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.


Sheriff Watson Speaks To Bradley County Pachyderm Club

Sheriff Eric Watson was the guest speaker at the Bradley County Pachyderm Club on Friday afternoon. Sheriff Watson spoke to an overflow crowd on "The State of the Bradley County Sheriff's Office". There was also a presentation regarding the BCSO jail programs. To highlight the success of one of those programs, the Sheriff introduced two young men who had greatly benefitted from ... (click for more)

Bradley County EMS Wins Director’s Association Award

The 19th annual Southeastern Emergency Services Director’s Association or SEEMSDA Conference was held at the Chattanooga Choo Choo. This Emergency Services Conference is one of the largest area conferences that caters to first responders. There were over 150 attendees at this year’s conference. The itinerary consisted of speakers from around the region doing presentations and lectures ... (click for more)

Cleveland, Tn., Production Company Owner Charged With Defrauding Church Of God International Of $100,000

The head of a Cleveland, Tn., production company has been charged with defrauding the Cleveland-based Church of God International of $100,000 in connection with his part in setting up the church's world convention in Orlando, Fla., in 2010. Troy Scot Carter was charged by federal authorities with securities fraud. A four-page criminal information says the church hired Carter ... (click for more)

City Set To Commission $200,000 Mural On MLK Boulevard By Famed Muralist Meg Saligman; Foundations To Cover Cost

The city is set to commission a $200,000 mural on the side of the AT&T Building on MLK Boulevard by famed muralist Meg Saligman. Ms. Saligman has created over 50 murals all over the world, including one called  "Fertile Ground" that is 32,500 square feet in Omaha, Neb. Her most famous mural is "Common Threads" on the west wall of the Stevens Administrative Center ... (click for more)

Finley Stadium Needs To Grow Up - And Response

RE:  Finley Stadium Financial Picture Rosy; Beer And Alcohol Sales Approved; AstroTurf Almost Ready and City, County Pitching In $250,000 Each For New Finley Stadium AstroTurf I read a story here five days ago about a rosy future for Finley stadium. It lead me to believe that the stadium was making money and even improvements with donations.  Then we get a short ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: The Sunday Funnies

They say March roars in like a lion and leaves like a lamb. So as you reach for your lambs-wool sweater on this last Sunday of the month, allow me to lighten up a bit with a new edition of my Sunday Funnies. I have a delightful crowd that keeps me supplied in jokes and these are some of the best that have come my way: A WOMAN'S PERFECT BREAKFAST -- She's sitting at the table ... (click for more)