When I read the blog assignment for this week, I didn’t have to think very hard about what I would write about. The summer after seventh grade, my family left Saudi Arabia for a fabulous European vaction. I remember flying first class and thinking we were so fancy! Little did I know that within a weeks time, my family life would be turned upside down.
I can clearly remember when the my dad received the phone call letting him know there was trouble back home. I can remember his concern and knew he was worried. it wasn’t long before we traveled back to Saudi Arabia. Our sleepy little post was soon overrun by American military members. I can remember my mom packing our valuables (we only shipped over certain household goods, most of our furniture was in storage in the US. I questioned why I couldn’t bring some of my (useless) stuff and she said we needed to save space for things that couldn’t be replaced. It wasn’t until many years later I understood her desperation in those moments. I knew my mom, myself, and my sisters would be traveling back to the US, but my dad was staying in Saudi Arabia.
Our actual flight out of Saudi Arabia was a memorable one to say the least. We flew out on a C-17 (no windows) and it was a very turbulent ride. We were escorted by fighter jets because they (whoever they might have been) were concerned for our safety. For the following year we lived near my grandfather and aunt while my dad stayed behind. We enrolled in school and lived in a hotel (the room service was great) until my mom was abled to rent an apartment. The time we spent away from my father was difficult. I can remember CNN playing all the time. When the time was over, my father returned home and we moved to the next Army post.
What made our time waiting for my dad difficult was that we were living in a very civilian area with almost no support. Ironically my sister’s teacher had a son in the military and was serving near my father. My mom and the teacher become fast friends because of their connection. As a child, I had no peers that understood my stress and concern. We were surrounded by family, so that did make things better.
My parents never bounced back from the strain of that year. They ended up divorcing a few years later. I was entering my senior year of high school when they announced their separation. I still view my early childhood as fantastic, filled with play and joy.
In the world today, there are children all over the Middle East that are experiencing war. I was able to leave and remain safe. We were never without clothes, food, water, shelter, or even luxury items. We had plenty despite the scary situation we were in.
In one of the recent articles I read, it said that women and children die almost every single day in roadside bombing (anywhere in Afghanistan). The children there have lived with war and violence their entire life, this is what they know as their “normal”. Another issue that is happening is the amount of orphans in areas with continuous war.
As I researched what is happening to the children in the area, I found a site the many pictures of children. Please take a moment and visit the site. Be prepared for some tense pictures. This is their life. This is how they life. They have no escape from war. I don’t know that enough is being done to help these children. My husband has spent so much time over there, but there is very little they can do with the children personally. They want to make the children’s world safer and let them enjoy being children, but it won’t happen overnight….or probably in their lifetime.