Memorial Day

My family hasn't been American long enough to lose anyone in an American war - on my mother's side, both of her brothers wanted to go to Vietnam, but the Army only took one of them, and he never saw combat (my other uncle had a hole in his ear drum, so he didn't pass the physical). One of my cousins joined the Air Force but finished serving his time before the first Gulf War; his younger brother joined the Navy at the tail end of the Gulf War but never saw combat (although he did leave the Navy with a big old drug addiction, which he has never recovered from).

On my father's side of the family, those of his siblings who came to the U.S. eventually went back - his older brother used to own a bar in Brooklyn, but headed home because he found the pace of life way too fast. My dad's oldest sister retired to England, in large part because of the election of George W. Bush. Another one of his sisters moved back to Ireland when her son (who was born in Ireland) graduated from high school - her husband, a plumber, was itching to benefit from the resurgent Irish economy.

But I do know some veterans. My FIL was a POW briefly in Korea - he told the story of his escape once, and every hair on my body stood on end - it was riveting and terrifying, and he's lucky he survived. The dad of one of my close high school friends (and he's a dad who is very special to me) served in Vietnam

And about 2 minutes from my house is a small green that houses the war Memorials for the town's citizens who died in combat - when I read those names, of those who gave their lives in war, I recognize some of the names from kids who go to school with Sio & Monkey.

It's not difficult to share the grief of those families who have lost someone in Iraq. And it's not difficult to look at why those men and women were in Iraq and get angry.

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