Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A Chance To ReMind, A Chance To Do, Honoring My Heroes

A hat tip to LaughingWolf, whose prose I've stolen for everything before the jump.

Back in 2006, the news was full of a horrific story: a convoy deliberately targeted by a complex attack. This Iraqi convoy was carrying reporters, and according to a number of reports, it may well have been the reporters that were the focus, for what better way to ensure coverage? And coverage it got, to the point that it generated some ill-will and backlash for Bob Woodruff got coverage in spades, coverage that few Americans or Iraqi's got even a small fraction of.

At the time, Blackfive said:

Pray for the recovery of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt. I'm sure that they won't ever forget who saved their lives.

More prescient words he may never have spoken.

Bob Woodruff did survive, and both he and his wife are very well aware that he is alive because of our troops. Our troops who risked their lives to get him, give him aid, and get him out. Our troops who treated him as they would one of their own, until such time as he could be put into civilian care. Please trust me when I say that Bob and his lovely wife Lee will never forget those who saved his life, nor will they ever forget our wounded.

They also realized that they are in a unique position. The media frenzy that surrounded him and his injuries was no surprise to those who study people. In short, things are rarely real unless they happen to someone we know; then, it hits home in spades. An intellectual awareness and even understanding is one thing, but when it hits home it hits the heart. What happened to Bob Woodruff hit home with people who had never before been hit in the heart by what was going on.

Bob and Lee simply could not sit by, for they had to do for those who were wounded. So, the Bob Woodruff Foundation was born and with it ReMind. This is not a re-invention of the wheel, for what is done is to raise money that goes to the organizations that DO for our wounded, our troops, and their families. Bob and Lee reach audiences that we in the military blogosphere don't, and have gotten them involved to support those who need it most -- our wounded.

Today, we all work together as ReMind starts Tweet-To-Remind, a campaign to raise $1.65 million for that effort. The idea is fairly simple: Today, 12 May 2009, put up a post or tweet the answer to the question "Who is Your Hero?" Then, if everyone participating and everyone who reads donates $5.25 (or more), guess what could be done in a day? So, who is your hero?

In many ways, mine are all those who serve, open or black. But, I want to list some special heroes for you, for they paid the ultimate price for what we have today.

My Heroes:
Interestingly enough, When I thought about my heroes, the first person I thought of was my son, Creighton.

When I deployed, he'd just turned five. We'd previously discussed my deployment in terms he could understand. There are bad people hurting other people, and who want to hurt us. I am going to go stop them, even if it means killing them, so they can't do that. They may kill me. Good guys don't always win.

When I was wounded, he was all of five and a half years old. My daughter was two, and vaguely remembers this time, but he's old enough to remember it well. Throughout the time I was in the hospital, and all the times since, my son has amazed me with his resiliency.

Just this year, when his school was trying to hammer diversity into his head, he exclaimed that he hated muslims. The teacher tried to tell him he was mistaken, that he couldn't hate people he didn't know, that he was wrong. Pounding on the desk, he shouted, Yes I do. I hate them all. They tried to murder my dad."
That's when I realized just how scared he must've been on that day in June 2005.

For a five year old boy to go through something like that and still be a well-adjusted and normal kid shows a tremendous amount of personal courage.

Other heroes:
SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, 1947-2000 RVN 1968-69, Medic, 1st Infantry Division

CPT Joshua Byers, Fox Troop, 2nd Squadron, 3rd Armored Calvary Regiment, Fort Carson, Colorado. Died on July 23, 2003

CPT Daniel Eggers, 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Bragg, North Carolina. Died on May 29, 2004.

LTC Gary Derby, 3rd Battalion, 8th Cavalry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas; died Feb. 9 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

1SG William "Buzzsaw" Magaw, USA Retired, 53, died Thursday, Feb. 26, 2009 at Winn Army Community Hospital on Fort Stewart.

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