I'll admit it: The military spouse in me is afraid.
As 59 Tomahawk cruise missiles rained over Syria last night, my social media feed was filled with questions, and with fear. From, “Did we just go to war with Syria?” to, “So worried about my husband and all of our deployed military right now!”, our military families are left not knowing what to expect, or really even how to feel.
But one thing I do know: It is time; we have -- we had -- to do something. On April 6, 2017, the United States launched an offensive strike targeting a Syrian military airfield in Homs, as a retaliation for the unspeakable horrors of the Assad regime (the latest being an alleged chemical attack that left over 100 dead).
It's a situation fraught with complexity. We don't know if this will mean more, or sooner or longer deployments. We don't know how Syrian President Bashar al-Assad (or Iran and Russia who back him) will respond. There is so much uncertainty, and in the absence of assurances, it's easy to let fear and doubt creep in.
I'll admit, I'm scared of what this means for our collective future. But in the face of that fear, I keep coming back to the fact that somewhere in the corners of Syria, plagued by civil war and terrorism, is a regime intentionally killing its people. Let that sink in. Their government is killing their civilians, in the thousands. Innocent people -- children -- are being gassed to death. Yes, the milspouse part of me is scared. But the mommy in me, the American, the human being? Those parts of me are furious.
It is both unacceptable and reprehensible for a government to be emboldened and oppressive enough to murder its people with a nerve agent.
I am haunted by the image of Aylan Kurdi, the 3-year-old boy who washed ashore on the beach in Turkey in September of 2015. Then last year, we saw the photo of 5-year-old Omran Daqneesh, sitting in the back of an ambulance after being pulled from the rubble following an air strike. The headline accompanying the picture declared, “Aleppo is a place where the children have stopped crying.” And now this week, Abdel Hameed Alyousef, a father, holding his 9-month-old twins, both killed in the attack. When is enough, enough?
Apparently it was last night. So while I am afraid, and worried and uncertain and scared, and I know you might be too, I also know that this -- fighting for those children, and their parents and the thousands of innocents -- this is what makes our country good. Edmund Burke's words echo in my soul, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing."
This is what makes us who we are. It's in the fabric of our flag and in the heart of our warriors. This is what they train for. This is why our spouses and our kids and our family members and our friends sign up; to serve something bigger than themselves. And it is in the absence of our courageous men and women, that evil would prevail. We are the good, my friends. And it is time that we do something.