Monday, August 8, 2011

Little Wars

I'm still reeling from the deaths of the service members in Afghanistan. I struggle with that war, having spoken to several people disillusioned by what they saw there. I think I understand what we're doing, but the means and methods are lost on me.

At the same time, San Diego PD lost Officer Jeremy Henwood this weekend to a gunshot wound. Three-tour GWOT vet, he was shot in the face at a stop light - ambushed. The suspect was later contacted and killed. I've seen brief articles, read a few things about Jeremy and thought about all of the times I've pulled up to stop lights, surrounded by other cars. I know I'm supposed to keep my eyes on everyone, that the kind of ambush that killed Officer Henwood could be awaiting me. Yet.... It's the "perfect" time to check my car's mobile computer to see what my officers are doing. Call my wife on the cell to check in. Fiddle with the AM radio. Daydream about chores, the weekend, vacation.

While a great big fight is occurring far away, little tiny battles with horrible people are fought right here. Politicians will use the deaths in Afghanistan to make points, or prove themselves right (again!)or announce why they are the sole repository of truth and should be elected. Meanwhile, men and women drive around with a great big bull's eye on them, trusting to luck that what happened in San Diego won't happen to them.

Well-intentioned speakers will try to plumb some kind of deeper meaning from Officer Henwood's death. For me?

What a giant waste of a good and decent man, gone in the blink of an eye and mostly forgotten just as quickly by everyone except friends, and family. There is one great big unfillable hole in their hearts.

A quiet casualty of the little wars fought 24/7, very close to home.

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