The Traveling Child

teddy bear in suitcase

If you grew up the child of a military member, you’ll understand how life was for me.

My life revolved around moves on base and off, from as early as two years old to seventeen.

Since my birth in the state of Maine, my family moved from there to Taiwan, Massachusetts, Virginia, Alabama, Germany, Illinois, Virginia, and Colorado.

While in Germany, my mom took my sister and I with her to Greece each summer so that we could spent it with our yiayia (grandmother), aunt (thía), and our two cousins. We spent three summers in Greece, and the memories are fantastic.

Most of the time, we spent our days at the beach, playing mini golf, eating ice cream and watermelon, and tramping around the suburbs of Athens.

One time, my mom took my sister and I to a disco. It was fun dancing to the BeeGees on colored tiled floors produced by strobe lights and a disco ball dangling from the noisy room’s ceiling.

And the outdoor theaters were awesome–four walls without a roof, surrounded by beautiful flowers with the huge screen on the wall across from us.

My dad retired in Colorado, and I finished up my last year of high school in Castle Rock, Colorado.

Although attending my senior year at a completely unfamiliar and friendless high school was both challenging and incredibly abysmal, the fact that I fell in love with the light, arid, sunny climate and gorgeous mountainous scenery of Colorado helped lessen that year’s lows, and it only got better after I graduated, seeing how I hated high school.

When I was growing up, I was painfully shy, and it took me several months to get to know other kids. Nevertheless, I did each place we moved, and in some cases, I wrote to those I became friends with for many years, until most of them stopped writing.

Writing letters was a normal way of communicating in my day, youngsters out there reading this. 🙂 And writing letters and receiving them in the mail was akin to getting a surprise gift every time my mom would bring in the mail.

One friend, who became my best friend, I met while my family was stationed at Rhein Main Air Base, is still in contact with me today. We’ve literally kept in contact, visited with each other a few times, for the last approximately forty years.

Relationships like that are so special and cherished. In fact, I’ve talked to her recently, and she is planning to come visit me in a few weeks, depending on the COVID rules here in Colorado.

Childhood memories of getting in and out of airplanes, unpacking our things, starting at new schools, are embedded in my mind. Riding my bike with my friends, playing Barbies, going to the roller skating rink to glide around the circular floor and do the hokey-pokey with the lights off and colorful spotlights dancing around the huge space bring a smile to my face.

So many children were in the neighborhoods in which I grew up. You’d encounter them on your street or in their front yards, and soon, you were talking, playing–friends.

There was such freedom in the days of my childhood. You hear that often from older folks like me. But it is so true. Life was full of imagination, wonder, and riding your bike or skating around your neighborhood and beyond with no fear and little limits/boundaries, especially if you lived on base.

I wish it were still like that today. My sons didn’t grow up with the same freedoms I did.

All those moves exposed me to different cultures and different people, and I feel blessed to have had those experiences.

I bring all this up because not only am I reminiscing, but also because ideas of writing about the military brat’s life, using some of my own experiences to create a work of fiction has been swirling around in my head the past few days.

Perhaps this new idea will land on my mind’s runway, and a story will be written. I’m hoping so.

Were you a military brat? What childhood memories do you hold dear?

 

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Pick up your copy of Passage of Promise  via Amazon or Barnes & Noble!

Me with PofP final print copy April 27 2020

Making Sense of Insidious Behavior

la times pic of drone strike on iran general

(photo credit via LA Times)

So, let me see if I can comprehend this.

First off, skipping over the CIA’s taking out of the leader of Iran in the 1950s (regime change), let’s jump to the 1980s during the war between Iraq and Iran. We backed Saddam/Iraq, by giving them intelligence and weapons to fight Iran.

Then a few years later, we invaded Iraq, captured their leader, gave him to his people for trial, then occupied the country illegally for sixteen years and counting.

After Saddam’s death, our military was put there to train their army and install a leader and his cabinet that would be friendly and bend to our will.

Then several years later, unrest and protests built in Iraq due to our perpetual presence in their country, and then we turned on them again. In the midst of this, we killed the top Iranian general who helped defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. Not only did our drone strike kill the Iranian general, but also an Iraqi commander.

Next there’s the whole incomprehensible connection with Saudi Arabia (who is also connected/allied with Israel…have you ever noticed there aren’t any bombings going on between the two of them?). Oil was the main reason we connected with Saudi Arabia, but even after the attack on the Kobar Towers where our military members stayed, including my husband back in 1996 (he left a month before the bombings), we still bent to Saudi Arabia’s will, to keep the oil flowing.

Many of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi. A few of them, including the ringleader, were given visas to the US by the CIA before 9/11 happened, according to Michael Springman, stationed in Jeddah, who was in charge of granting visas to foreigners is on camera saying he made visas for them to enter the US and wondered why.

In the days leading up to the attack, the stock market showed unusual activity, with put options on the two main airlines that were used in the attacks.

During the attack on the towers, bombs went off before any of them were hit by the planes (and building 7 wasn’t hit by a plane). Nobody asked how the bombs got planted in the buildings. Considering over a hundred witnesses mentioned bombs in the Twin Towers and in Building 7, it wasn’t made up. So, how did the bombs get into the buildings without passing through security? And planning detonation and/or controlled demolition takes weeks. It cannot be done the day of the attack.

And what a coincidence that the part of the Pentagon building hit by the plane was the Army’s audit offices, auditing the missing 2.3 trillion (believe that was the number…trying to remember off the top of my head) Rumsfeld mentioned the day or couple days before the attack. Instead of flying the plane into parts of the Pentagon where masses of people were for maximum effect, which is what a terrorist would want to do, they flew the plane near the ground to ram into that specific area investigating the missing monies that had just been reinforced with thick concrete and other materials a few months before.

After the loss of nearly 3000 people in this attack, when every airport’s planes were grounded, a group of Israelis that were detained by the FBI for suspicious activity were put on a plane, while members of the bin Laden family were put on another plane and flown back to their countries.

Within a few hours, the FBI said the culprit of the attacks was bin Laden, who, when interviewed, said he didn’t do it. Terrorists love to take responsibility for their attacks. They gloat over it. Curiously, the Taliban in Afghanistan said they’d hand over bin Laden if the US presented evidence bin Laden was responsible for the 9/11 attacks and if Bush and his military would stop bombing Afghanistan. Bush and his admin. refused. Guess the FBI and CIA didn’t have evidence. Otherwise, they would have given it so that they could negotiate for bin Laden’s extradition to the US to stand trial for the murders. And at the same time, the FBI never had bin Laden on their most wanted list for the 9/11 attacks.

Rewind to the 1980s when we armed bin Laden and his rag tag team (then called the Mujahideen, later becoming Al Qaeda and the Taliban) against the Soviets when they invaded Afghanistan. Bin Laden was considered a CIA asset.

Fast forward to a few years ago when we supplied our weapons to Saudi Arabia to help bomb Yemen that killed hundreds of civilians, including many children. It also caused mass starvation and cholera outbreak.

But that’s not all. We armed Al Qaeda–the same group that attacked us on 9/11, according to the government’s official story–to try and topple a sovereign country’s leader in Syria. A leader, who is an Alawhite–a minority sect of the Islamic faith, and a leader who ran his country in a secular manner, where other minorities, such as Christians, were protected.

To add to our disgusting foreign policy, we’re still backing these terrorists, and our government has the gall to continue to illegally stay in Syria and Iraq, and attempted to send our military to protect oil fields in Saudi Arabia and Syria.

And the HUGE news on the Afghan Papers, nearly equivalent to the Pentagon Papers, got barely a whisper of a mention in the Main Stream Media, who are nothing but parrots for the Military Industrial Complex, National Security Surveillance and Intel Complex. The fact that our military was sent there without a clear objective, not knowing who their enemies were, where they were, what they were actually doing there was not surprising to me, sadly, but just confirmed the usual pattern of our screwed up foreign policy.

I’m sick of our military members used as cannon fodder for war profits, lust of power and other countries’ resources. Yes, this type of imperialism has been around since the dawn of time…since humans walked the earth after the Fall, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.

President Trump’s order that had the Iranian General Suleimani assassinated, I have no doubt, was pressured by the Military Industrial Complex, Intel and National Security Surveillance State. These entities continue to rule our presidents and congress as they have for decades. However, Trump’s arrogance and ignorance has really taken us to a seriously bad place. I’m sure John Bolton and Benjamin Netanyahu are doing gleeful cartwheels over this disastrous move.

All of those involved in these disastrous policies are nothing but war criminals and belong in jail for life. They are responsible for millions of people’s deaths, including our own service members, who joined the military to help protect and serve our country, not be disposable pawns sent with no objective or certain winning strategy, but only to be wounded or killed, and psychologically scarred for life.

Are our military members worth anything to our government? Considering Agent Orange, white phosphorus, depleted uranium, and burn pits, I’d say not much. It certainly gives credence to the book my son read a couple years ago called G.I. Guinea Pigs. They shouldn’t be. It’s personal for me. My father, husband, and brother-in-law were in the Air Force for over twenty years.

The US’s foreign policy has been a catastrophe, lying us into wars since Vietnam. Does our government really even care about its people? I have serious doubts it does.

After all the horrible things powerful countries’ governments have done throughout history, and my country’s government is one of them… some day, we’ll reap what we sow. Pride comes before the Fall. Drunk off Power and War and Weapons Profits. Insanity has ensued for too long. Humbleness is needed.

What would a world be like if my country actually led with goodness, peace, and respect for other countries and their cultures? I can imagine all the good it could do with its riches. Philanthropic work worldwide, trading fairly with all countries, enjoying others’ traditions and ways of life.

But truly, we need to start this at home. Our own government should be taking care of its own people, and it’s not. It’s owned by corporate elitists with the deepest pockets.

So much needs to change…

My country has lost its way with madmen/psychopaths at the wheel of power for too many years.

We don’t need any more wars. We need to end all of them. We are decades overdue for PEACE and DIPLOMACY.

 

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