As promised, but not as easy as I thought it would be. I have too many moose stories, really. But, it was a letter to the local newspaper, www.newsminer.com , that sparked the thought on this particular story.
Right now, as I sit in my warm, spacious home, there are hundreds of American Soldiers, Airmen, Marines, etc. living in less than pristine housing. They are eating tasteless chicken for nearly every meal, waking early, and resting late. They are our friends, our neighbors, and our heroes.
The war our country is in, like most, is an unpopular war. Truthfully, I am not even sure how I feel about it. But I do know America is a safer place, thanks to our troops. We are here because they are are there.
In the middle of summer, as Judah played outside, I sat on th porch tossing a frisbie for Aly to catch. John came out just as Aly grew tired and settled down with the frisbie for a break. John, Judah, and I walked around the corner of the house to choose a place to plant our garden.
As I wandered ahead, John began shouting at me to get inside. Judah in his arm, he was running toward me. Knowing his tendancy to over-react a bit, and aware that a black bear had recently been seen in the area, I stood there and demanded to know why I needed to get inside. In a split second, I heard crashing of trees and saw a very large cow moose, nudging at her small calf as they bolted across the yard, straight toward us. Her ears we laid back, and I could tell she was very angry. In that moment, I saw Aly spring to her feet, cutting the moose off their path, and sending them into another direction. As glad I was that they were not coming toward me, my husband, and our son, I knew that moose would kill Aly if she felt it necessary. "Aly, NO!" I screamed, "COME, GIRL, Come! NO!" Aly looked at me just as the calf ran in front of its mother. In a split second, Aly backed up about six inches, just enough to move away from the Mama-Moose's defensive stomp. I really thought Aly got kicked, but that moose didn't stay to finish her off, and instead, ran into the woods with her calf. All was calm, all was normal.
I said all that to say this: I am thankful that I live in a place where moose run out of he woods, and not suicide bombers. I am thankful that the soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan are keeping the war there. I don't know how hopeful it is to see an end to the war and the killing there, but I am very hopeful that it will stay there, thanks to our soliders.
Life in Alaska isn't always about moose, bears, and wildlife. Sometimes it is about politics, religion, and all the other things that spark great debate. But whatever Alaskan life brings, I truly believe it is made possible in large part by our military service members and I am very thankful for them a this time of year, and always.