Friday, November 26, 2010

Where is the news coverage?

As the mother of one U.S. Army soldier currently serving in Afghanistan, and the mother-in-law of another serving there, I have an urgent question: Where is the news coverage?

My soldiers are serving with the 101st Airborne Division out of Fort Campbell, Kentucky. As I wrote here yesterday, the 101st has been suffering - in my maternal opinion - alarming losses. I have seen very little news coverage of this.

I am looking for the media, along with U.S. and NATO leaders, to do a much better job of telling us how things are going in Afghanistan. What the media owes us is clear, fair, daily reporting on the Afghanistan War, along with good analysis.

Yesterday, I wrote that I was struggling with how to think about this war. Although in the 1960s and 1970s, I had strong political views about Vietnam, that is not the issue for me now.

In his very good book about the Afghanistan war, Sebastian Junger wrote:

It was a weird irony of the war that once you were here - or your son was - the politics of the whole thing became completely irrelevant until very conservative families and very liberal ones - there were some- saw almost completely eye to eye (War, 2010).

My struggles have nothing whatsoever to do with choosing to support or not support our troops in their brave efforts. Rather, it is a frustration born of not knowing, of not having enough information to form a complete picture of the current situation.

Many American and NATO families like ours have skin in this game. We deserve to hear much more about the war and a lot less about Black Friday and royal weddings. Our deployed troops deserve this most of all.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

The 101st Airborne toll passes 90

Fort Campbell, Kentucky, is the home of the 101st Airborne Division and if you Google it, you will come to this link: Honoring our Fallen Warriors . There, you will find a sobering list of ninety-two photographs accompanied by short obituaries.

The stark facts are these: the death toll for 2010, for the 101st Airborne in Afghanistan, has passed 90. Eighteen Airborne soldiers have been killed just in November.

This week, while the rest of us in the U.S. were shopping for cranberry sauce or tut-tutting about airport pat-downs, families in Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, and Norfolk, Virginia, were getting the worst possible news: that Staff Sgt. Sean M. Flannery, age 29, and Spc. William K. Middleton, age 26, died Monday in Kandahar province when their unit was hit with an improvised explosive device.

My heart goes out to these families. May their soldiers rest in peace.

Ninety-two deaths. I don't even know how to think about this war anymore.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

On Veterans Day, with love and thanks and pride

To some special active duty service people on this Veterans Day...

For our daughter Molly, US Army, on her second tour of duty in Afghanistan....

...and for her husband, Jason Eller, US Army, also on his second tour in Afghanistan...

...and for our hometown friend, James Finnegan, US Army, who has served two tours in Iraq and is now on a third deployment, this time in Afghanistan...

...and for James Mark (by the upper left corner of the flag) US Navy, completing a second tour of duty in Iraq...

...and for David Machell, US Army, currently training to be a helicopter pilot...
Thank you.

Monday, November 8, 2010

November Nor'easter

This Monday morning's cold rain turned into a snowy nor'easter for my drive home tonight. Although the roads were slippery, there was a certain beauty to the evening snowfall, the first of the season. Winter's a-comin'...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Happy Birthday, Jason!

Happy Birthday, Jason!

To our favorite son-in-law, with love and good wishes,
Barbara and Bob