Monday, April 19, 2010
Casualties of War & Windows
““It’s me, Tina.” Tina was one of my best friends in high school and I had not seen her since graduation. I threw my arms around her and gave her a huge hug, hoping that this was my long lost friend and not the waitress or someone asking for directions to the bathroom.
One of the first questions out of my mouth was: “Do you have kids?”
“Yes,” my slight friend replied, “Six, well five. My oldest son died this year from complications of muscular dystrophy.”
Tina’s face was pale and she looked like a child. She continued: “My second husband took a gun to his head after his second tour in Iraq. He killed himself in front of me and the kids.” Tina buried her face in my sweater as I held her crying in the middle of the bar. I didn’t know what to say, so I just stood there hugging my long lost friend, searching for words that couldn’t be found.
“Seeing my husband take his last breath and bleeding to death in my arms -- I felt like I had failed him,” Tina said. “I had called the Army so many times pleading with them to help my husband. They would prescribe him some pills and then everything would start over again. He was depressed and scared. He wasn’t afraid of dying -- he was afraid of living with all the images he had seen in Iraq.”
After eighteen years of serving his country, Sergeant First Class Lance left behind a wife and four children, three who have no mother and no father. They are the forgotten casualties of war.”
(The names have been changed to protect the family's privacy.)
To give your support:
“Like many "He wasn't afraid of dying," she says. "He was afraid of living with all the images he had seen in Iraq."”
This applies to all veterans. Please Support Our Troops
BIRDS AND WINDOWS:
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Forty six million Americans watch birds. Birders are the market for a burgeoning industry, spending hundreds of millions of dollars per year feeding birds, purchasing equipment, and traveling in pursuit of birds. This economic force - and the benefits birds provide in insect and rodent control, plant pollination, and seed dispersal - add value to sustaining birds and their habitats.”