An Open Letter to All, not only my Son

Dear Son,

You served in the United States Armed Forces. You served a tour of duty in the Middle East during wartime. You traveled to other foreign areas and have seen the best and worst of mankind. You have been respected and cheered, along with other military men and women, by people who were liberated. You all cleared and moved through invaded areas after invaders devastated families and homes, tortured then killed their loved ones and neighbors. Then stealing everything of value they could carry, including loaded vehicles packed with stolen loot, but they didn’t get far, “Highway of Death”

Many USA military have not been cheered, but have been disrespected, spit at and cursed in war torn areas and on the battlefields…including disrespect of LEOs on the streets of America and COs in the penal system. To Americans: In your hearts, walk a mile in their boots!

You were there in the convoy into Iraq. You, driving a military five ton truck, while others picking up dead Iraqi bodies of men who were supposed to be Iraqi soldiers, but many probably untrained males of Iraq, forced to fight, even young boys, Then the many alive, fearing, thirsty and hungry Iraqi so-called soldiers out there in the bombed desert. All you and others could do was motion for them to keep walking toward the Saudi desert…to the Saudi soldiers, alongside the US military convoy, after they surrendered their weapons. Some even kneeled at the feet of US officers in submission and the officers responded with, a sign to not do it and stand up. They did not see that “Hail Mary” tactic coming!

You have trained in NBC (Nuclear Biological Chemicals) prevention, treatment, safety and medic treatments. Also, training with the Bradley tanks. …You witnessed the targeting of scud missiles against US forces and allies while in the Saudi Desert. To reiterate, You have witnessed, the battle, the surrender and the victory of American forces and her allies while liberating an invaded country, Kuwait, from looting and tormenting Iraqis…or hearing the broadcasting propaganda from the voice of, “Baghdad Betty”…She lied, it was more so their blood spilled in that Desert Storm!

You continue to serve with other correctional officers in a different capacity to keep us safe on the home front. Thank you All: the military, law enforcement, staff officers, security officers, first responders, correctional officers and others for still putting the uniform on and wearing it with self-respect and honor.

To anyone struggling, consider this: If you have a challenge with depression, including PTSD, talk with someone by reaching out for help. No one should be shamed or be denied or have their job position threatened when reaching out, (first and early) in seeking support. We are losing good men and women who need love, help & support, not judgment. What is left when you superiors choose to ignore or dismiss…often, broken hearts, broken homes and orphaned children.

Be safe out there…and in there. Watch each others’ backs so that you all return home safe to your homes and families. Agencies should work together for the good of all. Differences and disagreements may happen, but always, Watch Your Backs! You are all brothers and sisters in service to your circle, community and country whether on foreign soil or American soil. We love you and you have value, your lives matter! May we honor All and be a more grateful Nation this Memorial Day and All days.

praying mother of an officer… for mothers of all who serve.

Sandra Winter