Shortly after Andrew enlisted and left for boot camp, I felt compelled to write a few sisterly letters. I wrote to the President of the United States, to 4 Senators (2 from Texas and 2 from Tennessee) and to my Representatives from Tennessee. The letters were probably more for my benefit than theirs, but it was something I needed to do.

See I believe with all my heart that the people running this war from the comforts of their offices in Washington DC need to bear the full weight of their actions or in some cases in-actions. I believe that every day there should be photos of men and women who have acted bravely and sacrificially in this current military action--every single man and woman currently deployed to any spot on this globe--whether in combat or peace should have his or her picture flashed across the walls of the capital rotunda to remind our congressional delegations that every single time there is a troop deployment, a fiscal decision, an equipment development, a movement, an action--they are not conducting this war on numbers. They are conducting a war with real people--real soldiers.

In my letters, I explained those thoughts with as much respect as I could find and I asked for their faithfulness in remembering that these men and women are of greatest value. I asked that they each not give in to the number-crunching and the status-quo, but that they remember the humanity of every soul deployed. I enclosed a picture of my brother with each letter, stating that he was just one of many brothers, husbands, sons, fathers, wives, sisters, mothers, daughters, cousins, aunts and uncles, and friends who were depending on their elected officials to do right by them and this country.

I received a couple of form letter responses, and that's OK.

When I returned home from visiting Andy at Walter Reed, I began to grasp that Andy's story is being played out hundreds of times over in hospitals and rehab units all over the country. Soldier's doin' what they do...

I began to collect news articles about the attack on the 173rd and the many articles about those who went home for the last time. I wept over them...and prayed earnestly for their families.

(to be continued)

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