Jen Gienapp: Watching Iraq Fall Apart

Monday, August 11, 2014 - by Jen Gienapp
Jen Gienapp
Jen Gienapp

It is so disheartening to see the news out of Iraq.

My family, but more so my husband, endured many months of separation, due to his service there. He said a few days ago, "when we were there, those cities were so stable." Sigh. He always said this would happen, after we withdrew troops, and here it is, happening. When he left Iraq in 2010, after a second deployment, things seemed to be pretty good, all things considered.

But now, all we see is chaos. I am very sad that all of those collective months and years many of us Americans in our different ways contributed to, go to waste. Whether it was military, family members, journalists, contract workers, humanitarian aid workers, community members who sent care packages, church members who prayed, and yes, even some good politicians – it was a collective effort, and it makes me sad to see it going down the drain.

I hate these reports of Christians (and many peace-loving Iraqis who are just trying to live their lives in their home land) being persecuted and executed. I don’t know what the answer is, when I hear of these poor people being killed, or parents throwing their children over cliffs to escape the horrors of what might come.

I don't want the service of thousands of Americans who died, were injured, or served in the last 24 years to be for naught. I’ve had plenty of friends who went, and I have supported their families back home, when I could. I have seen what deployments do to families, including my own.

I don't want to see my husband go again into harm's way, but I know he will if ordered, and we will deal with it.

And then here I find myself complaining that he is in the middle of his Annual Training, for two weeks, and then I feel guilty. He’s only an hour away. I’m complaining that I have to do the whole kid thing on my own for two weeks. But it’s not a year across an ocean, in a combat zone.

At the same time, I know those two weeks are no walk in the park for him, either. He’ll be in an uncomfortable bed, living out of a duffel bag, eating Army food, working long hours, and training for the next time he might go.

I also just have to deal with two weeks…not a one-year deployment, or a husband who had his legs blown off, or is dealing with PTSD. And I’m certainly not a parent who had her son or daughter killed in combat, or one worrying about her kids’ safety from a radical group who is invading her country.

For the time being, I will use our two beautiful hand-woven Iraqi rugs and several other mementos around our house, to remind me to pray for the mothers, fathers and children in Iraq who fear for their lives.

I am conflicted, as an American, a military wife, and a Christian, as I watch a country being torn apart. I just want Jesus to come back soon.

---

Jen Gienapp and her husband, Andy made the move from Chattanooga to Cheyenne, Wyoming. She can be reached at emmegab@gmail.com.



Memorial Tree Planted On Cleveland Greenway In Memory Of Cindy Rowland Grant

A redbud tree has been planted on the Greenway by Cleveland city employees in memory of Cindy Rowland Grant. She was daughter of Mayor Tom Rowland and was the wife of Jim Grant of Chattanooga. Ms. Grant died on April 19, 2017 and was a 1975 graduate of Cleveland High School.  Family members visited the tree site following the planting, including Mrs. Charlie Grant, ... (click for more)

Local Organization Makes Donation To Support Wreaths Across America

During a recent meeting of the Tennessee Valley Veterans Benefit, Jim Bob Nation and Frank Fejeran presented Capt Marty Nix of the Civil Air Patrol’s Choo Choo Senior Squadron with a check in the amount of $240.00.  The check represents a donation to Wreaths Across America, a non-profit organization whose mission is to place a holiday wreath on the headstones of every veteran ... (click for more)

Navy Veteran From Hixson Who Was Attacked By Fellow Inmate At McMinn County Jail Dies

A Hixson man who went on life support after a vicious attack by a fellow inmate at the McMinn County Jail in Athens, Tn., has died. Family friends said 48-year-old Tim Cook, a Navy veteran, died Saturday after he was kicked repeatedly in the head a week earlier. He had been arrested in Athens on a driving while intoxicated charge. Sheriff Joe Guy told the Athens Post ... (click for more)

Report Of Shots Fired At Hamilton Place Mall Sends Crowd Scrambling; No Victims Found

A report of shots fired at Hamilton Place Mall shortly after 6 p.m. on Saturday sent customers at the mall racing out in a panic. Police later said no shooting victims had been found. A call to 911 at 6:07 p.m. said there was an "active shooter." There was a call for EMS to the mall, then another call at 6:10 p.m. of an "active shooter." Those in the vicinity of the mall said ... (click for more)

The Logic of Hysteria: A Hometown Look from A Thousand Miles Away

There was a shooting recently in my hometown, in the parking lot of the mall. It made the national news and I was reading the user comments on the story. Someone was giving their experience about how they heard some rounds fired near the Sears. The next comment was, “They still have a Sears?”   So what the heck happened? The police say there was never an active shooter, ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Why CNN Is Gonna Croak

I believe CNN (Cable News Network) has become one of the most disappointing news sources America has ever known in the last five years. The bastions of sound journalism no longer exist as the once-great organization has gone the way of liberal loathing. Its new basis-of-fact cannot be trusted and the overwhelming bias against conservatives in our nation is as morbid as it is frightening. ... (click for more)