Tuesday, November 08, 2011

WTF Obama?

Last night in Burbank I met Private Ochenkoski and Private Norton. Both are 24 years old.

And Pfc Winn and Pfc Rojas, both 18 years old.

Only Pfc Rojas isn't going because he's in the National Guard.

The other three are being deployed to Afghanistan.

I told Private Ochenkoski I thought all the troops were coming home and he answered in a one word sentence.


I shook their hands, thanked them for their service.

I've entertained boys like them in Germany, Holland, Bosnia, Macedonia, Johnston Atoll, Japan and South Korea.

I only broke down once, in Germany. A long line of soldiers paraded by our autograph table. I was with comedians Kivi Rogers and Carl Banks on that tour. We signed programs and spoke to each man and finally, one very young boy at the end of the line said to me, "Can you write on this that you hope we stay safe?"

I nodded and signed and after that fought hard to hold back tears but didn't entirely succeed. I turned my head to the side so no one would see but a reporter for the military newspaper Stars and Stripes did and walked over to me.

"You okay?"

"I will be. It's just that these boys...these boys break my heart."


  1. Gah. Why do we send babies to war?

  2. -->I live in a military town and still notice things such as "Welcome Home Daddy!" on car rear windows like I did this morning. Welcome home indeed.

  3. We're only leaving Iraq, not the other surrounding ME countries.
    It breaks my heart to see soldiers of ANY age going but it's the young ones that really get to me.

    My the Lord keep ALL our military safe and Godspeed home!

  4. That story is the real you.

    I will think of that story always from now on, Suzy.

    It encapsulates all that you really are.

  5. Thanks for writing that post and thank you very much for entertaining the troops.


  6. I have decided that all politicians suck, no matter what their party.

    Godspeed to those kids.

  7. It would be awesome if Obama (or any president, for that matter) could snap his fingers and bring all the boys home from a war that's been going on for 10 years, wouldn't it? But it doesn't work that way. Believe me, with a son about to be commissioned in 2013, I'm in favor of as short a timeline as possible for drawing down in Afghanistan.

    The best way to keep soldiers safe is to know what the heck you are getting them into in the first place. Don't even get me started on that. Stupid politicians...

  8. It's so difficult when you look at those boys and know it could be your sons.

    My SIL is in Kuwait now, with the Army. I don't know how she does it.

  9. i am incredibly touched by this- and I bow to those who put themselves in harms way...

  10. Still entertaining the troops - took over from Bob Hope on that one? Thanks

  11. That is a heartbreaking autograph request if ever I heard one.

    The sweetness in those boys faces kills me.

  12. I can only wish the troops all come home, but I'm not sure I believe it. Sad biz.

  13. You've got my tearing up, and I wasn't even there. Don't know how you held it together without bawling all over the place.

  14. Maybe the word "home" means something different in political dialogue. :)

    Nice to "see" you!