This morning, on my way home from shopping at Wegman's for breakfast stuff, I was transfixed by a story on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday. Sipping my $1.49 caramel coffee with non-fat half and half driving down Moorestown's near-perfect Main Street, I was brought to tears by the story of a young mother whose son will grow up fatherless.
The story introduced us to Altoona, Pennsylvania's Suzie Fetterman, and her six month old son, Mason. Mason's father and Suzie's fiance Michael Hook was a month from coming home when he was killed last August in a helicopter crash in northern Iraq. He was 25. Suzie and Mason are state-side casualties of this war, a woman who never intended to be a single mom and a boy who will have a community to support him, but no dad.
He'll never have his dad play catch with him. He'll never feel his father's scratchy beard on his soft cheek when his father kisses him good night. He'll never have dad carry him to bed after he fell asleep watching a Phils game. He'll have a flag and a picture and a mom who loves him. But he'll never have a dad.
Over 800 children will never know their mom or dad due to the ongoing conflict in Iraq. We're over five years in, over 4000 Americans dead, and nothing accomplished that is worth their sacrifice.
It's time for the heroes to come home.