Sunday, November 23, 2008

My Letter to Obama

So I wrote a letter to our new President-Elect. I don't know whether it will be answered or even whether it will be read, but I had to write it. So here it is, because it made me cry, because it's my own personal teaspoon, and because even if Obama doesn't read it, I want someone to. I need hope.

Dear President-Elect Obama,

I could be writing to you about a lot of things. I'm a small-business owner, and I could be writing to you about corporate monopolies in America. I'm a gay woman who can't marry her partner in this state, and I could be writing to you about that. And maybe I will write about those things one day, but not today. Today I'm writing to you about my brother. He's 18 years old and will be 19 the day after Christmas. He's in the Air Force, an Airman fresh out of boot camp. He went in right after his high school graduation. I'm so proud of him, and I'm also worried. You see, at the end of January, he's being stationed in Moody, Georgia. It's what they call a "shipping-out" station. It's very likely that he'll be sent to Iraq or Iran.

My brother is younger than I am and for many years he annoyed me to distraction, because that's how younger siblings are. But he's older now, and we're in different states; only one of my mother's kids is home with her in Florida now. She misses us, I know, but she wants us to do what we love. And he does love his job, loves the Air Force. Whenever I speak to him, he's happy. He's not worried about the future, because he's 18, and like every other teenager, deep down he thinks he's invincible.

 He wants to come home with a jacket full of medals, marry his girlfriend, and become a police officer. And I want that for him. I don't want him to have to spend any more Christmases away from home. I don't want my mother to cry at night because she's afraid of what will happen to him over there, whether he's in a high-casualty zone or not. I love my kid brother, and I'm proud as hell of him, and I don't care if he comes home with medals. I just want him to come home.

Mr. Obama, I voted for you. A lot of people voted for you because we, and I, think you are indeed the hope and change this country has needed so desperately for so long. You have my support, the support of my business, and the support of my blog, even though right now they're both small and unimportant. I'm very glad you will be our next President, and so are a lot of other people all over the country. 
But now that you've achieved your dream, you have a sea of people standing in front of you, asking you to help achieve their dreams, and I guess I'm no different. It's not a bad dream, not a bad wish, I think. It's this; I don't want my brother to go overseas. I don't want him to get hurt or killed in this stupid, dishonest conflict. I don't want him to have to know how it feels to take a life, either. Not for this, not for someone else's greed and bad decisions.

Sir, I know you're not all-powerful, and I know you have a hard task ahead of you. But if you're taking requests, this is mine: End this conflict. Please. Bring these soldiers home. Do everything you can, because even though he's just one guy in a uniform, one Airman among many, my brother is irreplaceable. And all of these men and women have sisters, mothers, someone at home who loves them. Someone who is worried and crying and writing them letters and waiting for them to come home, like me.

 -[Sabertooth Screaming Lemur]