A Marine Mom’s Real Fear
On Friday September 15, 2012 two Marines were killed at Camp Bastion in Southern Afghanistan by what is claimed to be a Taliban attack. This was just just a few days after the September 11, attack on Bengazi. This series of events sent a chill through my spine. My oldest Marine son had just returned from Leatherneck/Bastion in August (OEF 12.1) and I was thankful to have him home during his post deployment leave.
He was assigned to MALS 16, or Marine Aviation Logistics and spent his time between the hangers, the flight line, and the warehouse. He worked 12 hours a day, seven days a week on night crew, during the same time the attacks occurred. He always assured me he was safe, there hadn’t been IDF (indirect fire) the whole time while he was there. He was inside the wire with nothing to worry about.
This created a false security with Mom back in Nebraska. I had the attitude that he was just as safe on this base as he was in Yuma. (Which in a way is a good way to view a deployment) Marines are told “Don’t give information that would cause your family back home to worry”
How wrong I was. He could have been in the Harrier hanger when it was bombed, it was his replacements who got injured. Thoughts run through my mind now of how I would be feeling had my son still been deployed and working in the shop on night shift. Could I even sleep until I knew he was safe? I’m sure I would be calling his FRO (Family Readiness Officer) for the latest news. But he’s stateside now, I got to hug him and tell him I love him. He’s safe and I thank God for bringing him home.
During his leave he showed me his deployment photos and where slept in the barracks ”next to the wire”. I’ve heard the phrases “outside the wire”, “inside the wire”, and there is a big distinction between the two. For those Marines who never get “outside the wire” moving “next to the wire” may be a subtle difference, but it’s a big deal. The small huts I saw in the photos were the same ones described in news accounts that may of aided in the attack. (don’t have permission to post those, for OPSEC can only publish non distinct photos without landmarks)
He said it was kinda crazy being able to see the wire and know just beyond, within eyesight, was clear and present danger.
Many Marines were disarmed previously in the year, and unarmed, although my son told me his unit always carried their weapons with clips. (see above) It has been over a year since the Benghazi and Bastion attacks of 201 and my son is still outraged over what happened and the coverup. Families are still trying to get answers over a year later on how this happened. A year later four Marines from my son’s base in Yuma Arizona received the Purple Hearts they deserved.
I pray for the all Marines and troops in harms way and for their families at home worrying about them. Although I am furious at the indifference the media seems to have on the incredible increase of attacks and violence against Americans and our allies in the Middle East and Muslim countries.
The attack on Bengazi, the lack of media attention and outrage baffles me. I remember the Beruit embassy attack and it was plastered all over TV and as a country we were outraged. The initial report of the Ambassador and three other Americans seem to be a diluted way of not recognizing that two Navy Seals were killed.
President Obama was quick to point out their responsibility in killing Osama Bin Laden, but does not give them the credence and recognition when they are killed in the line of duty.
So many emotions run through the mind of a Marine Mom, I can’t help but think of my son and the Marines of Yuma Arizona when I hear Camp Bastion, Camp Leatherneck, or even Benghazi. It makes me furious when politicians minimize the cost, risks, or try and hide the truth. What Difference Does it Make? A lot. Just ask the families and follow #whatdifferencedoesitmake on Twitter to learn more.