Another update from the Jungle….
As the holiday season kicks in, Anne isn’t feeling very happy. In fact, she’s depressed. She’s struggling to pay her bills after a couple of unexpected expenses, including a burst water pipe in her basement.
The water pipe burst a couple of days before Thanksgiving when Anne had a house full of family, in town for the big day. Paying for the repairs put a severe dent in her rainy day fund just when her mother was nagging her about taking a trip to Hawaii.
Anne’s mom wants to make a pilgrimage to Pearl Harbor to pay tribute to her uncle who died in the attack on Pearl Harbor. Anne’s mom grew up listening to tales of her uncle’s life and looking at the few remaining family photos of him. She’s always thought of him as the handsomest and bravest man in her life, even though she never met him.
Anne doesn’t want to think about military sacrifices right now. Her oldest son is on active duty and she learned last week that he is being deployed to Iraq. Anne always knew this day would come but it’s still a shock.
Anne knows she’s not the first, or the only, mother distraught about watching a child go off to war. As she sits at her desk today, she thinks about how excited her son is to finally be through with training. He’s ready to take on his first assignment and accepts the risks of going into a war zone.
Anne tries to cheer herself up by thinking about her son surviving his tour of duty. Battlefield medicine has advanced exponentially in recent years, ensuring that more soldiers will survive their injuries.
Back in 1941, thousands of American military personnel died immediately in the attack and many died later from their injuries. But many thousands more lived to fight their way across the Pacific. Most of the ships damaged at Pearl Harbor were also repaired and used for the remainder of the war.
As she sits pondering her son’s possible fate, medical advances, and life in general, she looks at her desk calendar. It’s December 7th.
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