Saturday, October 30, 2004

Spotlight: Military Families

The Mudville Gazette has a post on this story from the Washington Post highlighting military families.
LONDONDERRY, N.H. -- Shona Emery, short and blond, a mother of four whose youngest most often sleeps curled beside her in bed, wakes up at 1:40 a.m. and pads to the computer. She taps out an e-mail to her husband, Jesse.(/snip)

Shona's life plays like that now. She drops the kids off at school, hauls groceries at Shaw's Supermarket, and handles the play date and soccer game and breakfast-lunch-dinner regimen. Then she catches a snatch of AM radio or cable news and hears about another soldier killed and she sucks in her breath and waits to hear whether the attack occurred near her husband's base.(/snip)

New Hampshire ranks second per capita in the percentage of National Guard members serving in Iraq. These soldiers -- diesel mechanics, auto parts managers and school counselors -- have left behind families in states -- such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania and Wisconsin -- that are divided with almost mathematical precision between Republican and Democrat, hawk and dove, President Bush and John F. Kerry. The families may or may not swing an election. But there is little doubt where most stand. Polls show that two-thirds of them favor Bush.

Shona is no different. She may absorb a grim vision of war in her early-morning e-mail exchanges with her husband, but she remains a ready vote for Bush, even if Jesse does another tour.

"My husband's a hunter and a warrior," she says. "He's totally pro-Bush."(/snip)

Shona gave a speech when Bush came to New Hampshire and Pease Air National Guard Base this month. Her view of the war's progress is not as sunny as Bush's -- her man takes too much incoming fire to see victory in the offing. But that's okay.

"People laughed at Ronald Reagan for fighting the Cold War," Shona says. "We won't beat the terrorists in one year."

Jennifer listens and nods. "If it takes three, four, five years over there, get the job done," she says. "I'd rather have my husband fight than my children."

It is refreshing to see these families get balanced, well deserved attention. God Bless all of the mothers and fathers who work hard every day supporting our troops by keeping the light burning bright in the window.