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   Undertoad  Thursday Dec 15 09:25 PM

12/15/2005: Grief of a soldier's wife



xoB sent along this Time.com photo essay on iraq war families dealing with loss, and two of the shots put a tear in my eye... this one, which is fourth of ten, and the one that follows it in the series at that link. You should go there, because Time presents the images better than I do.

You can take it any way you like, but the grief I feel, I want to be free of the politics of it all. For once, it's not to multiply by it shouldn't have to be like this, or to divide by on such an honorable mission. It is the same grief no matter why it happened, no matter whose fault is behind the decisions. Because the soldier doesn't make those decisions, s/he only lives and sometimes dies working on the mission given. In service that doesn't change with the party in power.



xoxoxoBruce  Thursday Dec 15 09:46 PM

I've seen a couple of articles/programs about men like Major Beck and the impossible task they do. I can't imagine having to do that job.



richlevy  Thursday Dec 15 09:49 PM

I wish I could be free of the politics of it. But is it really wrong to ask why this is necessary? Can we really say that if they had not died we would have been less safe? I keep on remembering the phrase 'To support and defend the Constitution'. Is that a definition of this conflict?

This doesn't make me want to honor their sacrifice any less. It just means that I have my duty as a citizen, the duty they swore to uphold.

What's really sad is that ten or even five years from now, Congress will find some way to shortchange the veterans, the widows, and their families when everyone stops paying attention.

I'm proud of the job they did, ashamed of the circumstances that put them there, and sad for their families and friends.



BigV  Thursday Dec 15 10:15 PM

No, richlevy, it's not wrong to ask why this is necessary. But please take that kind of talk elsewhere. In keeping with the intimate image, and Undertoad's remarks, your freedom of speech is intact, but inappropriate in this context.

I have lost loved ones. My dad drew his last breath as I held his hand and watched his face dissolved in a sheen of tears. The questions as to the decisions about his care and the competency of the doctors attending to him were not invalid, only inappropriate.

There is a time and place for such talk. Just not here, not now. You understand, I'm sure.



capnhowdy  Thursday Dec 15 10:42 PM

I pledge allegiance to the flag
and to the republic for which it stands........
...a moment of silence here...
I can't go there.
not again
a service to my country whose majority is unappreciative.....
I won't delve, other than to say......
"God bless the USA"



richlevy  Thursday Dec 15 10:58 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV
There is a time and place for such talk. Just not here, not now. You understand, I'm sure.
Some people, when confronted with great sadness, can say, "What a pity".
Other people, when confronted with great sadness, can say, "Why is this happening, and what can I do to make it stop".

I hope you understand.

I appreciate the guys like Major Beck, who do what they can in an impossible situation. I just don't think it's enough.


Beestie  Thursday Dec 15 11:15 PM

I hope this war produces something that the survivors of those who gave their lives to build it can take pride in. At this point, we just don't know.

I hope Bush looks at these photos every day. If only to drive home the real cost of this war. Unfortunately, I have a bad feeling that he feels no cost is too great.



zippyt  Thursday Dec 15 11:34 PM

According to the news 60% of the folks over there got to vote for their OWN gubment , it MAY decline into the typical secular hairball ,
BUT ( and this is a BIG BUT ) we helped give THEM the chance to make their own choices, what they do with them is their own fault and responsibility .

I mourn the loss of fellow comrads trying to give these folks the RIGHT TO CHOOSE , I hope they don't disshoner the losses we have incured on their behalf .



beavis  Friday Dec 16 12:42 AM

that was a gut wrenching series of photos. i can't imagine the pain...



Trilby  Friday Dec 16 04:58 AM

Why did I look?

crying.



Kitsune  Friday Dec 16 11:05 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Undertoad
Because the soldier doesn't make those decisions, s/he only lives and sometimes dies working on the mission given. In service that doesn't change with the party in power.
I initially had a tough time removing the political arguments from my thoughts while reviewing the slideshow, but this statement ended up doing it for me and, I think, is the only statement that could.

...and then, on reading it again, only served to amplify what it had banished.

Damn. Regardless of how you look at it, the whole thing is just so sad.


Elspode  Friday Dec 16 02:17 PM

For some strange reason, the politics of this never occurred to me as I was looking at the essay. All I could see was that poor woman's pain, and that Major Beck's job had to be just about the worst job in the entire universe.



Cochese  Friday Dec 16 03:07 PM

You were not kidding. By picture four I was misty. I would love for this thread to become the most frequented daily pic on the site.



Kitsune  Friday Dec 16 04:18 PM

<a href="http://www.todaysmilitary.com/">I couldn't even begin to imagine</a>.



Griff  Friday Dec 16 05:30 PM

Jesus, I love the Marines. Good people.



capnhowdy  Friday Dec 16 05:55 PM

it's a dirty job but it has to be done by someone.



xoxoxoBruce  Friday Dec 16 06:46 PM

I remember reading about how every body is escorted all the way home. A military escort never leaves the coffin unattended from the time it leaves Iraq until it's lowered into the ground. The escorts sleep on the planes, trains and floors of funeral parlors, to ensure the coffin is never misplaced, misrouted or mishandled.



capnhowdy  Friday Dec 16 09:46 PM

I'm amazed that by now noone has mentioned the film "We Were Soldiers" in reference to this thread. Their taxi/telegram method really chapped my cheeks, and the way the wives handled it got right up next to my soft spots.
Makes you wonder who really has the shit detail...the troops on the front or the families at the home front.
Personally, I'd rather fight than sit home wondering if my home troop is coming home or not, and if yes in what condition.
Fuck war. It sucks any way you turn it. Big question is: what is the alternative? I may regret posting this one but....WTF?
My views on this topic vary depending on my mood. PTSD?.......hmmmmmmm.........



Griff  Saturday Dec 17 02:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy
I'm amazed that by now noone has mentioned the film "We Were Soldiers" in reference to this thread. Their taxi/telegram method really chapped my cheeks, and the way the wives handled it got right up next to my soft spots.
That was awful.


zippyt  Saturday Dec 17 06:46 PM

Jesus, I love the Marines. Good people.

Semper Pi



Lucy  Saturday Dec 17 07:09 PM

Thank you, UT.



capnhowdy  Saturday Dec 17 10:08 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
That was awful.

The film, or my post?


Griff  Sunday Dec 18 07:50 AM

Great film, the telegrams were awful. Your post was honest, nothing wrong with that.



Crimson Ghost  Tuesday Jan 3 05:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Griff
Jesus, I love the Marines. Good people.
Quote:
Originally Posted by capnhowdy
it's a dirty job but it has to be done by someone.
We do what needs to be done.

Major Beck is an outstanding Marine.
I'm glad to see that TIME did a respectful article.

I was 9051 - Graves Registration Specialist -
------------------------------------------
Collects, evacuates, and identifies the dead.
Searches battlefields for unburied or unsuitably buried dead and for isolated and unmarked graves.
Covers the dead with raincoats or shelter halves and carries them to forward area collecting points.
Wraps bodies in blankets or other protective covering and places them in ambulance or other vehicle for removal to rear area collecting points or to an established cemetery.
Searches dead, removes personal effects, and records inventory on appropriate form.
Forwards property and inventory on appropriate form.
Forwards property and inventory forms to collecting point or other specified place.
Prepares identification form for each body showing name, service number, grade, organization, and place, cause and date of death.
Attaches one copy and forwards other copy to collecting point or other designated place.
Supervises work detail engaged in foregoing tasks.
In the absence of conclusive evidence of identity, takes fingerprints, or prepares tooth chart and ascertains other anatomical characteristics.
Operates fluoroscope to check skeleton structure for deformities, old fractures, and other peculiar and signified bone formations.
Records accurate physical description on prescribed form, giving all anatomical characteristics, including scars, birthmarks, tattoo marks, and moles, which might be of aid in identification.
Informs non-graves registration personnel concerning preparation and disposition of graves registration records.
Maintains liaison between combat units and graves registration platoon and company headquarters.
Contact officers and enlisted personnel of units operating in areas where unidentified bodies were found to obtain all available information which might be of aid in identification.
Buries the dead.
Supervises work details engaged in burial of the dead in an established cemetery.
Oversees digging of graves, burial of bodies, and placing of appropriate marker at head of each grave.
Supervises and participates in burial of dead where found when circumstances prevent immediate burial in an established cemetery.
Ascertain that all personal effects have been removed from bodies.
Oversees and assists in digging graves and wrapping and burial of bodies.
Attaches one of individualís identification tags to body and places other on marker at head of grave.
Prepares report showing exact location of grave and identity of body or bodies buried therein.
Arranges for conduct of religious service and rendering of military honors.
In the absence of chaplain, conducts burial service.
Indicates location of each temporary grave on map, or on sketch prepared for the purpose.
Accurately orients grave on map, or on sketch prepared for the purpose.
Accurately orients sketch by showing reference points or by sketching in or describing prominent terrain features such as hills, ravines, streams, and roads.
Submits report and map or sketch to immediate superior or to other designated agency. <O:p></O:p>
-------------------------------------
Sorry if this information upsets anyone.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday Jan 3 10:05 PM

Quote:
Sorry if this information upsets anyone.
Hell no! I'm glad you guys are taking care of all that shit, the deceased and their families deserve at least that much.


Your reply here?

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