The Persian Gulf War of the ‘90’s was an electrifying time in society. There was a very strong patriotic atmosphere and energy in the country.
American flags were everywhere. Even Danny, from the New Kids on the Block, was wearing an American flag shirt in concert.
So you know it was a big deal.
But it was also a confusing time for the children.
One child in particular was the most perplexed.
It was not because of a certain political affiliation or system of personal beliefs. Nay, that child—being me—was confused about the Middle East conflict simply because she was seven years old, and had no clue what the heck was going on.
The year was 1990. I was in the 2nd grade in Mrs. Yeary’s class. My dad was ranked a Captain in the U.S. Army National Guard.
When the conflict arose, the million dollar question in my family was if my dad was going to get deployed, and go to war.
At some point in the year, my dad was either told he was going over or thought it was a very strong possibility.
My mom explained this to me, but the only thing my little ears heard was:
My mom hadn’t quite learned what a nervous little child she had. I tended to panic and obsess over EVERYTHING.
You would not believe the torture I endured when I watched a documentary on the Cuban Missile Crisis. It was like my own little ‘90’s version of The Ring.
When it came to the Gulf Conflict, my childlike concept of war was dramatically influenced by my limited grasp of the world.
So, based upon this map, where do you think I thought the war was going on?
Not in the Persian Gulf, but in the Gulf of Mexico.
So, when I thought of my dad going to war, I truly did not understand what that would entail.
I thought war was just like a job.
You’d wake up in the morning.
Brush your teeth…
Eat a healthy breakfast….
War all day……
Then come home in time for dinner and watch Cheers.
What further pushed me into a state of confusion was the fact that my dad always went to work everyday in his fatigues (camo).
Therefore, when Dad came home, he had a very confused little girl to deal with.
Well, my dad would come home from work or in my mind, “from war-ing,” and we’d have dinner as usual. Then, he’d watch his TV.
I was amazed at how well my mother was handling my dad fighting on the battle front all day. I, on the other hand, was highly concerned, and so I dedicated my meager abilities into doing everything I could to help my dad.
And I took this task VERY seriously.
It was going to be my greatest accomplishment.
It was time for Operation Alexa To The Rescue!
I asked as I checked for any bullet holes or stab wounds he may have overlooked.
Of course the man was thirsty! People at war are always thirsty! I saw it in the movies. They were always lying in some ditch, drinking out of a worn out canteen. Why hadn’t I come prepared????
No matter. I now had my duty and ran to fulfill it.
I asked my mom for a glass of tea and then rushed his order to him.
My dad was pleased and quenched his war torn body with the magical, revitalizing herbs of Lipton Brand Sweet Tea.
I stood by…..
…..preparing to be of service if he needed anything else. I was confident I could fulfill any task, from bringing him a coaster he wouldn’t use, to changing his bandages. I was ready for action.
That is until…
There’s a reason why I don’t watch TV. Any time I enter the same room when a television is on, my brain gets sucked in like a little meteor in a black hole.
It doesn’t matter what’s on. I become useless to resist its power.
But, maybe this time since I’m so serious about the task at hand I will be strong enough to…
The trance had begun.
After some time–Who knows how much? It could have been 10 seconds or 10 minutes for all I knew–my mother popped her head in the living room.
But, even I knew my objections lacked backbone. I had gotten distracted and was caught watching TV when I should have been helping my dad.
I had sold out my own father for Star Trek.
Curse you, Picard.