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November 18, 2004

Generations Apart, Brothers Forever


sent this unbelievable picture. She said I didn't have to use her words, but I think they're just about perfect.

"Those of us lucky enough to know this new generation of warriors understand they've been strengthened by the sacrifices you all made... it's their reverence for your sacred honor, despite the John Kerrys of the world, that calls them to duty.

Their clarity was forged by images of 9-11. But their courage is inspired by you

-- Laura Bartholomew Armstrong, Kerry Lied Rally, 9-12-04

We will not forget.

- Cassandra

November 18, 2004 at 02:08 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on Nov 18, 2004 6:41:20 PM


Sometimes we all feel like that, a little.

A woman who works for me was a sergeant in the Army years ago, and her son grew up wanting to be a soldier.
Well, he's been through West Point and commissioned, served one tour in Iraq and will probably go back for another late this winter or early spring, as a captain. His mother is intensely proud of him, as I think anyone would be, because he is one tough, smart and decent guy, a fine figure of a soldier.
She's worried sick about him, and voted for Kerry in the last election, because she was fearful of the idea of him doing another tour in Iraq (her daughter is also in the Army in San Antonio, training as a medic, and might also end in up "in theater"), and thought Kerry would be more likely to end our involvement in Iraq and pull out the troops (really?).
He's her son, her only son, the pride and joy of her life, and he came pretty close to losing his life in his last tour from an IED (one of his company sergeants did, just a few feet away).
Of all the reasons from smart and stupid people to vote for Kerry in the last election, this one, to me, is a tough one to argue down. (We don't argue politics at work, by the way.) It is totally sincere, from the heart, and there is no way around facing it.
Sure, he volunteered (going into West Point in the fall of '98), but who could have known (at the time) it would be like this? Really.
He'll do his duty, because he has dignity and honor, and will do whatever he has to. But this is hard on a lot of people, not just the soldiers.

I'm for the war, and still believe it was the right thing to do for a variety of reasons, but the personal face of loss and tragedy from this (or any) war is tough to face.

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at Nov 18, 2004 3:55:53 PM

I am not sure why I think this is relevant but it appears the elderly gentleman is wearing a Lance Armstrong cancer foundation yellow Live Strong bracelet.

Posted by: Pile On® at Nov 18, 2004 6:51:48 PM

Words fail me. I know what it is like to lose a child, but he didn't die ten thousand miles away, either. All I can say is that when that lad did talk to me about enlisting, dh and I had some strong words to say about the armed forces but told him once he was 18 he could make up his mind were he so inclined.

Well, he turned 18 last Saturday. I know where he is and were I God and had to fight Satan, I would as many young men as I could spare. He is in good hands, as are all who are no longer with us.

Posted by: Cricket at Nov 18, 2004 7:51:49 PM

My tears are my only comment.
Thank you.

Posted by: spd rdr at Nov 18, 2004 8:11:07 PM

That's all, just "wow".

Posted by: MrsPurpleRaider at Nov 18, 2004 9:53:56 PM

I know.

Every time I look at it, I just lose it.

I'm kind of glad I'm not the only one.

Posted by: Cassandra at Nov 18, 2004 10:10:32 PM

Heck of a gut wrenching discussion to have with an offspring - death. But what is amazing, to me anyway, is how clear-minded these young folks are. There is no doubt they know what they are doing and volunteering for. Doesn't make the nerves for the Old Guy and Mom settle but it does in a funny way give strength from the younger to the older. Make sense?

I don't know, I guess the frist time they deploy is the hardest. After not eating or sleeping for a few months you learn to tune out as a matter of self-preservation. You can handle the second deployment easier simply because you know the drill. Easier, not better!

You also draw strength from the very hardness of your young gun also. It's the same hardness that gets them shunned by most of society during peacetime that allows them the chance to survive during war. Catch them in an unguarded moment and you can look into their eyes, see to the depth of their soul, and it is death looking back at you. Kinda' hard to say that about your own offspring but to me it is a strength for the trials to come. It is something I understand and know will pass in quieter times. For now I prefer it to be there as unfeeling as that may sound.

I musta' missed the chapter from the book "Raising Kids for Dummies" where it talked about sending your child off to war. That musta' been lost with the chapter on potty training! ;-)

Frankly Don, I really do not understand your lady friend at work. I guess it must be an individual thing because I had the exact opposite reaction to Kerry. I thought my son would stand a better chance of getting killed if Kerry flip-flopped on the WoT and Iraq. Funny how two people in the same sitrep can see things from totally different ends of the spectrum. Oh well, that's what makes the world go 'round huh?!

Posted by: JarheadDad at Nov 18, 2004 10:37:09 PM

That's the same reaction I had, JHD.

I was scared to death going into this war, whether it was the right thing to do or not. I really agonized about it. But once my mind was made up, I really didn't see any point in second-guessing the decision. That's what we did with Vietnam. 58,000 men, dead for nothing. Because we vacillated. Because we lacked the will to see it through. We let them down, and so many of them were never even given the choice about whether they wanted to go over there.

How sick is that?

We can't do that again.

I remember when I was never scared - when I was insulated from all of that. I think that's part of being young, and partly what nature gives you to get you through the tough times. Just be there to catch him when it all catches up with him. I know he'll be OK, but I'm a Mom and I just wish I could give him a big hug, even though I know that would make him want to run like helk :)

I hope he knows how proud we are of him. How proud we are of all of them.

Posted by: Cassandra at Nov 18, 2004 10:50:50 PM

Tonight we watched "Tora! Tora! Tora!" AWESOME movie. I remember standing on the deck of Mighty MO and thinking that we were so blessed to have such men who stayed the course
and that this survivor knows we are in good hands.

Yes, I cried. I wanted to give BOTH of them a hug.

Okay, tear ducts have stopped leaking.

Posted by: Cricket at Nov 18, 2004 11:39:50 PM

I've been trying to figure out how to upload a song up here Cricket - it took me forever to find it, but it's perfect for this picture.

But I think I may have to burn it to a CD first, and I'm just too tired tonite.

Posted by: Cassandra at Nov 18, 2004 11:46:39 PM

He's doing really well now Cass. He's even graduated to the couch! ;-)

Da Grunt was working on his truck today and I slipped up behind him (dumb thing I know but I move rather quiet normally anyway) watching him work and he felt my presence. When he came around I saw that look that's old as time. It jarred me a bit and it's an emotional thing for a parent to see. No matter how much I understand it's still bothersome. I prefer it that way for now though.

That pic looks like one of my uncles and one of my cousins. I had to do a double take when I first saw it. My Uncle was on the Canal and hopped twelve islands. Talk about one tough Gunny! Used to be a mountain of a man! Whew! He raised five sons and two of them were Marines. One went Chair Force with my kid brother and one Army (artillery). The other became a Minister. Go figure! Seems like the "Greatest Generation" is passing on fairly rapidly now. They can be proud! And so can our men and women today! Bless 'em all!

Posted by: JarheadDad at Nov 19, 2004 12:13:43 AM

I trust that everyone who sees this photo, or has a single brain cell functioning will rise up and prevent this young Marine who stands accused of a virtual execution of a wounded Iraqi from being disciplined in ANY way.
WE are not on the line. THEY ARE. SUPPORT them
By the way, how come not a peep out of the Human Rights, Geneva Convention, Civil Liberties PIAs about the poor woman those "nice Iraqi boys and girls" shot in the head then mutilated the body and threw it in the street.
Isn't that against SOMETHING---like maybe common decency?
What does someone more knowledgable than me say? Should we rise up mightily and level the place or say to hell with it all and come on home and leave them to kill each other?
(Sorry, I am double cranky due to constant emails from my Kerry supporting soon to be EX friends.) Anyone see BURIED IN THE SAND?
That is not for the young or "sensitive". It's rough. But it shows you what we are dealing with.

Keep saying our prayers that all our troops come home safely.
Mena Mitchell

Posted by: Mena Mitchell at Nov 19, 2004 12:59:03 AM

The reason they won't speak about Margaret Hassan is because they don't want her to be a martyr. And because she is a woman. I wonder why the NOW gang and Hitlery and Co. haven't
sounded off on this?

Common decency? Really? In a patriarchal society that oppresses women the question can be asked? What is that?

I am also being cranky because you are raising questions I had and didn't have the guts to put up here.

You go girl.

Posted by: Cricket at Nov 19, 2004 1:16:34 AM

I agree with you about 'logically' the result of the election would be a "lesser" chance of something bad, but it's not MY son, and I'm NOT a mom. I don't mean to impugn that, either.
Some day (all too soon) my sons will be of age. I hope this will all be over by then, but you never know. I hope I have the courage to give THEM the confidence to do the 'right' thing, no matter what.
And thanks to Sgt. Graurke, Kris, and a lot of others, maybe this will all be over someday. And no matter what, it all won't be "for nothing".

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at Nov 19, 2004 9:11:15 AM

Hey there Cricket
Thanks for the kind words.
I have no pity left for those people.
Us women are usually the ones who bind up the wounds (I'm a nurse) but I think we are formidable when faced with a threat.
The thing is poor Margaret Hassan was just binding up the wounds and would never have thought of putting an RPG down their throats.
And I'll just bet that Cassandra is something ELSE when they finally tick her completely OFF.
Hereafter don't be afraid to speak up. The JERKS aren't afraid....we need more people like you to "educate" the ignorant masses.
Go for it girl
Mena Mitchell

Posted by: Mena Mitchell at Nov 21, 2004 12:35:54 AM