Final Salute

Remember this photo? I’m sure you’ve seen it a dozen times as it’s made it’s way around the web. Her name is Katherine Cathey and she’s a mother, a mother of a son who never met his father Marine 2nd. Lt. Jim Cathey. Katherine mentions this photo in a video, of which I’ll give you the link to in a moment, one you should view.

Recently  NPR’s Fresh Air aired an interview with journalist Jim Sheeler who won a Pulitzer Prize for his series about Marine Colonel Steve Beck and the families of the fallen soldiers. Katherine Cathey was one of those families that Col. Beck helped. The interview was called A ‘Final Salute’ to Fallen Marines and you can read abit at that link, as well as listen to, or you can click here to bring up the NPR player to listen in, it’s abit over 31min. long and well worth the listen.

Jim Sheeler followed Beck for a year, writing about the experience in a Pulitzer Prize-winning Rocky Mountain News series Final Salute. Sheeler’s new book, Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives, is a continuation of the series.

There’s an excerpt of his book at the Fresh Air interview link. This aired on the 30th of last month, I passed it on to a few folks but didn’t use it in a posting  untill I caught a video, over at the News Week magazine website a few days ago.

The video is one you should view, it’s short but very moving, the link is in the quote below:

Maj. Steve Beck was charged with notifying families that their loved ones wouldn’t be coming home from Iraq. How one widow received the news.

Katherine Cathey  is featured in Sheelers book, in the Video she makes this statement: “That’s reality, there should be over 4,000 pictures like that that everybody has to look at!”.

Once again the the link to the News Week Video

Katherines statement, in the video, is the reality that this country should be living as those who die in it’s service are brought home, but these pictures are kept well hidden from an apathedic society that’s easily controlled and brought to the fear level, and we seem to like it that way.

We should be viewing the over 4000 pictures of the flag draped coffins, with family members included, 4,075 confirmed as of today from Iraq, and the 499 killed in Afganistan to date.

But what about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of potential deaths that are directly related to these conflicts, suicides, related to physical and mental injuries from these theaters of occupations, unknown causes……………………etc., they to, though not counted, should be embraced and remembered in our countries concious!

The physical and mental injuries don’t just stop happening when those we send into Wars of Choice return, they continue taking there toll for the years left, not only for those military personal but also their families and those who live in the countries invaded who suffer the most!!

There was also a recent report at Stars and Stripes, Four names added to Vietnam Veterans Memorial

The names of four U.S. servicemembers who died years after they were wounded during the Vietnam War are being added to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial this week.

Stoneworker James Lee holds the paper as Priscilla Mason makes a rubbing of her husband’s newly-engraved name on the Wall. Lance Cpl. Raymond C. Mason, wounded in Vietnam in 1968, died of causes related to his wounds in 2006.

See more photos here

“I can’t even put it into words,” Priscilla Mason, from Riverside, R.I., said after watching Lee at work. “My first reaction was, he’s finally home.

“They were able to put him chronologically where he would have been if he had died Feb. 28, 1968, when he was shot. My first thought was, I wonder how many of those names (on panel 41E) did he know.

“I’m sure he feels he’s home, too.”

Raymond Mason, confined to a wheelchair since he was wounded, died May 28, 2006.

There is a Video at the end of the report as ‘Nam Brother Raymond Masons wife Priscilla speaks about him and his and her comfort in bringing him home to ‘The Wall’!

And what about those who live in the countries invaded and occupied, we think even less of them than we do our own, some even consider All of them our Enemies, and in todays age some already are or will quickly turn into seeking the retaliation for what we’ve done.

Among Iraq’s Children, Orphans Suffer Most

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The number of Iraqi orphans increased in the last few years due to the war. According to official Iraqi government statistics released in December 2007, the number of Iraqi orphans had reached at least five million over the last three years. Many due to the Sunni-Shia conflict. There are several social organizations caring for a small number of these Iraqi orphans, such as Child Aid International. There are approximately 26 orphanages that Alive in Baghdad has been able to locate around Iraq. Eight orphanages are in Baghdad and another 18 are distributed all over Iraq and generally they accept kids between the age of 6 and 18 years old.

One of the biggest scandals that happened in the history of the Iraq conflict is the one that happened in Al-Hanan orphanage. There were many pictures distributed online and by television of Iraqi orphans lying on the floor naked, with no food for weeks, sick and nearly dying. After this the Iraqi government began to show more attention for the orphans, there were many stories being reported regarding Al-Hanan Orphanage, like sexual abuses and bad treatment of the kids living there.

Al-A’ssal House is one of the rare orphanages that still take care of the young children who have a dead father or who are orphans due to losing both parents. The house has a special method and it’s opposed to the toy guns due to Iraq’s situation and the reason behind it, which is the constant conflict that Iraq is undergoing. Another organization was also created by this house, and it’s called the Sazan organization. This organization is taking in orphans for free, with no payment at all. Also this house employs Iraq widows in order to help the Iraqi women support themselves during the war. Despite all their hard work, this orphanage has not yet received any funding from the Iraqi government or sponsorship by a bigger humanitarian aid organization while other orphanages such as Al-Hanan orphanage received funds from the Iraqi government without oversight.

Ask yourself, as I did,

this orphanage has not yet received any funding from the Iraqi government or sponsorship by a bigger humanitarian aid organization

with all the monies being spent, and the War Profitteers reaping, especially on our Private Merc Army and the rest of the No-Bid Contracts, Why The U.S. Is Not Funding This and Other Orphanages along with So Much More!

There’s much more to feelings than title says, ‘Final Salute’!

Not only for our Fallen but also for the Innocents who have lost so much and it will continue!!

And thinking of Burma as well!

Happy Mothers Day?

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