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Strength in Fear

A couple of days ago, Military Spouses were threatened by ISIS on Twitter and Facebook. This is the response from one concerned military spouse…

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Strength in Fear…

The Military Community is very much my community. It is my home, my safe place. It is everything I know, learned and have been challenged to become. It has blanketed me in kindness, showered me in grace. I have learned from the spouses around me, traced my fingers over the flag on my husband’s arm, teared up while my children stopped playing to stand at attention when the bugle sounded retreat.

Ask me to show you strength, and I will show you a military spouse clutching a newborn baby while the love of her life takes a rifle and boards a plane. Ask me to show you hope and I will show you a soldier clinging to the wrinkled and worn photo of who he fights for. Ask me to show you beauty and I will show you a child waving a flag, clinging to a camo-covered leg.

Ask me to show you a coward and I will show you a man covering his face with a knife in his hand. Ask me to show you weakness and I will show you a man holding a torch locking another man in a cage. Ask me to show you scum and I will show you those who oppress, those who must defend a god by killing innocents.

You scare me. I’m a military spouse and you scare me. I don’t think you win by me telling you that you absolutely terrify me. Your evil makes me ill. Your barbarity physically makes me shake. I know what fear does to me. I know what fear does to the community – my community – that you hate. I know that when our soldiers go into the nations that you hate us for entering, I know they are scared. I know what they are capable of when they are afraid. I know what happens when you threaten a soldier’s family. I know what that does to them, what that brings out in them. I know what my soldier is capable of when he is under attack. I know the decisions he’s made; the lives taken. Fear does nothing to deter that.

He is a brave man, a strong man, one of thousands, waiting for the word. Fear does something incredible to men like him. It strengthens them. It motivates them. It brings them to greatness.

You are cowards. Hiding your faces when you take a life. Hiding who you are from the world. What does fear do to cowards? What does fear do to the weak?

You misunderstand us. We aren’t weak. We aren’t cowards. We aren’t you.

I’ve gone back and forth on whether to change my name on Facebook like I’ve seen so many of my fellow military spouses do. I can change it like so many others, use initials, fade into the thousands. But I like my name and I don’t want to give it up. I’m not going to sit here and tell you “come at me” or “bring it on”. I’m not going to talk about how heavily armed or not armed we are in our home. I’m not going to tell you that I’m not scared.

I am scared to see our world, to see cowards who lock a man in a cage and set him on fire. The cowards who be-head children and rape women. That kind of evil scares me. To know that it exists on land and sand that my husband’s boots have stepped on, that scares me. I’m not going to tell you any different.

I’m horrified, disgusted.

I’m terrified that we are so mentally, physically and financially drained from war that we will ignore this, and that we won’t respond to you. That we will let this go on because “it isn’t our problem.” “It isn’t our war.” I am terrified that our country is so divided that we can’t even see the same thing when cowards hide their faces and heinously, viciously take life. I am terrified that we can’t call this “terror” when you are terrorizing military families.

I’m not scared to say that I am terrified because I know how I respond to fear. I was scared the day those towers fell, the day the pentagon was hit, but our country banded together. The people on that hijacked plane, they were terrified, and they saved thousands. My community is terrified every time another plane is boarded, but we band together, we hold our resolve. Our soldiers are terrified every time they leave their families, but they push further, fight harder. Because that’s what we do. We use fear. We overcome it, we push through it. We change it.

You will never change us.

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