* “VBIED” = Vehicle-Borne Improvised Explosive Device. Basically, a car bomb.
I got the video game “Red Dead Redemption quite awhile ago and was thinking that this was exactly the kind of thing that the characters would play. Not only that, but this was the kind of thing that they could use to keep in touch with each other over long distances. The characters involved are Joe Rock, Cecelia Glass, Jamal Kajama, and Jorge Ricardo.
Jorge Ricardo was Joe Rock’s best friend in the Army; they met in Basic Training and were assigned together (both their initials are “JR” so, by alphabetical order, they ended up assigned together). Jamal Kajama was their team leader in Iraq whose wife was German because then his “in-laws are on the other side of the planet”. Cecelia Glass was an original member of the 213th Battalion that worked with Juni, and the MRAP she was riding in got hit by an IED, leaving her blind in one eye and with an artificial leg.
I haven’t touched base with these characters for a long time, and figured it would be nice to see some old faces again and know that they are keeping in touch. People complain these days about how the “digital world” and “(anti-)social media” are creating divides between people… maybe in some cases, it is. I think it depends on how you choose to engage, rather than something endemic to the platforms themselves.
I am able to keep in touch with distant friends and family that I never would have been able to thanks to these tools ate our disposal, and in some cases I have even made new connections that never would have been possible without social media. I have connections in Canada, Australia, Norway and Finland, the UK, Israel, Poland, Mexico (and more) because I choose to make positive connections through these networks.
So this Thanksgiving, reach out any way you can, because any connection is a valid one.