When the military does your evaluation reports they like things quantifiable. They like numbers here are the numbers on my sacrifice, thus far...
My wife and I have been married for 46 months and have spent 17 of those living together.
We had a child in May 2005 and had to ship him off from Germany where we are stationed to live with his grandmother for three months from the time he was 4 months until the time he was 7 months old. We then had to fly him from Germany back to the US two months later as we deployed to Iraq on a 12 month...no wait, 14 month...what could become a 16 month tour of Iraq because we have to sacrifice. And by the way the Army doesnt pay for him and my mother-in-law to fly back and forth so we were also out almost $6,000 on plane tickets in 2005.
So let's do the math on that one: my son is now almost 21 months old and has spent 15 months living with his grandmother, which is going to be at least 17 out of 23, and could possibly become 19 out of 25 of the most precious first two years of his life.
We're out all the money out of pocket we've had to spend to ensure he didnt get third rate healthcare because my mother-in-law doesnt live near a military base so she cant get a good pediatrician, or use our healthcare at most offices.
So my wife and I have sacrificed being parents to our child whom we love more than anything in the world. And we have sacrificed being companions to one another so we could fight this damned war neither one of us has believed in from the beginning.
We're both hollow shells now. All you have left to take is our physical life, because it doesnt seem that we are ever going to leave this place. We are never going to escape death's shadow. Because you can just keep extending our unit with disregard for the lives that are destroyed by the haplessness of your mistake.
I guess a man who sacrificed the first 40 years of his life to beer and blow, got his cushy assignment in a champagne unit in the Air Guard during VietNam, got his legacy scholarships to Yale and Harvard, got bailed out of failed business after failed business by his dad, and spent 60% of his first 4 years in the oval office on vacation knows all too much about sacrifice though.
I know I signed up for this. No I didnt. I didnt sign up to protect and defend the Constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iraq, my oath clearly states, "support and defend the Constitution of the United States." And on top of that we have done our time. We did our year plus some. We did our tour of sacrifice, now it is our turn to go home. Let's not have to have one more memorial ceremony for my Brigade. Or any other for that matter. We've done all we can here. It's up to the Iraqi's to sacrifice now, not America. It's up to the Iraqis to defend Iraq, not America.