Last night, Ray and I were working our way to bed when we heard the president would make an announcement. We’re very aware of the time on the east coast. So we stayed up. Waiting. I think we both gasped when we heard that Osama Bin Laden has been killed.
I have very mixed emotions about this. I remember watching troops surround our house in Iceland as I tried to calm my nine-month old baby, my baby girl who was named after a man who studied and hunted terrorists long before most people in our country understood what a real terrorist was. As I watched a plane hit one of the twin towers, I was trying to feed Arleigh and call Ray at the same time. I knew what had happened as the broadcasters were trying to figure things out. No one else could imagine that it would happen here. I lived with my car being searched, actually combed through every time we needed to leave base. The flights back to the United States… I don’t think I have to say anymore.
My husband spent time in Iraq, not Afghanistan, but still. We’ve lived with deployments and saying goodbye to friends and welcome home with an ever present fear for the last ten years. Ray’s first deployment before Sept. 11, I worried. I worried that he could trip and get hurt on the ship. I worried about accidents. The next deployment, the worry was different. I’m thankful that he’s only had one desert deployment. I pray for the families that have to live that time and time again.
Did I want the threat removed? Yes. Emphatically yes. The real truth is, Bin Laden has been in hiding, perhaps plotting, but not a real threat for a long time. We’ve kept him at bay while hunting him down. Do I think the world is a safer place for my children, yes and no. I’m glad this man who can plot horrific events will no longer be able to. The fact is, as a military family, we live knowing that we are targets for bad, mean wicked people. They will continue to be wicked until someone can change their hearts.
When I hear it was the navy, it’s hard for my heart not to swell with pride. I wonder if it was someone Ray knows. I wonder what it would feel like to know that you stopped that evil. When I hear people shouting, “USA!” I tend to think finally. I think most people have respect for the military. Some, think the military is an unnecessary evil. Recently Ray and I were in a meeting, it happened to be about orphan care. It was slowly becoming apparent that a majority of people in the room were pretty liberal. We were becoming mildly uncomfortable without telling the whole story, Ray leans over and says, “I wonder what some of these people would say if they found out I’m in the navy.” Pretty sure a few of them would have given us at the very least a look. Anyway, all that to say, to hear people that are usually harping on the military say, “Way to go!” or chant “USA!!!” feels pretty good right now.
As a Christian, I was listening to the excitement over his death and wondering… is this how we are supposed to act? It’s no wonder they hate us. I know I’m not the only one to think of this verse today…