Monica L. Murphy

I WOULDN’T WISH THIS

IWVPA Double Tap Award for War Poetry: December 14, 2004
Awarded: December 14, 2004
Today I read a letter to the editor in my local paper. A woman declared the Bush twins should be in Iraq along with their cousins. Pretty heavy stuff!

My son was in Iraq. I’m not going to declare this war right or wrong – this is NOT a political essay. I do know one thing, though. I’d NEVER wish the thirteen months I went through on another mother and I’m one of the lucky ones because my son came home.

I’d never wish that farewell hug on the First Lady, knowing in the back of her mind is the possibility that she’d never see that child again. I’d never wish on another mother the five hours I spent on May 8, 2003, wondering if the soldier killed was my son. His unit couldn’t confirm what later turned out to be an erroneous news report. There were many casualties in my son’s unit that really occurred, but you never forget the first day it hits home. The only thing worse than knowing a casualty is from “our unit” is being the one who gets the knock on the door.

I’d never want Mrs. Bush to hear her child tell her deployment has been extended again. And again. And again.

I’d never wish her daughters in an unprotected vehicle in a war zone; or without a thick coat in winter simply because someone messed up and it’s not “proper issue” because it’s the wrong color.

I’d never want another mother to read a letter like I got from a war zone pleading with God that mom get this letter. The type of letter nearly every soldier has found cause to write because war is real and they want to let their loved ones back home know they love them in case the next roadside bomb hits their vehicle.

I’d never want another mother to answer the phone and be told her child is injured, no matter how slight. Or to get a call from the unit just checking on the family – you ask over and over “Are you sure this is routine?” thinking you’re being prepared for what – God only knows. Or to have to call the unit if you take an overnight trip because the unit has to be able to get a hold of you at all times.

I get aggravated with our government at times. We all do no matter what political party we belong to. But I’d never wish another woman’s child in war.

No, I’d never wish those girls over there – I couldn’t do that to their mother.