Monday, April 20, 2009

Faithfulness and Fallibility

Last week was a tough week. You all may have read my rant about work. But you did not hear my disappointment at the outcome of a trial that a friend of mine has been going through.

Some of you may be familiar with the trails that have been going on in Germany regarding soldiers accused of killing four Iraqi insurgents in 2007. Below is a link to the BBC's coverage of the final trial.

Sgt. Hatley is the husband of my friend Kim.

I met Kim through blogging. There was a group of us who were blogging on Yahoo 360 almost 3 years ago. I got hooked from a friend I had made through the museum. She of course was a Marine wife, so many of her friends were other Marine or military wives. Oddly, me not being a military wife, I really felt a connection with several of the women and enjoyed sharing comments and the snippets of their lives. I've met a couple of them in person over the course of the past few years and they are all such neat ladies and I am so thankful I have met each one of them. Maybe as travels or future assignments work out, some of the rest of us will meet for coffee and an in-person chat sometime.

Kim is a neat person. Her blogs were whimsical and fun, despite her husband being in a long drag out deployment to Iraq in 2007. I really admired her spark for life and her excitement over red lipstick. Gosh, her blogs were such a breath of fresh air for this civilian who often times took life WAY too seriously. Kim went to work at the commissary as a bagger to earn money to buy a new truck as a gift for her husband when he returned home - - I never knew you could make that much money bagging groceries. She also took us through a fitness journey as she tried to get in amazing shape for her husband before he came home, and she did, and won some award at the gym for her success. She also gave us glimpses into the grief that could accompany being a military spouse.

Of course then there was the "Situation". That is what she referred to it over this past year, sharing her thoughts with a group of us in private blog entries on Multiply. As each trial concluded in a conviction and as it grew closer to her husband's trial, she shared sadness, uncertainty for what the future held, making plans, and the joy of living each day to its fullest.

I think that last thing, living each day to its fullest, is the thing I will always take away from getting to know Kim through our blogs. Gosh!

I once confided in her that I don't think I could be as positive as she was being through all of this. I'd be angry with my husband, I'd be angry with the Army, I'd be angry with the other men. I'd be just plain angry with the whole situation. She pretty much told me that she was choosing to be positive and choosing to live each day to its fullest, we never know if we are going to get another day.

Here is the thing that really gets me about this whole trial. The Iraqis her husband captured were clearly insurgents. I believe that whatever they did, they did with the welfare of their men at heart. I understand the prosecuting attorney's comment regarding that the conviction shows that the US Military has higher standards than everyone else. I get that. I also understand the prosecuting attorney's comments regarding that this outcome should send a message to US soldiers to not take matters in their own hands. I get that too. However, I can't help but wonder if some soldiers may think it better to not take prisoners. I wonder if it would have been better had they just killed Iraqis when they found them in the building surrounded by an arsenal.

In additional, earlier this month, that former navy sailor that had passed classified information to Islamic extremists regarding US ship movements in the middle east was sentenced to 10 years in prison. I find it odd that an action clearly meant to harm your fellow sailors and Marines as well as your country, has consequences of only 10 years. Yet, actions meant to protect fellow soldiers carries a sentence of 25 to life.

In a message Kim posted this weekend to their friends, she said that despite everything, she and John will still try to make each day the best day of their lives. She believes that God has a purpose for everything. She wrote that while she should be her saddest, she finds that she is the happiest she has ever been. This is because of the things that she has witnessed through the trail and she will share when she has a chance to do so.

Please keep Kim, her husband and the other men and their families in your prayers.

1 comment:

Samantha West said...

I will keep them all in my prayers, every day.