horribly a few of us are suffering here in the US—the peoples of the occupied countries suffer 100 times more.
During the Vietnam demented fiasco, there was a saying (maybe a bumper sticker), “MIA NEVER HAVE A NICE DAY” (MIA: Missing in Action). Well, in this nation that pays such lip service to “Family Values,” we must realize that all families are valuable, not just the ones who profit off of the Military Industrial Complex and some of us will never fully have a "nice day" again.
So, today, our family and treasured friends will gather to celebrate Janey's birthday and we will derive much joy from the grand-babies, but our celebration will be tinged with sadness and regret.
Please remember that our troops are still being endangered, and while they are endangered, they are endangering others.
Bring them home!