Various Lies

Friday, May 22, 2009

Through Hell & High Water

I fancied posting a little introspective piece as we (in the US) approach Memorial Day.

Memorial Day started in Boalsburg, Pennsylvania (home of Cmdr. Ryker from Star Trek: TNG; or the actor that plays him anyway) many moons ago as way of honouring fallen soldiers. The UK has November 11th for something similar. At 3PM on the Monday of Memorial Day we are exhorted to stop BBQing, slurping Bud Lite and jaw-wagging and pause for a moment's silence and thought for our fallen service men and women.

I hope we all remember ot do so this year. As we struggle the death throws of a pointless, illegal war, we would do well to remember all the servicemen and women who have volunteered and been volunteered to serve on our behalf. Don't tell me the draft never was reinstituted...tell that to the Alabama National Guard.

On June 11th 2006 my good friend and childhood companion, Capt James Philipson was killed in Afghanstan. He was the first UK soldier to die after the Brits took over from the Yanks in Helmand Province. The offical inquiry into his death blamed poor/lacking equipment. The .45 calibre round to the head that killed him would have been stopped had been wearing the right helmet.

I'm not sure much has changed.

When I lived in DC I knew a lot folks who worked at/through the Pentagon, many were servicemen.

  • Rachel (Navy) had been shot and blown up patroling near the coast
  • Jay (Marines) had broken his back parachuting with an M-60, also shot in Bosnia
  • Nolly (Army national guard) had been shot patrolling in Haiti
  • Shuba had been shot down whilst parachuting behind enemy lines before the Second Gulf War; she was also shot through the shoulder in a "friendly fire" incident by one of her own corpsmen. Since returning from the gulf she has had to deal with leukemia, potentially from exposure to chemicals in her role as a chemical weapons expert.
  • Matt (USAF) deals with PTSD after serving on the frontlines during the First Gulf War

I am a proud navy brat, the son of a sailor and brother to a cop.

So, I will be remembering everyone who serves, has served and epecially those who gave their lives serving their country, which ever country that may be.

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