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Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!): My Neighbor's Character was Questioned Today

Life Lessons of a Military Wife (overseas in Europe!)

My goal here is to make your life easier, especially those who are in the unique situation of being a military spouse. Yes...I've been around...but in a good way...and hopefully can share those tips, tricks and shortcuts with you too. I've been on this military bus for over 40 years now. My goals in life are to have a well-run home, few money worries, well adjusted children, money socked away and whatever happiness I can scoop out of life.

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Location: United States

After life as an Army brat, being in the Army myself and marrying a soldier, I can honestly say I have a bucket full of life lessons I can share to help you make your everyday life easier and enlightening. Don't waste your time making unnecessary mistakes and benefit from others who have come before you on your journey through life.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

My Neighbor's Character was Questioned Today

I got a call this morning from one of my old neighbors. What a blast from the past! It seems our other neighbor's job and life in America was in jeopardy. Apparently, someone had alerted someone in the government, accusing our neighbor of anti-American and possible terrorist tendencies. Our neighbor being accused of this happened to work as a civilian on a military base, so I'm sure the authorities did not take this matter lightly. In fact, they took it so seriously, that he is to appear before a judge later in the week. I dutifully called our mutual neighbor, who grew up in Jerusalem, as a Palestinian. Yes, our former neighbor is Muslim.

So, I sat and listened to Mohammed's heartbreaking story. I already knew about the torment and hatred his wife and four kids had to go through post 9/11. His wife wears traditional Muslim dress, and I remember sitting with her a full year after 9/11, trying not to get too upset, as she recounted being yelled at, spit at and shown obscene gestures when she ran her errands around town. Now it had gotten to a point where their livelihood and stay in America was being threatened.

I remember that these neighbors were always there for me when I needed help, especially during my husband's deployments. I got almost weekly treats of baklava and other yummy desserts that I still miss to this day! I have never met more polite children and good neighbors who cared about the others around them. Now does this mean they are not terrorists? Well, I don't think any of us could truly answer that unless we could climb inside their heads, but as I struggled with what to do for my former neighbors, I decided to write a character reference letter. I wanted to write what I do know about them...nothing more and nothing less. I did feel confident that they had nothing to do with such matters. I mean, the husband spent many decades in America, taking menial jobs and studying for his engineering degree in order to get such a great job. I heard him speak many times about how thankful he was to be in America and all the trouble and heartbreaking news he gets from back home...Both he and his wife also spoke lovingly about their children and their hopes and dreams for them....America is the place to be, and if he could, he'd bring his whole family over. This does not sound like the rantings of a terrorist.

But, nevertheless, I sat down and wrote a nice character reference letter, accounting for what I had seen of him and his family, his actions and his words...and hoped that it was good enough to help him out. I haven't heard back yet on how his case is going, but I do pray for him and his family and hope that God watches out for them in the end.

I think character reference letters were used more in the old days. You don't see them as much anymore. You might still see them attached to resumes, where someone may not have a lot of work experience. Or you might see requests for a character reference letter on a job application. But the vast majority are attached to court documents according to a friend of mine.

If you ever have the opportunity to write a character letter, see some of the sites below for ideas.

Examples of a Character Reference Letter

Character Reference Letters

Have you ever had to write a letter for someone, vouching for their character?



Blogger Linda said...

I have never had to write a letter, but I have been questioned about my neighbors with regards to them getting security clearances (as they applied for civilian defense jobs). It was want to be sure to say the right thing...yet there are questions that you just don't know the answers to...or feel that your answer will not be received in the way it was intended.

I think it is very noble and wonderful of you to write a letter in support of your neighbor.

March 25, 2008 at 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Diane said...

I haven't ever had to write a letter vouching for someone's character but I've had to do it verbally at times (in reference to jobs) and on a business social networking site.

I do think it was very nice of you to do it. But I'm appalled that they were given such hell after 9/11. I remember seeing a couple in Vegas at a casino buffet who were Muslim, she in full garb and he in short-sleeved shirt and either shorts or pants, but very western for sure. I remember feeling sorry for her. I certainly didn't feel hatred toward her. I thought it rather unfair that he got to dress like that (it was hotter than hell that day) and she couldn't, but it was simply pity. Now she could very well have been thrilled to wear it. Beats me. We have a habit of applying our own way of thinking to cultural situations which aren't always appropriate.

I know situations like you describe happened after 9/11, but it just makes me sad when I do hear of actual events.

March 26, 2008 at 1:02 AM  
Blogger Yazmin said...

I feel sorry for your friends. Do you have an update on their situation?

April 3, 2008 at 6:43 AM  
Blogger ****Veteran Military Wife at Life Lessons of a Military Wife**** said...

No, no updates yet. I'll let you know when I hear from them again.

April 3, 2008 at 4:49 PM  

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