I have to be honest- I did not read the paper or watch the news while I was away. In the airport, CNN was reporting on the mess in Israel.
At the same time, as we waited in Atlanta for our flight to Savannah, there were many soldiers walking about, obviously going back to work after a break. One in particular caught our eyes.
He was young, only 18, and looked scared. I'm sure he wouldn't like that description of himself but he did. Walter couldn't stand it and went and struck up a conversation with him. He had just finished basic training and was going back to base after a short break.
He was from a small town in Florida and the army was the only way out. The army recruiters did a number on him and he took it, hook line and sinker. He did not think he would see any combat and if he didn't like his deployment, he could transfer.
Well, we thought, you could ASK. Doesn't mean you could change.
In the meantime, Israel's ground forces were moving forward. Rocket attacks were being reported on the television just over our shoulders. It broke my heart, this young man's belief he could pick and choose.
Would he be alive in a year, I wondered.
I have three sons. People have always said to me that boys are easier than girls. Sure, they're rough when they are young but then they tend to mellow and you never worry about them getting pregnant.
No, you worry about them being drafted.
I don't believe this country can enter one more conflict without having a draft. Our military is stretched to its limits. Young, poor kids will continue to sign up as a means to get out of hopeless situations but not in the droves needed.
Not even Obama will be able to fix that. Bodies are needed. Period.
Six years, he said. The last two are cake, just on the reserves. I wondered if he had any idea how many reservists are on their third and fourth tour in Iraq.
Catching up on the news has been hard. The Rick Warren debacle is nothing compared to this nightmare brewing, again, in the Middle East. My hope for the end of war is gone.
And my fear for my boys renewed again.