10 years ago my family lived in Germany where we were stationed for 3 years while my husband was serving in the US Army. I have often heard people lately talking about how we "are headed down the path of Europe" and surmise what may become of the USA. They talk about how fast it can happen, how quickly it all can change. How we are "on the brink".
I've lived in that brink. 10 years ago I was right in the center of what would eventually become the chaos we now see in that region of the world. 10 years ago the chaos in the Middle East looked similar to what we see today in Europe, just to give you a timeline "perspective". I don't have all the answers, I don't know all the right things to say, but I feel like I'm being led to share with you some true glimpses into what my daily life looked like during that time.
I moved to Germany pregnant with our firstborn son. I had been to the country once before in my life and my husband had been stationed at the same base previously so he had a good lay of the land. I had taken German in high school and college so I had a basic grasp of the language, but certainly nothing highly impressive. I could "muddle through" at best, but I refused to let that stop me from embracing this lifetime of an opportunity.
When we reached our military base we were to be stationed on we were immediately put into a classroom despite it being rather late in the evening. We received instructions on how to stay safe, what areas to avoid, and what areas we were explicitly not allowed to go into. We were told when classes would be available to help us learn how to live in that country. We were even advised on the best choices of how to dress, act, and behave in public - all in under 60 minutes. It was "Germany in 60 Minutes or Less" and it didn't do much to prepare one for the realities we were about to face.
At that time, the US was just a few weeks from invading Iraq and that choice would take the brief class I'd taken and the knowledge I had gained through friends and push it to the brink. Over the next few weeks, I will share more of these stories of what it was really like to live in that time in a foreign country and how it felt to attempt to have a normal life while also keeping my family safe. Bear with me as I'm also vacationing, but it's been laid on my heart to share this with you, and I feel it is necessary for you to understand precisely what can happen in the blink of an eye.