Hensley to Heart: A Nightmare in Real Time

Published 7:41 am Sunday, March 6, 2022

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Try to imagine this scenario.

A hostile nation is set to invade with military might. The world says it will never happen, but all indications are that this is real and not just a show of force. Tanks are lined up along the border. Soldiers are in place for an attack command. Blood has been stored and field hospitals which are ready to become operational.

The possibility of leaving and trying to make it safely into another country seem extreme. What will fit in a car? A suitcase? What are essentials that should be packed? Will the banks allow cash withdrawals? What if it’s only a bluff? It’s hard to imagine leaving home, friends, and everything familiar behind. Is the gas tank full? How far can the car make it before it runs out of gas and must be abandoned?

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Then, in the middle of the night, the unthinkable happens. The invasion begins with bombs, air strikes, military and civilian targets. Roadways are jammed as people panic. What they could have done easily a couple of days, or a week earlier now seems impossible. The world watches in shock at what’s happening but have not done enough to prevent it in advance. Words of condemnation for such actions do not stop the bullets, missiles, and bombs that are falling all around.

While communications are still working, the announcement comes. Women and children can try to leave the war zone, but all men from the ages of 18-60 cannot flee. They must stay and fight. They will not be allowed to cross the border to safety. Little does it matter that they have no military training.

Never mind that they’ve never handled or shot a gun before. They must fight for their country and freedom. They must fight for their lives.
So, who will go while they still can? Who will abandon their homes? Who will take their little ones and leave husbands, fathers, brothers, children, and sweethearts behind? Who will be able to survive amid the ruin if they stay?

Such is the plight of Ukraine right now.

I turned on a Christian television show to see if they had any commentary or hope to offer. They stopped a politician and asked about the situation. His response was mind boggling. “They are 5,000 miles away. What has that got to do with us? We have a crisis on our southern border!”
I could hardly believe my ears.

Do I want to see World War III erupt while we watch on? Absolutely not! Do I want to see the United States drug into another foreign war? No way! But we are a foolish nation indeed if we believe we are not vulnerable to the schemes of politicians and mad men.

Judith Victoria Hensley is a retired teacher, writer, photographer and columnist for over 25 years for Harlan Enterprise.