Monday, May 2, 2011

The Wizard of Oz Has a Song For Days Like Today


I don't have cable. I was watching a Ken Burns documentary about the first cross-country trip made in an automobile. I was wire-wrapping a rosary and paying zero attention to Facebook, Twitter, and email. At 1 AM, I called it a night and checked my phone as I brushed my teeth. I nearly choked to death on toothpaste and tears.

Facebook status email from Neal.

Everyone is going stupid like it's going to change anything.

Always the realist he is.

We emailed back and forth for a few minutes.

It was 8 AM in Iraq. In my head, the 352 and the rest of Balad was spontaneously erupting into victory celebrations. The only image that came to mind? my head, our Soldiers were donning coconut shells and dancing the Macarena around a roaring bonfire. Because...that's what I would have done. In reality, very little occurred that could separate yesterday from the day before or the day after. There is a mission assigned and work still to be done.

This is not over.

I very patiently answered the swarms of emails I received last night and this morning asking me when Neal will be home...congratulating me on the if President Obama's speech would change anything for the Miller household. If 352's mission was to capture and kill Osama Bin Laden then I may very well have run naked through the streets last night, waving an American flag and trying not to accidentally stab myself in my girlie parts. That is not 352's mission...they still have work to do. So, we allow ourselves to feel vindicated, to rejoice in justice being served...we crank up Toby Keith and feel our American hearts swell with pride. We chase down men and women in uniform and vigorously thank them for their service. For the first time since World War II, we feel like we won. We just have to remember...

This is not over.

The phone rang at 10 AM. Caller Unknown.

You know I'm going to pump you for information, right? Everyone wants to know the reaction "over there."

There isn't much to say. There is some concern about retaliation, so we are being warned to be hyper-vigilant. But this doesn't really change anything. It's good for morale and justifies Obama's intent to leave Afghanistan by 2012...but everything is the same. 

Did you all have a victory party?


Are you just saying that because you know I'm going to blog about this and you don't want me to put it on the Internet that y'all were celebrating Bin Laden's death?

No. Although...that's pretty funny. We've been talking but that's about it.

That's very disappointing. The last time we "won" a war they had a ticker tape parade.
I want a ticker tape parade.

I'm sure you do. Sorry.

But I Googled images from the past 8 hours and I think I got my ticker tape parade after all. Thank you, United States Armed Forces...our men and women in all the branches and all the various uniforms. We salute you today. May this feeling never fade.

I am usually not one to advocate violence or revenge....however, to the families of 9/11...may you finally have the closure that you need and deserve.

*I apologize for not giving photo credit where it is due. My computer is being stupid. However if you Google Image anything related to "American celebrate bin Laden's death" or "bin Laden deceased," I promise these will all pop up immediately. Most of them are from various news sources around NYC and DC.


  1. Oh girl...I'm with Neal. I thought immediately..."This is not over." It doesn't change anything.
    I saw some many FB status updates that said, "They got him, now bring our troops home!"
    Well, yeah, that would be nice, but don't these people understand that this is a multi layered issue and we weren't over there SOLELY to get Osama. :(
    Anyway. Did you see all the mess ups on TV and stuff? Instead of Osama they said Obama was dead. WHOOOPS!
    And I think it's 1 for USA and 0 for Osama.
    Because I hear it took the work of 3 different pres. admins. to be able to work this. WOW.

  2. The ignorance scares me a little. This is one guy. Yes, he was about the most evil guy out there. But there are more guys and more evil and the fight is not over.

    As for retalitation, they started playing the "See something, say something" commercials on TV this morning. They haven't played them in a while. And I'm sure there will be even more security at Grand Central tongiht.

    Thinking of Neal and the 352 and hoping no one is stupid enough to try to mess with them!

  3. You know, I saw this last night and read all the status updates and one thing really and truly worried me.....there was a finality to them. Like, OK, this is over now! YAY! drink a beer and celebrate! And although it is a time for celebration because the number one person on the terror list is dead and gone, we're still not completely in the clear. We may never be. And my fear is that now, everyone and their mother will say "Welp, let's get those troops home! " when they still need to complete these missions. And that they will turn on the soldiers, because we Americans can be a fickle bunch.

    So it's a happy day, but we need to definitely realize it's far from over.

  4. Hey precious girl. You are right and so is Neal. This is not over and we don't want to have a false sense of security or victory. There is still much work to do and our men and women are NOT safe yet. Thank you for writing this and reminding everyone that we still have arms forces fighting the fight out there. Let's not forget them. Yes, it feels good that we got on of the worst, but there are more out there that he trained and mentored.

  5. You are correct... this isn't over. I think his importance to the different terrorist organizations had diminished over time.

    We have a long way to go... many battles to be fought.

    God Bless...


  6. I too am VERY surprised that there are people who think that we are only there to hunt down one man. That's kind of scary. And it's not that easy. Neil is absolutely right. But I also see the need for Celebration. This is something concrete. So Celebrate away for a few days and then it's time to double down! Thanks for the reminder.

  7. I couldnt agree more. I got a few of those "so will (my husband) be coming home earlier now?" texts/emails....I replied with: "do you really think these P.O.Ss are just going to roll over!?" if anything, it will probably get WORSE before it gets better, like we just pissed on a beehive. And not worse just for our troops, but for all Americans (and our allies) everywhere.

    I hope I am proven wrong.....

  8. When Wilzie walked in last night, he said the same thing "There are just going to be 100 other guys trying to take his place..."
    But I get the celebration - after almost 10 years of what feels like little progress, its...something.
    And the sights of the crowds of people coming together in joy, dancing and singing and celebrating their country - that was pretty cool to see.

  9. I'm glad that the evil piece of scum no longer shares the same air as our brave men and women in uniform, and I hope and pray that they can come home sooner rather than later. I'll be keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

  10. Sometimes the actions of the American public totally embarrass me.

    Not all the time.

    But anyway. As soon as I heard I felt fear. Fear for retaliation and misguided efforts.

    I pray for our troops and for Neal in particular.

    Everyone above me has covered anything I could say here.

    that is all

  11. It's such a complicated thing. Am I glad he is gone - absolutely. Do I celebrate killing him? no. He was still a human and our celebration in the streets will only enrage others who come after him. We were outraged that "they" celebrated in the streets on 9/12 and they will feel the same way after this.

    Hope Neal and his men stay safe, and you, too. xoxo

  12. I pray every single day for all of our Military and their families and everything that they do! I will continue to do this as they have to be more aware of surroundings now more than ever. Our Soldiers have been trained well and have each others sixes! Stay safe three five deuce!

  13. My first reaction was actually terrified ... my brother's squadron was scheduled to start its flight home yesterday, and I was so worried that a) bin Laden's death would change those plans, and b) our militay would suddenly be in even more danger as a result of reprisals.

    I hope that thousands of people out there got the closure they need, and I certainly think it is good and right that a murderer was brought to justice. But until I hear that my brother's on his way home, and that he's not going to deploy out there again... you're right, it's not over.

  14. You have a way with words! You're right, this is not over. When one Evil person falls, there is another waiting in the wings...

  15. I was having a hard time gaging how to celebrate this.. like I said I had fear strike first. Always the negative nancy I guess. But in the end this is something to celebrate, even if we have to remain cautious after it's all said and done. Thank you for sharing these images. I welled up and felt lots of pride seeing them all! ox


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