Anyway, this is not the point of today's post, just the intro. As I mentioned, some stories are not so good. I remember one story shortly after his death basically said he had joined just because he couldn't find a job. We were all taken aback by this because that was not the only reason he joined. My husband was a career Marine, if that was why he joined I don't think he would have set out to be a lifer, the Marine Corps was something he wanted to give himself too for reasons above and beyond himself or a selfish need for stability. But anyway, they had said that and my mom had talked to the reporter after it came out and said his facts were not straight and I remember he was extremely rude with her, said the story's already been printed and basically it's good enough. That was our first experience with not having all the facts straight. That story had talked to limited people in his life and gone from there, hadn't talked to his mother or his wife. Anyway, after that most of the stories on him were pretty accurate and well written. All of the reporters I talked to were respectful and just decent. CNN did a spotlight on him, I believe, but the details around that were a bit fuzzy for me. I believe they talked to his mom and then went from there, which I didn't know anything about until right before it aired. His mom sent me an email that it would be on at 10 (CNN told her they would just email her the day it aired that's why short notice) but unfortunately I never got to see it. I contacted a rep and they said they would send me a copy of the segment, which I still don't have, so to this day I don't know what was said about my husband on CNN. They talked to his mom this time though, so I'm sure the information was right on, I would just like to see how it was done... hopefully soon.
Ok, so still haven't gotten to where I'm going. A lot of you have told me you've come across my husband's mention in People magazine (This is where I'm going...) and I thank you all for making sure I got the heads up. Yesterday, I went out and got 2 copies (one for Ariana's scrapbook) and read it as I was going through the store. When I got to the section on the Fallen, I must say I was pretty disappointed.
First, there were some incorrect facts.
1. Brandon Barrett, whom People listed as 1st Lt was Posthumously promoted to CAPTAIN Brandon Barrett. It is the rank he earned and should be published anytime he is being talked about.
2. They missed one of our guys. There were 10 KIAs with our unit this deployment. The one they missed his Cpl Jacob Turbett. He was assigned to 2 Combat Engine Battalion, however he was attached with 1/6, therefore part of 1/6 during the deployment. I believe the unit counts him as one of our personal loses, he was honored at the 1/6 memorial, his name is listed on our memorial wall in the battalion. He "counts" and I was very disheartened to see him left out. He deserves the honor of a mention as well and I am sure his family was not happy to see that he was left out.
The last issue I had with the article is once again it presents the KIA guys as just names, ages, and states. Just a number - 9 (an incorrect number, but a number nonetheless). It fails to show that these 10 names have 10 stories as well. The rest of the article highlighted different Marines from the battalion (how they selected them I do not know) each with a little blurb. But nothing at all about the KIA or seriously WIA. To me it was almost like they were making the fallen seem less important than the guys who came home. Now, I am very proud of our guys who came home, but are the ones to leave out really the fallen? The fallen who we have to work to make sure they are not forgotten. The guys who came home can tell their own stories, it is the fallen whose stories need to be told for them.
Either way though, I was very glad People covered it at all. I know that's not their typical type of story and they covered them when they left and when they returned, so all in all it was pretty cool, those were just my gripes with the article. I emailed the editor and got an automated response back, so I am hoping it makes it somewhere for the corrections that need to be made. My mom also emailed the editor. If you feel the need to email the editor, the email is simply firstname.lastname@example.org. I really don't know if any of my messages will be read but it's worth a try.
Since I'm on the topic of media, I've got one more hard point I want to discuss.
I really don't want to go into whether or not they should be there. Everyone's got a different perspective and I'm not going to give you mine on general combat media but I do have a very strong opinion on one type I have seen. A reporter was embedded with a medevac team. There was a series of photos done, including guys being worked on in the helos, guys right after they had been wounded (OR KILLED), body bags being carried, etc etc. I don't have the link anymore, I got rid of it so I wouldn't waste away in front of it wondering if one of them were my babe, but I do believe it was on NY Times.
Here's the issue I have: A very good friend of mine came across 3 photos of her fiance right after he was shot and killed. Photos of his wound rapped and bleeding, of him being carried off the field, and of him being worked on. Is this really what a grieving 20 year old girl needs to find? Is this appropriate for any of the families to see?
Of course after she told me about it I hunted down the series and stared at them, shaking from head to toe (this was weeks ago, I just hadn't been ready to write about it yet) and choking back vomit when I saw someone who's hands looked like my own love's. After hearing details of his death and learning it was at night that he was killed, I realize the person I had myself convinced was him actually was not him, however that person is someone else's family member. That is the last thing we need to see as we work through this grief process.
I know I talk about making this real for Americans, but this isn't the way that I mean. To me, this doesn't make it real, it objectifies our Marines even more. It turns them into that car accident on the side of the road. When you pass that accident, you're not really thinking about their family or life, you're looking to see "OH MAN how bad that wreck was!!" And that's what I see happening with these photos. I just don't approve, I think it's completely disrespectful to those of us who are left behind, to come across photos like that.
But of course, once again, that's just my opinion, do with it what you will.
And because this post was so long I will leave you with a few photos