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September 13, 2012

You know what made me cry

today?  Besides horrifically sad stories that keep coming out of the woodwork?

A friend sent an article my way and wrote that she thought the comments indicated that there are a lot of people out there who don't *get* Diplomatic Security or what it does.  I didn't really think anything of it, read the article and then glanced at the comments...and just about lost it.  

Four U.S. diplomats are DEAD.  Their bodies are being repatriated at this moment and they will never again have a chance to do...anything.  And what were people discussing in the comments? Thoughts of the victims' families?  Ways to remember fallen members of our diplomatic corps?  No.

 Instead it was an open forum of bashing, whether against our current president (for whom I have a deep amount of respect), the *lack* of security (as it was perceived by them) or the way things should have been handled.  No one mentioned having any Foreign Service/expat experience, yet suddenly all were experts on such topics.  

 Is that what we have sunk to as a country?  Are we so callous and shallow that instead of simply shutting up and honoring the dead, we spend time spreading lies, rumors, and attacking our President? And this makes our country great?

America, I am ashamed. 

Instead of taking the flag at half-staff as a reminder for reflection and memorial, we take it as a moment to blame.  I know it is an election year, but enough is enough.  Four people who served fearlessly are dead and it means nothing but trash talk time?

I understand that not everyone gets the Foreign Service or our lifestyle. They don't understand the months upon months of training that Peter has gone through, the never-ending separations, and the postings, however dangerous, that are accepted without fail because that is what we signed up to do. They don't get that our moves are stressful emotionally and sometimes financially, and that we don't just plop down in a new location and magically settle in.

Mocking what we don't understand often seems more useful than simply taking the time to learn about it. I have many friends and family who do take the time and it is very much appreciated. However, for those armchair diplomats who read one article and think they *magically* know how the situation in Libya could have been prevented or how world peace is to be established, please just put away the keyboard. Accept that you are not an expert in diplomatic relations or security and perhaps offer a condolence.  

A little respect...that's all I ask.

And if you do believe in the Foreign Service and the work we do around the world, no matter what the circumstances, please consider adopting the ribbon from my previous post.  Tack it up on your blog, change your Facebook profile picture or Tweet it from the rooftops and just show us you care.

Thank you.



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I think you are my favorite person today. I feel exactly the same way.

Well said. The world is incredibly unpredictable. There is no way to cover every scenario. I remember running through scenarios over and over in my head in Mexico trying to figure out the best way to handle each and realizing that there was just no way to cover every risk. I just had to do the best I could with the info I had. I was incredibly grateful for our RSOs at post and the DS teams that came to post. DS agents have my highest respect. I am so grateful for all of them.

Made me cry too, and my husband is IRM not DS, but I think it was sheer anger that made me cry. Anger at the utter, not disregard, but disdain for all those that work so hard to keep all of us safe so far away from home.

It has made me cry too!

Love ya Jen :) It's been a rough week in the State Dept/Military community, and though I too am ashamed at many of the world's comments, I am proud of the close knit and supportive community we are to each other. We understand the others and know that a kind or supportive word or a "we're thinking of you" goes a long way.

Thanks for your post and the support you give to all of us :)

Thank you for the ribbon. I have made it my FB photo. I don't know why, but it helps in some small way...

We are new to this life, and the past week has been the most stressful, humbling experience. Some of these commentators should try settling in to a new home while comforting a preschooler who cries for his grandparents, a baby sick with yet another local bug, and planning for a possible evacuation. And then kiss your husband goodbye at the door as he goes to work (when you have been glued to the TV displaying his "office" under siege.)

The only thing that has kept me sane this week is my husband's strong sense of duty and belief in what he does, and the amazing diplomatic community here. Thanks for writing.

Respect is a thing where most of us neglect. A simple thing yet hard to apply in our daily life and into others. Though it does not made me cry, somehow deeply in my mind, it says, my feelings are into them.

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