While this edition of Boise Weekly was making its way through the editing gauntlet, the first wave of nearly 1,500 soldiers deployed from Idaho began arriving in the United States after a year-long deployment. To them, I say welcome home and thank you for your service.
As the editor of what is often referred to by some of the more conservative among us as "a liberal rag"--a phrase I'm surprisingly comfortable with--I've been told in some form or other a few times (including once by a gubernatorial candidate) that I'm an unpatriotic America-hater not worth the price the insult-hurler paid for my freedom with his military service (somehow it's always a "he").
But I'm the granddaughter of veterans, the daughter of a veteran and I date a veteran; I know something about what it means to serve your country. I haven't done it. I have neither the physical aptitude nor the personal courage to take up arms in service. But I spent my childhood living in base housing, seeing my father don the same uniform every day, listening to my grandfathers recount the wars they fought as younger men. I was a teenager when my dad's troops deployed to the first Iraq War, and I remember seeing them off at the airport. Over the years, I've carefully listened to my grandmother's stories about raising five kids while my grandfather was off at war for six months at a time, six years in a row. No, I haven't served my country, but the respect I have for those who have and who do is immense.
The troops News Editor George Prentice has written about in this week's main feature return home just as we mark the 10th anniversary of 9/11. On its heels are the 10th anniversaries of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. These next two weeks are heady for BW--this one delving into life at home after the troops return and the next looking at 9/11 a decade later. Both are good reminders for me to thank the veterans in my life.