March 03, 2004


My husband called this morning, and it was the first time that I didn't take notes. Not much has changed, so we just got to spend the time talking about nothing, which was nice. He also told me a funny story. He tried to call me several times on Monday but never got through (normally it's my day off, but I traded with my co-worker) and didn't know where I was. He joked with his soldiers that I must be at Jody's house since he couldn't find me; "Jody" is the Army word for "the guy your wife's cheating on you with." His soldiers immediately responded with a chorus of "No way, sir! We've met your wife and she'd never do that! She's too nice!" Husband explained that he was just kidding, but he thought it was sweet of them to come to my defense. At least I know they like me, and no one said, "For real? Maybe she is?"

By the way, I have no idea why they use the name "Jody". It sounds like a girl's name to me anyway, but that's the standard joke; if you talk about Jody, everyone knows what you mean. Do any of you out there know where that name came from?

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March 02, 2004


Chief Wiggles isn't the only one to start up an organization for Iraqi children. Reserve SPC David McCorkle has started American Aid for Children of Nineveh, Iraq since he's been deployed.

His is an inspiring story: a 44-year-old man loses 125 pounds after September 11 so he would qualify for the Reserves and then deploys for a year in Iraq. And then he spends $5000 of his own money to start a charity for Iraqi schools.

My favorite quote: “I want to raise awareness and understanding of what issues the children face here, and take him to Disney World." That sentence betrays SPC McCorkle's American-ness: wanting to do something big for the child's common good as well as something fun to lift his spirits. It reminds me of a quote I read a long time ago where a soldier looked out into the Iraqi desert and suggested building an amusement park there.

Something that brings the lasting joy of democracy and education, as well as the momentary thrill of a roller coaster.

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Sgt Mom has some advice for Hollywood filmmakers when it comes to making movies about the military. My husband and I went to see the movie Basic this summer, and about ten minutes into the movie I did a double-take and turned towards him. He was slouched down in his chair groaning, "I know, I know." For him, it was pure torture to watch a movie where a Sergeant wears Specialist rank, where they're riding in a Blackhawk and no one's wearing a Kevlar, and where there's a female Ranger.

Incidentally, one of the things that bothered him most about the show was that (spoiler...) the characters were able to switch identity by swapping dogtags. He grouched, "They look at your ID card; no one ever looks at your %#$@ dogtags to find out who you are." On the Saturday that he deployed, the SFC in charge shouted to the group, "Line up over here where you'll get weighed and have your dogtags checked!" I leaned over to husband and said, "If you switch with someone, no one will ever know who you really are..."

Posted by: Sarah at 02:17 AM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 01, 2004


You know that He's Gone post that I wrote when my husband deployed? I also sent it as an email to many of our friends and family, and I always include my husband's ROTC cadre on that list. I just got an email from the LTC there saying that he forwarded my email along to one of his good buddies, the Brigadier General who's the ADC(M) in Kuwait. Gulp.

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I've been keeping this thought in the back of my mind for a few weeks now, and so I thought I'd bring it up now. I found this article at DailyKos and I can't get it out of my mind: 7 Soldiers Meet Death in Iraq at 18

Now obviously the Truthout website had an ax to grind, and the heartstrings they pull are less than subtle. One soldier still collected baseball cards. Another already had a son. We read tragic-laden sentences like "Less than a year after leading the Pledge of Allegiance at his high school graduation, the former student council president and cheerleader found himself preparing to cross the Tigris River last April 7 in the siege of Baghdad. He never made it."

Before anyone thinks that I'm belittling their deaths, let me say that I'm crushed when any servicemember dies. I live surrounded by these young men and women, and the thought of any of them dying tears at my heart. But what Truthout spins away from is the sense of duty and obligation these young men had for their country; instead they spin towards the boys' parents' bitter resentment.

One soldier left a letter in a safe-deposit box for his parents, saying

Everyone sooner or later has to part this world. It makes me proud to know that I left while protecting the United States.
Eighteen is such a young age, and you're probably thinking of all the things that I'm going to miss out on. Don't. I got to live such a wonderful life because of you two, and because of that I don't regret missing anything that would later come in the future.

Another Lance Corporal told his mother, "Mom, they're messin' with my country, and I won't let it happen." Most of the quotes from the boys are about patriotism, duty, and love of country. But their parents are quoted saying things like "It's a big waste of his life" and "They messed up all his plans."

I just think that's sad, that's all.

Posted by: Sarah at 06:10 AM | Comments (2) | Add Comment
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