Wednesday, March 25, 2009

A Different Perspective

I almost remained silent, as I have not finished the book. But the last post fired me up. No, I have not finished the book (I'm close), but I will. I am deeply affected by it and have had trouble tearing myself away from it, but family obligations have made it impossible to sit down for an extended period of time.

I too hate violence. I would much prefer a diplomatic approach to any sort of conflict. But that is not reality. My perspective is a bit different because my husband is a police officer. They too are trained in violence. But, I am very grateful they are. We live in a violent world, and the stories I hear often rock me to the core. Although I believe the world is full of goodness and amazing people, there is much evil. Horrible people walk the streets daily; our soldiers/military personnel/officers exist because of that.

My husband is trained to kill. And I am glad. It helps me sleep at night knowing that there is one more competent "good guy" on the street to help balance things out. He comes home bloody and bruised after combat training. I hate seeing him that way, but I am humbled. He is willing to risk his life to ensure we remain safe. He is willing to give up a 9-5 desk job with a hefty salary, kiss his family goodnight and head out to keep our community safe from harm. Each night he risks his safety without the cover of some magic hero cape; he has no super powers. He must rely on his training. He must rely on that grueling, innocence breaking training.

It isn't pretty. It isn't pleasant. It certainly isn't enjoyable to read about. But it is necessary. My husband is a good cop. He is thorough. He is hard working. He is honest. He does everything in his power to avoid violence. He does not want to pull his weapon. He does not want to be a killing machine. But our world does not allow for anything different. Sadly, there is no Utopia. And just as I must watch him drive into the darkness each night, many fathers, mothers, wives, must send their sons and husbands off to fight a war we would rather not be fighting.

I understand this book was a hard read. I get that. I also respect the decision to put it down. But please know that there is much more than arrogance and testosterone behind the uniform. There is beauty in bravery. There is beauty in courage. And there is beauty in understanding.


  1. I too had trouble putting the book down. I walked away from this book feeling more patriotic and having a great deal of respect for those who serve our country. I found myself being embarrassed that I haven’t been willing to make similar sacrifices for my community and country. I am humbled by those who have the courage to do so.

    It is a realistic necessity for young men and women, like your husband, to be trained to protect and serve. I appreciate you and your husband for the sacrifices you both have made, for making the community a safer place, and for being prepared and willing to act at a moments notice.

  2. Amber,

    I am REALLY glad you posted this. I would absolutely agree with you that it in necessary and honorable that men and women serve in dangerous, violent circumstances and I agree that preparing them for that service requires brutal training. I don't dispute that a bit. I just don't want to read about it in all the gory details. It did not make me feel patriotic. It made me feel nauseated.

    Both of my sons have been in the Marine Corp, one in reserves and the other in active duty for nine years. So I do know a little bit about honoring those trained to kill.

    However, I still hated the way this book was written and have no regrets for putting it down.

    Still, what I LIKE best about this book club is it gives me a chance to sample books I would never pick up on my own and to think about why I do or do not like them. I APPRECIATE having others give a different point of view.

    To me, that's the whole point. So bring on the opinions! Let's learn from each other and appreciate one another's perceptions as me continue to read some good stuff, ok?