Saturday, January 5, 2008

A Call From My Son

I had the most delightful surprise this morning: my son who is with the Marines in Iraq called and told me he was back from his mission. He's been out of contact for several weeks. He left his base in Haditha before Thanksgiving but couldn't tell us anything about the mission they were on. Turned out, he and his unit were part of an effort to secure the border with Saudi Arabia for those making pilgrimage, The Hajj. (I like thinking of him on a "peace keeping mission".)

December 18, 2007 - December 21, 2007 Hajj (Annual Pilgrimage to Mecca) The Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to Mecca, consists of several ceremonies meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, such as submission, brotherhood, and unity, and to commemorate the trials of the Prophet Abraham and his family. Required once in a Muslim’s lifetime, over two million Muslims perform the pilgrimage annually.
(From Islamic Networks Group
http://www.ing.org/about/islampage.asp?num=14)

He said they stopped and talked to groups of pilgrims and the shepherds and locals along the way. Thankfully their "securing" was in presence only and pilgrims were able to pass through their area peacefully.

It's amazing to watch my children finding their way. I have two other sons who are pacifist for religious reasons...needless to say, we often have interesting, lively conversations when they get together. The one in Iraq, volunteered to go (he was in the reserves and chose to activate) siting the treatment of Kurds in Iraq. My mother's family is Jewish and "ethnic cleansing" is an injustice he wanted to help combat. Of course, it is a complicated situation with no easy answers but it doesn't change the fact that he is doing what he thinks will combat evil in this world and I am very proud of him.

3 comments:

Jan said...

I liked reading about your soon, your other sons, your family. Thanks for the picture, too. It's nice to place a face with your post. Wishing safety for him. Also, it's good to hear about a family that can talk about their differences and remain together.

Kathy Doerge said...

Can't exactly say they remain together...one lives in Portland, Oregon, one attends college in New Brunswick, Canada, and one is Iraq. But when they do get together, they have some wonderful "intense fellowship"...and I just stand back and watch and listen in amazement.

Katherine E. said...

Oh, I'm so glad you were able to talk to him, Kathy.