Thursday, March 16, 2006


Please don't miss the latest gem by Sue Diaz. You'll be left speechless when you're done, I promise. Just a sample:

That's not to say Roman's initial 15 months as an infantryman in the Sunni Triangle were easy. No one's time in Iraq is easy - not by a long shot. But in light of "that day in December" and the region's escalating violence and instability, my son's first deployment now seems like a march in the park.

I've continued, as I did back then, to drop a card or a letter in the mail to him a couple times a week, along with an occasional care package. But the only communication we've had from his end in the months since Christmas has been a brief phone call with a bad connection, two short e-mails (one about his bank statement), and a recent late-night conversation with his dad on Instant Messenger. My husband initiated it when he noticed on his computer screen that Roman had signed in online.

"Is that you, Roman?" he typed, clicked, then waited for an answer.

Finally it came. "Hey! What's up, Pops!"

"How are you, Roman?"

"Eh, I'm alright. How are you?"

Their "hellos" behind them, a few lines later my husband asked, "Do you want or need anything from over here?"

"No, I'm good."

"How about some chicharrones or pickled pigs feet?" (Convinced, apparently, that the way to a soldier's heart is through an eclectic assortment of pork-based snack foods.)

"No, really, dad. I'm good."

"Need any extra armor?"



"No. It's going to warm up soon."

And so it went. A fatherly offer here, a quick "no" there. Interspersed with small bits of small talk about the Olympics, rumors of a recent troop visit by Jessica Simpson, and at the end, a sudden, "Dad, I gotta go."

The next morning my husband shared with me their conversation, and coupled with Roman's silence in recent months, the gist of it all seems to me to be, "Mom, Dad. For your sake and for mine right now, don't love me so much."


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