Truthfully, I will not be addressing that directly as such. Much more oblique will be my comments.
But first some initial resources:
- Martin Luther King Day at Wikipedia
- High as the Listening Skies, Loud as the Rolling Sea at Ramblings by Laura Crossett.
- Search Engines Commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day via Resource Shelf.
Five years ago today—well, it was 20 January in 2003—I was sitting at home listening to the MLK Jr. specials on the radio (NPR) when at 4:02 PM CT I heard that 12,000 soldiers from Fort Hood (4ID) were being mobilized.
4th Infantry Division (4ID) is the division I retired from and the one my son was serving in at the time. Not that this was publicly known yet, but they were to be the hammer out of the north from Turkey in the initial invasion of Iraq.
Later that evening after a couple pints of beer and attempted reading I went by the ex’s for a hug and some talk. Jeremy called while I was there. Said aircraft had to be on ships down south by the end of the week & they’ll be 2 weeks behind. When I got home from Mary’s I called my mom and then my sister.
So, here I am, almost 44 years old & my baby’s ordered to war. Where did I go wrong? [my journal, 9 PM 20 Jan 2003]
The complete irony of the formal announcement of these deployments on Martin Luther King Jr. Day did not escape me. Nor will it ever.
My son’s deployment was quite hard on me. The reasons are quite complex and I will never fully understand them myself and certainly never be able to explicate them to others.
My son and his family have been lucky so far and he has had a job for the last couple years such that—unlike many who have been back several times in the last almost 5 years of war—he has not. That shall change soon, though. He is on his way back to Fort Hood and the 4th ID.
So here I sit again contemplating my son’s (possible) deployment.
That, and so much more, is what Martin Luther King Jr. Day will forever mean to me.
… consistently we are resistant to love …
Four Bitchin’ Babes. “Beautiful Fool.” Beyond Bitchin’
Song I used to “commemorate” MLK Jr. Day 2003, the mobilization of 4ID and the march to war on my 2003 compilation CD.