Along with the rest of the world, my family breathed a huge sigh of relief when the news broke Captain Phillips had been rescued from the Somalian pirates. They were not only relieved a hostage—and fellow New Englander—had been saved, but that Mom might return to the land of the reasonably sane.
I went a little crazy over the course of the last few days. The situation became all wrapped up in some bigger thing for me, and it’s a little hard to explain. With the entire freakin’ planet going to crap around us, Captain Phillips became an emotional touchstone for me—if he died, we were doomed. If he lived, we would persevere. I know. Crazy.
Logically, I understood what the Tall Kid was trying to tell me everytime I shouted at the TV to just go all US Navy on their asses. There was more at stake than the life of one man. The Somalian pirates are holding hundreds of hostages on multiple ships. Other governments urging us to be cautious. And it occurred to me while trying to match my emotion against his logic, that my kids and I will always have a different outlook on some things.
My sons are being raised in a time when the United States is part of a global community. Talking is good. Touchy-feely diplomacy is good. Sure, the world’s economy is collapsing and we all live in terror, but everything’s oh-so-civilized now. Our shock and awe now leads to a decade of our soldiers sacrificing themselves for political greed and questionable progress. When we tell a country we’d prefer they don’t do something, they laugh and tell us to pound sand.
I came of age on military bases during the eighties. Superpower, baby. You simply did not fuck with the United States of America. Almost every civilized person on the planet had a side—you were with us or you were with the Soviet Union. Economies thrived under the competition of war, technology and space exploration. Nobody was having Blue Light Specials on old nuclear technology and weapons to finance food for their countries. Two men, two buttons, and the world was good.
I needed Sunday’s moment. I needed desperately to believe that, with the world watching, there would be no standing down. No leaving that man behind. I know, in the global scale of things, it was a small moment. Four armed men and one hostage.
But it was a moment in which our President and our Navy said unequivocally you have fucked with the wrong person.
It was a good day.
Excellent post, Shannon. Just excellent.
There has been some mild poking of fun at all the Navy Seals in Romance Novels, but by God, they deliver when needed. Yay Navy Seals!! Yay Capt. Phillips!! Take that you lousy pirates!!
Great post Shan.
My husband actually accuses me of having unrealistic expectations of SEALs due to romance reading. He says they’re not as awesome as I and my friends (as he calls romance authors collectively) like to believe.
I think he’s an idiot.
(Truthfully, I think because he’s a Marine, he just can’t handle my drooling over Navy guys.)
Just remind your husband that the Navy SEALS clear beachheads so the panty-waist Marines can land.
And listen to an hour-long diatribe on how the Marines go first and clear the way? No thanks.
The only thing worse than saying that would be claiming the US Air Force is a valuable asset to the Armed Forces. (I was raised Air Force. And can and do hum the anthem when I want to bug the shit out of him.)
Something happens when you tattoo USMC on a guy’s arm, and it isn’t open-mindedness. Or love for SEALs.
Oh, here’s a quote:
Him: “If you or your friends really wanted to write a good book, you’d write about Force Recon.”
Me: “Sure, honey. I’ll pass that on to Suzanne Brockmann, k?”
Do you know, I forgot about the Seabees. They are usually waiting on the beach when the Marines land saying, “What took you so long?” :neener:
I hope your husband has a sense of humor. If not, you better not let him read any of this.
I felt the same way, Shannon.
I come from an Army Ranger family who also poo poos the Navy SEALs. Personally, I like any man in uniform. If he’s the best of the best… *drool*
You know what I found odd, and if I’m wrong, someone correct me as I’m really curious…
When the captain was rescued, the pirates got totally pissed and said we are now on their shiite list. An eye for an eye, so to speak.
Did they say the same about the French?