I spent all afternoon trying to keep our little school children calm in spite of what was happening outside the window. Parents started picking up kiddos by lunch and every child who left increased the anxiety of the ones who remained. By three, we were all wall to wall in the basement. During all that, I hoped and prayed that all my people, wherever the location, were seeking shelter. I remained calm and cool throughout, but once home and the all clear for our viewing area was finally announced, I was exhausted. Lord bless and keep those folks, who in a mere moment, found themselves homeless.
Speaking of devastation-
My son visited my classroom recently to speak to my students about the lives of the folks he is spending the next year with in Afghanistan. Our visit followed his visit to Bean's 2nd grade classroom.
I think for both Ceece (who came along) and I it brought the reality of this trip home and kicked in some anxiety. 1st. Lt. did a great job explaining his mission and the deplorable conditions the people there live in. He brought tools they made from their recent blacksmithing training and a slide show of the people and area. My students had lots of questions. Some of the answers were things I didn't really want to hear, yet at the same time didn't want to miss. While there, the soldiers try and support the economy by making purchases at a market. When they travel they move in tank like vehicles. These two situations are when they are most vulnerable to the Taliban. Apparently the enemy aims for truck in the middle. Since these soldiers will not leave a fallen comrade, the whole convoy is stopped by this action. Market places are out in the open which again makes them easy targets. Hard to hear.
He really impressed the kids by allowing them to try on his gear. It weighs seventy pounds at least. Bless him, he tried it on all 34 of them- over two hundred ons and offs.
First the helmet, then the bullet-proof vest, then the next thing that holds ammunition, and lastly the backpack. It nearly toppled several of my little ones. I tried it on too. Oh my.
I am so happy he was willing and able to visit. Next year when we write letters, send gifts and support those men and women, the kids will have a much clearer picture of the what and why of our service. Well, at least as much as any of us understand it.