4,000


a view at Dover AFB Delaware
Originally uploaded by jayfherron

This morning I saw on my news page that yesterday-Easter Sunday,saw the four thousandth troop killed in Iraq.

Recently I read the book ‘Flags of our Fathers’ [Heroes of Iwo Jima] written by James Bradley.
I was stunned to be reminded that in a period of 36 days 7,000 United States troops were killed trying to take the island-there were 28,851 wounded. (most of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers defending the island were killed also)
In 36 days.

Last week I was at the Orlando Airport. The place is so huge that there two terminals. It was something to see all of the numbers of people lined up to have themselves searched. I was also amazed at the lack of uniforms-if there were any military personnel in the mass of people,we wouldn’t have known.

Yesterday I was reading the Washington Post and there I found they were publishing the photographs of the lost…those killed in battle. I wrote the Washington Post and thanked them for their respect in honoring these men and woman and I reminded them of how when I was a teen living in the Washington area during the Viet Nam war that every night on the evening news there was a moment of silence on the screen. The photographs of the flag draped caskets on the tarmac at Dover AFB was shown-taps was played. Sometimes there was brief statement-but always at the end of the tribute was the individual photographs of the dead.
That isn’t done any more. Why?

I know that the photograph I have used was forbidden-the one who took this had to have snuck it out to put in print-I am grateful that no one has been offended by me using this…it is not mine,but yet-it is something we all should have to keep us fully aware of what is taking place.
These caskets contain some of the four thousand.

The way the book read-Flags of our Fathers, it gave an account of the six men that raised the American Flag on the top of the mountain of this island and how they were brought out of combat to tour the USA to sell war bonds. These young men kept pointing out that the real heroes were still on the island…actually it appears the first flag raisers were killed in a attack and these men were sent to put a second flag up ( but only because a politician wanted the first one)

A few weeks ago I was returning from the city and coming up a lessor traveled back road. There were four young men walking in the road. I suppose they were having a laugh blocking the road way-but I blew my horn and the four young men abused my truck,they kicked in the fender. They were only able to use their feet-each one of them had to hold their short pants up with one hand-the other in use to keep balance while they kicked.
The next few days a deputy came to see the damage-and then I realized how big these fellows were.
It’s sad to me. We have no real heroes. They call these that have returned from Iraq heroes.
You look at these four young men-there is no motivation for them to do any thing else-what ever they were doing out in the country like that,walking-perhaps wanting a ride…the deputy pointed the brand of shoe one of them was wearing,she said they were expensive shoes (all that derived from the foot print on my door).

You see-to them a hero is someone who who puffs and blows into a microphone and calls his own people by a name that if others used it they’d be called a racist. Somehow these ‘heroes’ have convinced the youth and young adults of the culture that wearing clothes that couldn’t even be held up with a belt-instead must be held up with the hand-must be cool….and that’s all they have to look up to?

It’s really sad. We have war going on and the vice-president is interviewed by ABC and when he is told told the opinion of our country’s citizens is that the war is not a great idea…the vice-president answered with one word. “So”???
What more can you expect out of a country who takes and makes up heroes and forgets about the real heroes?

It is an incredible thought to ponder-what it must have been like to be those men on Iwo Jima. The way the facts are-the masses of Marines were in the worst of places and each seemed to replace a soldier fallen in front of him. The sights described are horrible and unbelievable-but you know them to be true.
My era I am told had a similar battle-the one for ‘Hamburger Hill’ in Viet Nam.

During those wars it was expected of any military personnel to be in uniform-during World War Two it was not even a question-it was proudly done. During Viet Nam it was mandatory -and practically an order if you were traveling. The airports and bus stations were loaded with men and woman in uniform. There was no mistaking there was a war in progress.
Those returning from World War Two were treated like heroes,those from Viet Nam were not…but still,they earned our respect each evening when they returned dead.
Now? Well…what do we expect from a nation who has a half leader that responds to a major statement about the war with…”So”? We aren’t even permitted to know how many-I applaud the Washington Post for publishing the individual photographs of the 4000 fallen.

I find it an interesting number-especially for it to fall on the weekend of Easter Sunday.

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4 Responses to “4,000”

  1. Carol Says:

    Since 9-11, the military does not require that its members travel in uniform.

  2. jayherron Says:

    yea….it’s still sad.

  3. B.J. Says:

    The reason the military doesn’t require servicemembers to travel in uniform on commercial flights is due to safety reasons. A military member is an instant target. We have to take Anti-Terrorism briefings that tell us to avoid making ourselves targets and to be as inconspicuous as possible. We’re enouraged to try to get window seats near the middle of the aircraft, wear nothing that identifies us as Americans, and not to carry luggage with American accouterments on them. We’re in enough danger in Afghanistan and Iraq. We don’t need to be made targets while flying over there or while flying around friendly airspace.

  4. jayherron Says:

    yea….its still sad.

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