Friday, February 6, 2009

Without A Witness, We Just Disappear

I read quite a few books written by our service members. I do it in an attempt to try and gain real perspective. After all, if you are the one getting shot at, and going without running water and warm food rations for days, then you are also probably the best person to speak on it. I don't care what the news networks have to say.

One of the first books I ever read was a compilation of works titled "Operation Homecoming". Among them is Lt. Col Michael Strobl's account of the journey to Wyoming to bring LCpl. Chance Phelps back home. Phelps had been killed outside of Baghdad, and the DOD report caught Strobl's attention, when he read that they shared the same home town. The Colonel volunteered to take this Marine back to his family. In fact, every branch of the military sends a uniformed escort with their fallen. That is how it works -- when one falls, another carries him.

Commercial planes are often utilized for this job, and unlike this group of passengers, you might not even know if you had shared a flight with one of these fallen Americans.

That is going to fuck up the taste of those little, free crackers for sure.

Most of us get up every day and never even know that this is even going on. We all hear little snippets about this attack and that Taliban strike, but how many of us really see this? The war isn't here. Starbucks is. The death isn't here. That 24 hour sale is.

Without a witness, we just disappear.

If a tree falls in the forest...

It takes some effort and courage to bear witness. You are committed. Where is this journey going to take me? What if it is painful? What if it doesn't have a happy ending? Am I going to have to be uncomfortable?

Without a witness, we just disappear.

I want this country to step up and commit to being a witness for our troops. I am not talking about tax dollars or the collective, "I feel bad for them." this nation sighs every time a news story about the war hits the networks. Go find out! Reaching out within your own community is all it takes.

Our service members are already fighting this war on their own, they shouldn't have to do it while we shield ourselves from their truth.




Number of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom Casualties as of 06 February 2009: 4863

Without a witness, we just disappear.


HBO has made a film about the story of "Taking Chance". It will air on Feb 21st. It has also been picked up by the Sundance Film Festival.

You can read "Taking Chance" @ http://www.chancephelps.org/?page_id=126


2 comments:

SPC Andy said...

The only reason I don't feel completely guilty for coming home alive..

Daniella said...

SPC Andy,

I can't know how you feel, but I understand where you are coming from.

As one of our military, you do one of the toughest jobs this nation has to offer. I can't thank you enough for your service and sacrifices.

One can always try though - so....THANK YOU!!

Please take good care, and thank you for visiting my blog.