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War is Hell
Today I had a scare when I lost my wallet. After driving my wife to work I stopped for gas. My credit card did not work at the pump so I had to go in the station to prepay for the gas. After getting gas I came home and was working on the computer when I went to look for something in my wallet. My wallet was not in my back pocket. I looked everywhere, in the car, in my office and everywhere I thought I had been since last seeing my wallet in the gas station.
After no find my wallet I called the gas station. The clerk was rude on the phone so I went down there. He was even ruder and made remarks that I took as suspicious. Back at home and looking again in vain I called the station again asking for the owner. The person hung up on me. So I called the credit card company to put a hold on credit card. I called the non Milwaukee emergency police number to ask what to do about the suspicious gas station owner. The Milwaukee police said I had to call the West Allis police. They took a whole other approach and to go back to the gas station and call them. After a lunch meeting I did that and a police woman showed up. This time the owners of the station were present as where the other employees. The police woman asked to see the security tape. After awhile she came back to tell me she could see the top of my wallet in my back pocket as I left the station.
So again looking through my car, garage and everywhere in the house I put a hold on a debit card, as the police advised. My African niece was home and she joined me in the search. I was ready to finally give up when I went into the bathroom and there right next to the toilet was my wallet. I called back all the credit and debit people, the police station and a couple of friends that I was short with when they had called. I had spent a lot of the day on the card search and made me realize how much things in the wallet were important to me. Too much!
The frustration today was the search for the wallet but the grace came at lunch. I had lunch with the son of my friend who writes the blog on this site Father at War. He was on home leave from his military unit stationed at Fr. Hood. He was in the very last group of US military to leave Iraq. He was honest and blunt in answers to my questions. He told me of some of his experiences that reminded me how war is ‘hell’. Like many military he had joined the Army since he was out of job and was looking for more education. After the war he was in Kuwait and now is back in Texas training and waiting for the next assignment. After his service time is up he is considering staying in the reserves so he can get paid while he continues his education. However, I sensed he would rather find a job to pay his bills while he went to school.
He talked how he was daily in situations when he had to “kill or be killed” yet he could not see any benefit for anyone to all the risks and death. I found it interesting how he fear ‘friendly fire’, especially from National Guard units, as much as he fear fire from Iraqis.
My conversation with this young soldier about what war really means to a person put in perspective my frustrating search for my wallet. To live in fear that you may be killed at any moment puts life in perspective and makes the missing wallet a very small thing. Facing death makes a missing wallet seem silly.
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