The Luxury of American Parents’ Worries!

Hi Readers! This came in as a comment this morning, and if  it doesn’t lend a little perspective, nothing will.  — L.

Dear Free-Range Kids: I am currently deployed to Afghanistan on my third tour, and I am part of the new female engagement teams. These teams consist of medical, security and intelligence specialist. We go directly into villages, unaccompanied by male troops, and meet face to face with the women and children of the villages. We provide medical care, work with the women to build skills so that they can help support their families, and listen to the concerns of the women and children and try to help. I can promise you, that in the grand scheme of things, bugs, babysitting, and the cold are such silly things to focus on as a society. [Topics of fear recently discussed here on Free-Range Kids.]

In my three deployments, here are a few of the children that I have had the honor of meeting and the privilege of helping:

*8-year-old Avizeh, who lost her leg last year because of a Soviet-era mine. She walks to school 2 miles on crutches every day, because she fears that when we are no longer in the country, she will be denied an education, as her mother was.

*12-year-old Dehqan, who is the sole caretaker of his 5-year-old brother and 3-year-old sister. He lost both parents to cholera, and he works 12 hours a day caring for the goats and crops with only the 5-year-old for help.

*And finally, 16-year-old Belahrah, who lost her sight at age 4 because of a infection that would have been cured with a simple penicillian shot, which she didn’t receive because the male doctor refused to treat her because the Taliban demanded that all women must be treated by female doctors. But 12 years ago, women weren’t allowed to attend school, let alone become doctors.   So female doctors are extremely rare.

These are the things that should worry parents, not the petty things we have focused on in the States. We don’t have to worry about our child losing a limb to a mine left behind 25 years ago, or going blind simply because the most basic of medical care is denied on the basis of gender. When you have a mother kissing your hand over and over and crying with gratitude because you showed up in her village with a simple supply of DTP vaccines, you realize the other worries are just silly. Afghanis would laugh at our Free-Range ideas, because here, all the children are Free-Range — and then some! — Kristi

She then added in a follow-up comment:

I didn’t mean to imply that our [American] problems are silly. I was referring to the … attempts to protect our children from all possible risks, and the overreaction to every perceived danger…. I will always be an outspoken proponent of common sense parenting and fight against the helicoptering mentality because I have witnessed what children are capable of in the most horrific of environments and am confident that the average American child can survive and thrive without all of the silly rules and safety regulations authorities seem determined to force upon them.

Kristi has served 18 years’ active duty in the United States Army. She is currently on her third deployment to Afghanistan. She is soldier, wife, and mother to five Free-Range children.

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57 Responses to The Luxury of American Parents’ Worries!

  1. Kokopuff February 17, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Well, if that doesn’t put things into perspective for you, nothing will. Thanks for sharing. Sometimes you need a good kick in the ass to remind yourself how trivial your problems are and how truly glorious your life really is.

  2. BMS February 17, 2011 at 12:48 am #

    Amen.

    We sponsor a child in Guatemala, as a way of giving back to our sons’ birth country. Kids down there have to deal with walking miles to school (if they can afford to), after helping mom and dad gather firewood in the morning, and then coming home and helping in the fields or with the animals afterward. They would love to have the luxury of obsessing over whether there is a hamster in the classroom or not.

  3. Lisa February 17, 2011 at 12:49 am #

    Kristi sounds like an amazing woman. SHE is a true hero.

    Thank you for sharing this Lenore.

  4. Lola February 17, 2011 at 1:02 am #

    And here I was, worrying about the horrible future my kids were facing because I can’t afford any extracurricular activities.
    Thanks. I needed someone to slap me on the face with a healthy dose of perspective.

  5. Micki February 17, 2011 at 1:10 am #

    Thoose children and others like them are in my prayers…Kristi is so right. Beautiful post.

  6. Tara February 17, 2011 at 1:18 am #

    Thank you for your service to our country, Kristi.

  7. chris February 17, 2011 at 1:23 am #

    A real good kick up the backside, that.
    I have travelled around here and there and seen kids begging on their streets, taking what seemed to be sole responsibility for their siblings and sleeping rough, but my 2 weeks here and 2 weeks there are easy to forget in the day to day western life. I think we all need reminders every so often, we all have such charmed lives.

  8. Tracy February 17, 2011 at 1:37 am #

    shame on our society for its petty triviality! Our sense of morality has been truly lost amongst all the red tape, bureaucracy and dare I say, interfering busybodies who have an opinion about the most mundane, garbage. If we were fighting for our very lives, we wouldn’t be focusing on hamsters in classroom!

  9. Brenna February 17, 2011 at 1:48 am #

    Kristi definitely puts it in perspective. I wish more people would realize what children are capable of, and that giving them responsibility is good for them. I’m a veteran, and was continually appalled at the lack of basic skills many of our recruits showed. You could tell very easily who was raised by a helicopter and who wasn’t. But many of these 18 year olds responded amazingly when you gave them accountability. For some, it was like a light going off. Others, unfortunately not so. They just wanted you to continue to take care of them just like their parents had, and felt entitled to pretty much everything without doing much of anything.

  10. Lori W. February 17, 2011 at 1:57 am #

    Wow. Perspective, indeed.

    Thank you, Kristi.

  11. SgtMom February 17, 2011 at 2:22 am #

    Again, Thank you, Kristi, for the perspective and service to your country.

    When my husband was growing up a spoiled middle class California surfer kid, he NEVER dreamed one day he would involuntarily end up fighting for his life in a foreign country soon after turning 18.

    But he did.

    Growing up a poor, rural southern girl, I prayed something better in life would magically happen so I wouldn’t have to be so desparate as to opt for enlisting for military service.

    But it didn’t.

    We both not only survived, but thrived – and raised our kids Free Range so they too would be able to handle what unexpected things the world throws at them.

    You never know what tomorrow will bring.

    We build a house of cards around our children by helicoptering, shielding, and over regulation. There is a big, bad, REAL world out there and no amount of Motherly love will protect our children should that house of cards come tumbling down.

  12. steve February 17, 2011 at 2:26 am #

    Great post! Thanks for sharing, Kristi. I hope you will share more profiles of amazing children you meet from time to time.

  13. Floyd Stearns February 17, 2011 at 2:44 am #

    EXCELLENT!!

  14. Tamara Brooks February 17, 2011 at 2:55 am #

    The reason people can worry about the petty things like bugs is because they dont have the bigger things to worry about. Instead of being grateful they find things they can worry and fret about. My husband is also active duty military and are planning on going on a 9-12month mission trip after he retires. Our son will be high school age then. We are of course taking him with us. The amount of people who seem to think that we are doing him a disservice is amazing. What about sports (because high school sports are more important than helping others?) or school (while I have never home schooled-im willing to do it for this amazing opportunity) and of course the big one, what if something happens. My reply is and will continue to be, something is happening to those kids right now. That is why we are going.

  15. Anonypilgrim February 17, 2011 at 2:56 am #

    This is both heartwarming and heartbreaking. Thank you Kristi, and your comrades, for all that you do.

  16. Janet February 17, 2011 at 2:57 am #

    So true. Perspective is so important… Thanks for all you do, Kristi. God bless.

  17. Jennifer Dermody February 17, 2011 at 3:10 am #

    Thanks so much for taking the time in your busy life to post. It”s an important message that is unfortunatly lost on far too many in our spoiled society. And thank you over and over again for serving. You are doing important work and it is appreciated.

  18. Silver Fang February 17, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    I doubt most modern Americans would last a week in Medieval Europe.

  19. North of 49 February 17, 2011 at 3:14 am #

    @SGTmom *applause*

    What drives me batty is the dumbing down and infantilising of the North American child. Our kids are not expected to be able to walk 10 blocks to school on a rural road and must take a bus or be driven. If kids don’t learn how to succeed in stages, when they become legal, they won’t know how to succeed as adults.

  20. Marie February 17, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    Great post, Kristi and so very true. Kids will amaze you if you let them.

  21. Neal Deesit February 17, 2011 at 4:13 am #

    “I doubt most modern Americans would last a week in Medieval Europe.”

    I doubt most Americans could even get to Medieval Europe.

  22. Skut February 17, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    The colonial war in Afghanistan is not some feminist mission. You can’t liberate women by blowing up their families in airstrikes. Most of the so-called Taliban these days are really just nationalists. Their problem is with foreign invaders.

    Positive social change can only come in an environment of peace, particularly when none of the combatants are particularly progressive. Imperialism is not “service to our nation,” it is in fact service to those who profit from war.

  23. EricS February 17, 2011 at 5:47 am #

    YAY!! All paranoid, fearful helicopter parents should do well to read and remember this post. Because, if you continue your way of parenting, you endanger your child by them never knowing how to REALLY live in this world. That the fear and ignorance these heli-parents teach their kids will only cause them to no very little in fending for themselves when they finally leave the nest. An ill equipped young adult becomes prey to the world he/she wasn’t prepared for. And can be compared to the every day dangers children in the middle east face every day and survive (for the most part).

    Stop being so selfish heli-parents, and start thinking of your childrens’ future instead of YOUR present.

  24. EricS February 17, 2011 at 5:55 am #

    @Neal: I doubt most Americans know what Medieval Europe is. lol jk

    I’d like to also add a thank you to Kristi and all the men and women who serve our Countries (Canada and USA). Yes, I was born abroad, grew up in Canada since I was 5 (which I consider home), lived in the states for a few years, now back home again. I have friends who served in US military and Canadian military. These guys know what suffering is, they know what REAL fear and paranoia are, yet they can look beyond that and see the positive that they can bring…to total strangers I might add. We’d do well to follow such dedication, especially for our children.

  25. deanne February 17, 2011 at 6:01 am #

    Thank you so much for this wonderful perspective!

    I truly believe that the atmosphere of worry and doom and gloom that surrounds us these days is due to simple ignorance and lack of perspective. Our society lacks not only geographic, but historical perspective. Do people realize that in late Victorian times the average infant mortality rate was around 20% across all socioeconomic groups? 20 percent!

    Whenever someone complains about how stressful life is “these days” I feel like asking “Can you even imagine living in a world where each of your children have a one in five chance of dying before they’re five?” Could anything, anything we worry about be worse than that?
    And yet somehow, we think we’re worse off than ever, that the world is getting worse and worse, that if we relax for one minute everything is going to crash down around us.

    Do we somehow convince ourselves that people used to love their children less? That those mothers in Afghanistan and Sudan and Bangladesh don’t feel the same pain at watching their children suffer that we would?

    We need to open up our eyes to the reality of others, both in the past and in other parts of our world. I am living in the best times and in the best place that has ever existed.Period. When you truly feel that you’re blessed, the petty worries become much harder to see.

  26. michelle February 17, 2011 at 6:56 am #

    This made me cry. It also made me want to pack up my kids and travel to an under-developed country to let them learn what life could be like if we weren’t so priveledged….

  27. enyawface February 17, 2011 at 7:06 am #

    Kristi,

    God Bless you and your family. Many thanks to both you and your family for the sacrifices you have given us.

    Many of the people who are making negative comments, have never been there, have never seen what the people are truly going through, have no idea and no clue. I myself have not been there, but I have seen many first hand accounts, not propaganda from the military, not hyped up media reports. Pictures and video from the people who ARE there. Those people, the citizens, both in Afghanistan, and in Iraq, want us there, they want our help.
    If you don’t believe that, get off your fat American backside and go over there and see for yourself. I would go myself and have even applied for a few civilian jobs but can’t go due to many health issues.
    In America we used to honor our soldiers. If you really dislike what they are doing, or disagree with our Country’s policies, there are other places to live, see just how “free range” they allow your children to be.

  28. enyawface February 17, 2011 at 7:23 am #

    North,

    You are absolutely right. I just recently celebrated my 39th birthday, It amazes me how people just 10 years younger than me are so socially inadequate. Many have no coping skills whatsoever. They expect everything to be taken care of for them, anything beyond a video screen game console and control pad is too much to handle. Communication, in real life face to face? OMG Panic Panic Panic.
    I still wont forget the interaction with a kid in the Grocery store. I said HI. Now, sure, I am a big man, usually well dressed, but friendly in nature. The sudden look of panic on this kid’s face, of almost terror, and went running back to the other isle, MOM, that guy said hi to me, in a terror stricken voice. The kid was at least 13 years old, and nearly as tall as me and could not deal with a simple HI. IN the neighborhood I live in, we have 2 playgrounds, both with basketball courts, almost brand new, both are grown up with weeds, because, although I count at least 5 school buses on my drive in and out of the neighborhood, you never see a child outside, much less outside alone. within 4 blocks of my house there are 3 elementary schools, 2 middle schools and 3 high schools. yet, you never see children walking to school. From the age of 4 1/2, 2 days after school started, I walked the 3 blocks to and from school alone. as did my best friend, (till we met up of course) and the other 10 to 20 kids on my block. And if on the way, an adult stopped and said Hello to me, We usually had a pretty good conversation, no one got hurt, and I always made it on time to school.

  29. fabulouslyfrugirl February 17, 2011 at 7:26 am #

    Thank you for sharing this perspective with us.

    It really makes me thankful for all that I have, and for all that the men and women before me have given up, to make our world a safer place. It also brings to light the inequality of our society, even today.

  30. SgtMom February 17, 2011 at 7:49 am #

    enyawface -“In America we used to honor our soldiers. If you really dislike what they are doing, or disagree with our Country’s policies, there are other places to live, see just how “free range” they allow your children to be.”

    Actually, soldiers are now treated pretty well for the first time in a very long time.

    You sound like a silent majority “Love it or leave it” rerun….

    Neither of your statements are very true or very helpful.

  31. JP Merzetti February 17, 2011 at 9:30 am #

    I’m sure we can all agree that compared to other places in the world, we’re practically spoiled rotten…
    but the point is, unless that perspective is taken to heart, nothing much is going to change.

    We’re still laboring under the legacy of 9/11, its wakeup call, its aftermath consequences, and until we put THAT in proper perspective, we’re going to go on finding terrible, terrible boogeymen under every rock out there in the public domain….

    In our lil’ country, what is, in fact, the most dangerous place for children?

    – the family home.

    Truly horrifying, that.

    salute, Kristi

  32. rps February 17, 2011 at 9:35 am #

    It’s easy to look at another part of the world and say how different it is and make comparisons–good and bad. But what if we look within our own country?

    I live in a city, and I frequently shake my head at this blog and say, “Where does Lenore find these people?” Then I say, “Of course, the suburbs.” I just don’t know many parents who resemble the people in the stories in this blog.

    American city kids (and I’m not just talking poor kids because I know urban is automatically equated with the poor in some corners) are constantly assessing risk and watching their parents do the same.

    I think city parents are inherently free-rangers in that we we’re not excessively risk adverse. We see that city life has a return that we’re willing to take a risk for. But then on the hand, there are more reasons to keep your kids close in the city. But at some point you have to let them go.

    My beautiful 14 year old daughter walks past the prostitutes and the cruising johns at 7:30 am (yep they’re out that early) to get to her bus stop. I considered walking her, but I thought for god’s sake, if 9th grade isn’t a good time to learn how to conduct yourself on the street (don’t make eye contact with sketchy-looking men, be aware of your surroundings, etc.), when is? And the area is otherwise relatively safe and well traveled by good people….at least by my assessment.

    Plus I have to get the other kids to school. Their school doesn’t have any grounds, so at recess they put up cones and the kids play in the street. It’s just a necessity because you can’t keep kids inside 24/7 and expect them to learn.

    I know this is a bit OT from the post, but I think that it ties in with the post in that necessity drives independence for kids.

    Plus the assumption that suburban life is the ideal for children feeds the kind of helicoptering hysteria this blog points out so well. So many parents have this idea that all risk must be eliminated and then they begin imagining risks.

    But learning to assess risk is an important skill. And many suburban kids–like their parents–are not going to be very good at it.

  33. Donna February 17, 2011 at 9:49 am #

    “In America we used to honor our soldiers. If you really dislike what they are doing, or disagree with our Country’s policies, there are other places to live, see just how “free range” they allow your children to be.”

    I guess it’s good that the writers of the Declaration of Independence didn’t feel that way or the US would still be a British colony.

  34. Staceyjw aka escaped to mexico February 17, 2011 at 11:40 am #

    This post put US parenting into perspective. And yeah, lots of parents worries ARE trivial and silly, I don’t mind saying it either.

    THANKS Kristi!

  35. enyawface February 17, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

    SgtMom, I beg to differ. I see again, first hand how our soldiers our being treated when they come home. Our country should be ashamed.
    Mistreated, misdirected, uncared for and tossed away. “Thank you for your service, now get lost.”
    ANd do not tell me this is untrue, if I had the permission of the soldier that I’ve worked for for tha past 5 years, to use his name, or of the soldiers that have come through the line at the food shelter, or the many that sleep at night in the homeless shelter, I would easily have 1000 names to list.
    Given the run around upon coming home, not given proper assessment or care once they get home. Denied medical benefits, denied basic housing. denied both military and civilian jobs (jobs that only they as service men and women are qualified for)
    I am currently working with a soldier who has been home for almost 2 years from Iraq, first he was told he had to go to retirement before he’d get another deployment, then he was told he couldn’t get another deployment if he retired. He just wanted one last deployment before his 2nd retirement from service in his 2nd branch of the armed forces. In the process of trying to find out what he needs to do and trying to get either a deployment or a civilian job, all he has gotten is the run around, he can’t even a medical exam or prescription medicine through the military., every place he is told to contact tells him to contact the place that sent him there. Finally a year and half later, they are giving him his retirement, minus his time at home, even though, that is were he was “deployed” per his written orders.
    Yep, exactly how we should be honoring and treating our soldiers and a great way to teach our children.

  36. Steven February 17, 2011 at 1:19 pm #

    I completely agree and I do thank you for your service!

  37. sue February 17, 2011 at 3:02 pm #

    Kristi, thank you for your service. I hope that you make it home safely from this deployment.

    I also want to thank you for taking the time to post on this site and share your perspective. Your story makes me realize how good I have it being in a Western country. Even though children in Afghanistan don’t have Western living standards, they will be better to cope with whatever life throws at them when they grow up than US kids raised by helicopter parents.

  38. SgtMom February 17, 2011 at 4:41 pm #

    enyawface, on February 17, 2011 at 12:03 said:
    SgtMom, I beg to differ. I see again, first hand how our soldiers our being treated when they come home. Our country should be ashamed.

    enyawface,

    I guess because I am a Viet Nam era veteran MY perspective is a bit different from yours. Perhaps you have no memory of how truly BAD those in uniform just a few decades ago were once treated, spoken to and about, and portrayed in movies and TV.

    My son-in-law left for deployment two weeks ago, leaving behind a pregnant wife and a 17 month old daughter he met for the first time at 4 months, because he was on deployment when she was born.

    My pregnant daughter gets treated pretty badly by people who assume she is some sort of welfare single mom, particularly medical personnel.

    When it comes out her husband is a Marine in Afghanistan without fail most people immediately become respectful, some start to cry, thank her and her husband for their service and sacrifice.

    I have often seen people approach my son in law and thank him for his service, offer to buy his meal or pay for a drink.

    As someone who has been there and done that, I know not every person in the military is a “hero”, and most certainly don’t expect or even want special treatment. It IS an all volunteer force these days – it is their job.

    The oath of enlistment states that you will defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, both foreign and domestic.

    That’s it. That’s all.

    Citizens have a Constitutional right to be opposed to war. Every service person took an oath to defend their right to do so.

  39. Karen February 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm #

    It’s so refreshing to get some real perspective. And bravo to Kristi and all of our military. They are true heroes!

    I did find it sort of sadly ironic that she mentioned the people in Afghanistan crying with joy at the arrival of vaccines… yet another thing some American parents fear, because what if they cause autism? (even after it has been repeatedly proven that they don’t)

    On a personal (free-range) note – at the school where I teach, I was informed that we now have to get written/signed parental permission for our classes (Elementary schoolers age 5-11) to walk across a one lane road WITH 4 TEACHERS to a park/playground that is literally directly across from our parking lot. This is new. We used to just take them all the time AND let them run back to the school in pairs or small groups when they needed to use the bathroom, or get more toys or whatever. Not anymore, apparently. Thankfully, all of the parents signed the slip (most agreed it was ridiculous) so we can continue spending our afternoons outside (mostly) free-range playing

  40. Donna February 17, 2011 at 8:35 pm #

    @ enyawface –

    Gee sounds like the very things you are disagreeing about are “our Country’s policies.” You know those things that you told us we should leave the country rather than disagree. Afterall, the average citizen doesn’t control military deployments or medical benefits or housing or any of the things that you mention.

  41. Emiky February 17, 2011 at 9:25 pm #

    This was a wonderful entry, Lenore. Now I would never wish children to be as “free-range” as the children mentioned here, but it does make one realize that children can do so much more than be dependant.

  42. SgtMom February 17, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Karen: “I did find it sort of sadly ironic that she mentioned the people in Afghanistan crying with joy at the arrival of vaccines… yet another thing some American parents fear, because what if they cause autism? (even after it has been repeatedly proven that they don’t)”

    I, for one, have “freeranged” my kids from Vaccines.

    I wonder if the parents in Afghanistan will “cry with joy” when ritalin and prozac come to town?

    Parents in America are well within their sanity to question vaccines, genetically altered “Round-up ready” food, anti biotic and hormone laced milk and meat, and the thousands of unpronouncable chemicals we spray, smear and spread on our children or hand them to eat or drink.

    Over vaccinating and over medicating our children is part and parcel of the same thing as helicoptering them – over reliance on “safety” before natural alternatives or common sense is a prescription for diaster.

    But that’s another “Free-range” topic for another day.

  43. Dave February 17, 2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Thanks for this. We need prospective as a culture. What we see as life threating problems are not problems at all.

  44. Eika February 18, 2011 at 12:37 am #

    Thank you, Kristi, for your much-needed service. I hope you continue to come back safe, and to bring your perspective to the world.

  45. Krista February 18, 2011 at 1:30 am #

    American problems ARE silly.

  46. Sky February 18, 2011 at 2:51 am #

    ] “Plus the assumption that suburban life is the ideal for children feeds the kind of helicoptering hysteria this blog points out so well. So many parents have this idea that all risk must be eliminated and then they begin imagining risks.”

    I’m so tired of this assumption that helicopter parenting is the product of the suburbs, or that suburban parents are more likely to be overprotective than city parents. People chosse where they live for all sorts of reasons, and you’re just as likely to find free rangers in one place as the other. I chose the suburbs instead of the city because I don’t like all the noise in the city, I wanted to be able to afford more than two bedrooms, I wanted to have a ½-acre backyard for the kids to run and play in, I want natural woods and creeks and lakes within immediate walking distance, the schools are higher quality than in the city, and I want to be able to legally keep our guns in the house – not because I’m overcome with helicoptering hysteria. No, my daughter does not have the wonderful opportunity to walk by prostitutes and johns in the morning, but somehow I think she’ll learn the world is fallen and that you shouldn’t smile and wave at shifty men without that.

  47. Brian February 18, 2011 at 3:57 am #

    I think Kristi’s mission sounds pretty amazing and her experience does put many of our discussions in perspective.

    I just wish we would institute programs like the one Kristi is working on areas where we didn’t spend the previous 5 years killing tens of thousands of innocent women and children. The way to defeat fanaticism is with schools and vaccines not drones and torture. One fighter jet can pay for a lot of schools and medicine while providing more lasting real security than weapons ever can. It is best to be both loved and feared.

    The first lady has spoken quite eloquently about the importance of making it easier for service members and the spouses they leave at home to find and keep jobs. One program for instance makes it easier for real estate agents or nurses to transfer state licensing when they are forced to move to a new state because of a transfer. Lets hope we can find room in the budget to pay for these important initiatives.

  48. Danica February 18, 2011 at 6:19 am #

    Loved this post and what it represents.

    I do take issue with the many ‘kids these days’ generalizations I’m seeing in the comments though.

    I’m 22, I walked to elementary school and middle school and high school (almost a mile, not too bad). I took out student loans to cover my tuition and worked through college to pay my living expenses. I now have a house (with my boyfriend, who was able to buy it) and a job. The only debt I have is my student and new car loans. I pay my own insurance and health care costs.

    I won the birth lotto by having parents who were nurturing but not meddlesome (although my mom did take me to the doctor for every little thing).

    I’m just saying, don’t be hating on all of us just because our generation has its fair share of bums. Yours did too.

  49. oncefallendotcom February 18, 2011 at 9:12 am #

    I’m usually not one to watch a lot of TV, but some of the shows on channels like the Travel Channel or National Geographic are showing other cultures and how children are raised. For example, in Madagascar, young children were waiting tables in the family restaurants.

  50. chris February 18, 2011 at 5:44 pm #

    Brian,
    I completely agree.

    What difference does it make to the dead, the orphans and the homeless, whether the mad destruction is wrought under the name of totalitarianism or the holy name of liberty or democracy? ~ Mahatma Ghandi

  51. Mari Passananti February 19, 2011 at 3:17 am #

    Bravo!
    It’s depressing how many people in our country live in a self-imposed bubble and have no idea what goes on in the world, and therefore no perspective.

    Very young heads of household exist wherever there is war and/or disease.

    Which raises my other point: how many of the anti-vaccine crowd have seen a child with polio or pertussis or tetanus? Nobody sane who has watched a child die a miserable death of a preventable disease would ever criticize the delivery of vaccines to the developing world.

  52. Leonard Ewy February 21, 2011 at 9:10 pm #

    Just think, if we raise our kids and grandkids in a culture of fear and protect them at every turn from every possible thing, where will the future courageous Kristis come from?

  53. Point of Sale February 23, 2011 at 5:02 am #

    Yes i completely agree.
    Thanx alot, Kristi, for your more needed service. I hope you continue to come back safely ,and have to bring your perspective to the world.

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    […] a recent blog post from Free Range Kids sharply titled “The Luxury of American Parents’ Worries,” Kristi, a mother of five and an active member of the United States Army for 18 years, shoos us away […]