Christy, Ruthie, & Me Christmas Eve 1990 Saudi Arabia
What I believe in...
I spent Christmas of 1990 at King Fahad Air Base, Taif, Saudi Arabia as an Air Force Sergeant in support of Operation Desert Shield/Storm. We all missed our families. Phone calls to home were few and far between as they were very expensive. Mail was delivered once every two weeks, and was usually read many times and aloud to our friends. My best friend, Ruthie, and I were in the midst of a huge 'I'm not talking to you' fight that had been going on for some time (boy, she could be a hateful bitch).
I knew that we were all homesick and tempers had a tendency to flare over the stupidest things, but I was mad! I picked up the mail shortly before Christmas, and there was a letter for Ruthie from her daughters (6&9 years old) to whom she had not talked to in almost four months. I was so excited that I ran to our barracks, woke her up, and gave her the letter. I sat on the floor by her bed and watched and waited for her to read it to me. As tears of joy welled in her eyes, they did mine too. There could never had been a more cherished gift than the enclosed picture of her two girls sitting on Santa's lap holding little American flags taken just recently. We cried, laughed, and talked until it was dark and cold outside. We decided to build an oh-so-very-illegal fire in the middle of our compound to celebrate Christmas eve. To no surprise, the fire marshal showed up, and instead of an ass chewing, she sat with us as we sang carols under the stars in the middle of a country that does not believe in Christ. These friendships that I was so blessed to be given, and until the day I die, will always have, are unlike any I will ever have again. The camaraderie we as a group of 300+ shared to get through this dismal milestone in our lives is unlike anything, I'm certain, I will ever experience again.
I believe in supporting our troops who are serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. This has nothing to do with whether or not I support the cause or its validity, it's about honoring those men and women who believe in their country and do what is asked of them to show their allegiance to their government. As thousands of mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, brothers, and sisters spend Christmas day away from their families, say a prayer for their safe return home, and for their loved ones who will wake up Christmas morning without them.