Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Friday, January 8, 2010

What's a weekend?

If you're like me, you love the weekends. They're a time to relax and spend time with your family and friends. Many Monday through Friday workers take Saturday and Sunday to watch ballgames, go to the movies, enjoy the outdoors, play golf, or fix up the house.

For U.S. troops in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world, Saturday is just another day, and Sunday is just the day after Saturday. A war doesn't pause for a weekend or even a holiday, although some servicemembers are given breaks for Thanksgiving and Christmas. These warriors are out on missions, spying on the enemy, training local police like you see in the above photo taken in Iraq, or trying to endure miserable conditions at makeshift mountain bases in Afghanistan. Some troops do have downtime, but many don't. One thing is certain: nearly all are missing their loved ones, and wishing they could be together for the weekend.

As Americans on the homefront, I don't think we should feel guilty for enjoying our days off. It's important to carry on with our lives during wars, recessions, terror scares, bad weather, and anything else God throws our way. But one thing I try to do at least once a day, and even more since I started running this blog, is pause for a moment and remember that half a world away, fellow Americans are doing extraordinary things to give me the privilege of relaxing for the weekend.

Image courtesy: Pfc. Jessica Luhrs, U.S. Army, Kirkuk, Iraq.

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