I am on a bus traveling across the United States, rallying for candidates in key primary races. I have done this a lot over the last few years (though usually by plane or car), and have come to know patriots from all across this great country. We laugh together, cry together, journey together, plan together, sacrifice together, sweat together, freeze together, work together and sometimes even do the Harlem Shake together – all to deliver a message of hope for a hurting nation, if we possibly can.
Then we get off the stage. The lights are down. The stage is empty. The crowds are gone. And I go back to my hotel room, where I have a moment to catch up with myself and I realize: I miss bedtime prayers with my babies. I miss lying next to my husband, and I miss my little French bulldog, Gipper. I miss home.
And then I think of the soldier in the bunker or trench, melting in the desert sun, who won’t see his family for months or longer. I think of the SEALs whose brave lives were cut short for reasons I don’t understand, and how their wives will miss them forever. I think of the 1,343,812 brave soldiers who have paid the ultimate price for our country, and I realize my life is an honor and a luxury.
But perhaps the ultimate is the soldier who has to fight twice.
I sit on the Tea Party Express bus as I write. We have traveled from South Florida, through Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Arkansas and now we are in Oklahoma somewhere headed to Kansas. The palm trees have turned to pecan trees. The blue gulf waters have transformed to dry, cracked earth. The accents have lessened, and our own hearts have softened to our mission.
Nothing could have prepared me for what I experienced at the rally in Texarkana…