While Peter has been home, he has shared with us many of his experiences of being in Iraq. It is a amazing to think that, while we enjoy all the comforts of everyday life, there are young men and women enduring great hardship for the freedoms many of us take for granted. He has told of us the scorching heat, (the hottest day for him was 147 degrees!!) the sand storms so thick that you can not see the sun and, of course, the famous Camel spiders.
While he is on his base he sleeps in a trailer with air conditioning and he gets to eat pretty decent food. When he goes out on a mission, he looses even those small luxuries.
On a mission, the living arrangements are, at best, primitive. There is no running water and the only water they have available to drink is rationed, bottled water, that is usually hot. For every meal they eat a M.R.E. (The Meal, Ready-to-Eat (MRE) is a self-contained, individual field ration in lightweight packaging procured by the United States military for its service-members for use in combat or other field conditions where organized food facilities are not available. From Wikipedia, )Yumm!!
So, all that to say, Peter is enjoying being home. On the way home from one of our trips to Amarillo, he said, somewhat wistfully, "Being home makes me not want to go back, everything in the States is so nice". He knows he needs to go back. He has a job to finish. He just has a whole new perspective on all that we have because we are Americans.
Last night at dinner he said, "I hope that people appreciate all that we (soldiers) are going through so that we (Americans) can enjoy what we enjoy". He was recalling how, when the war first began, people were so patriotic. Everyone had flags in their front yard and were proud to be Americans. He said that if feels like they have forgotten that soldiers are still fighting for them.
Our younger son, Josh, reminded him that we would always have a flag hanging for him and the rest of the soldiers.
I woke up thinking about that conversation. I guess my prayer for all Americans is that we will remember that freedom is not free. A great price has been and will continue to be paid for it. May we never take it for granted.
Peter enjoying some of the finer things in life, chocolate brownies and a cold glass of milk:)