Very Proud and Worried - A Father's Thoughts
April 1, 2003
My Marine son, Michael Bancroft, in Iraq
My Marine son, Michael Bancroft,
(Boot camp graduation picture)
| ||Since America and its allies are engaged in the liberation of Iraq . . . I am not going to second guess:|
How should it have been approached?
How should it have started?
How many more troops should have been involved from the start?
How long was it supposed to take?
How long will it take?
How much was it supposed to cost?
How much will it cost?
Who is right or wrong?
Because my son and youngest child chose to serve his country as a Marine . . . and who is now putting his life on the line along with the thousands of other American and coalition troops in Iraq.
It should now be the time to be an American, Britain or citizen of the other respective allied countries . . . not about being a conservative, liberal, moderate, Democrat, Republican, or whatever.
And while I cannot speak for other parents and loved ones, my wife and I constantly worry about our son. We have used the TV remote control like never before . . . flipping back and forth to the various cable news networks trying to catch reports about the 5th Regiment of the First Marine Division, especially when there is a report of a death or injury.What makes the emotional ordeal even worse... is the use of embedded reporters. My wife and I support its use, but it is addictive as well. It is the main reason for our incessant scanning of the networks.
I am even guilty of having to force myself to go to bed and usually well after midnight . . . The father in me still thinking of this grown man as my little boy, and wanting to protect him at all costs.
Moreover, I doubt most parents, wives, and other loved ones would wish to endure this media approach to war coverage for an extended period of time.
I shutter just thinking about the long-term wars of the past. I am not sure if I could have survived watching the Normandy invasion, battle of the Bulge, taking of Iowa Jima, and defending Khe Sanh. (Just the portrayal of the battles and urban combat in Saving Private Ryan maxed my tolerance limit.)
Enduring the 24/7 live coverage and the anxious wait of my son's safe return . . . comes down to being extremely proud of him, who has always had my love.
Finally, I hope God's guiding hand will minimize loss of life on both sides, and that a resolute end to this liberation comes quickly.
Author's Note... Since this article, I wrote the poem, Brave Young, on January 13, 2005 in response to one near death miss that my son told me about while serving in Iraq . . . It took him over a year to tell me, after I originally asked about "any close calls". I will never asked him about any other near misses.
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