November 16, 2004


Dear therapy-seekers in Florida,

I understand that some of you are upset that Kerry lost the election. I would've been pretty upset if President Bush had lost as well. I would've been down in the dumps. I would've been concerned for our nation's future. I would've wanted to gripe about it to my friends. I might've cried for a brief moment. I understand it's a big deal. But now we have a group of you seeking therapy for your depression, which they've given the catchy name of Post Election Selection Trauma.

You want to know what depression is? Spend the weekend mourning your friend's husband. Sit on her sofa trying to chitchat and ignore the lump that's rising in your throat. Watch her child playing with car keys, oblivious to the sorrow in the room. Take time off of work to go to a memorial service for four brave men who were killed over the weekend. And then come talk to me about depression.

One of my students wrote something this week about America being the "land of the too-free", that people in the US have it so good that they don't even know what real problems and suffering look like. He's dead on. I'd like some of you Post Election Selection Trauma patients to spend a day in Mrs. Sims' shoes and then tell me what real depression feels like.

Grow up, people.

P.S. And while we're on the topic of "things that burn me up", I hope I never meet the disrespectful and disgusting SSG Fitts. CPT Sims' wife read that article, you bastard.

Posted by: Sarah at 03:08 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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1 Apparently others felt the same about the article...the link is now gone.

Posted by: Mike at November 16, 2004 04:37 PM (MqNKC)

2 Here's another link. Same article made the Washington Times.

Posted by: Oda Mae at November 16, 2004 05:07 PM (x5UFE)

3 Sarah - Don't jump on SSG Fitts, he did not write the article. He was just a good NCO taking advantage of an error in judgement by another to warm his soldiers not to make the same mistake - his actions could well have saved the life of one or more of his troopers. Direct your feelings toward the reporter who wrote the first article. Any good NCO worth his salt and concerned about the welfare of his soldiers or mariners should have done the same thing as SSG Fitts. enough said !!

Posted by: bob at November 16, 2004 08:19 PM (e48LF)

4 Sarah, Bob is right. You can't fault SSG Fitts for being a good NCO and instructing his troops to not make the same mistakes as others. I also fail to see the disrespect - respecting your officers, living or dead, does not mean ignoring their mistakes, which are bound to happen in war. We can only remember fondly our dead comrades, and make sure we don't lose any more friends the same way. LT S

Posted by: S at November 16, 2004 08:44 PM (swRUK)

5 I am not in the military, but I took sergent Fitts' remarks in the same way. He was trying to shock his men into being more careful, not gloating over the death of your friend. When I was in charge of large groups of employees years ago, I occasionally said similiar things to get their attention. Today I am a lawyer, and while I no longer manage many employees, I sometimes use similar tactics when counseling my clients. Even experienced business exectives sometimes don't appreciate the danger of litigation. They begin thinking of it as a bunch of paperwork and meetings, and don't realize that there may be very serious consequence. When I see this happening, I lay out the potential consequences -- jail time, bankruptcy, etc. -- in graphic detail in order to shock them into cooperation. Nothing gets someone's attention like the word "jail," and it looks like the sergent was using "death" in a smiliar manner in a setting with even higher stakes. It seems like he had good intentions.

Posted by: Joe Schmoe at November 16, 2004 10:47 PM (lMk5r)

6 First of all, it is not always a mistake that gets you killed in war. Sometimes it's just bad luck. Another soldier was killed when an RPG was fired in his vehicle. The soldier in the vehicle next to him did not. Is that second soldier smarter? Better? No, just a luckier SOB. People who know Sean know he was one of the best commanders on post. Even other commanders spoke of him with respect and admiration. He would not have casually strolled in the building with a "gaggle" of soldiers, like he was taking a tour. Google his name and read other articles quoting him. This man was OUTSTANDING. How much harder would it have been for the SSG to say "Stay sharp! There are still hostiles out there, they even got the CO! We're not done fighting yet!" What he said was WRONG. And it caused unnecessary pain to his wife. The guy's a putz. Wanker. Sean was UNLUCKY. I hate to tell SSG Fitts this, but I don't think every casualty in Iraq was caused by the soldier's mistake, although thinking that clearly brings him comfort. (Step on a crack, break your mother's back, if I do everything JUST RIGHT, the bullets will fly right past me.) I just hope the guy redeems himself by writing a letter to the editor explaining himself. And, heads up, imbedded reporter. CPT Sims was the hardened fighter, not the SSG.

Posted by: Oda Mae at November 17, 2004 02:25 AM (U42UN)

7 This is just to clarify that this SSG that everyone keeps coming down on was misquoted! His comment was not at all in reference to Cpt Sims not doing his job. His job as a NCO is to train his soldiers and keep them safe. He did that. Everyone reads this misquote thinking he is some kind of jerk that is putting down a fellow soldier when that was not at all the case. No one seems to point out that this is a soldier who after being shot 3 times in April returned in August to be back with these guys. A man who felt the need to protect his guys and be with them every step of the way. He has now just become the man that everyone loves to hate. I think it is time to remember that not everything you read is fact.

Posted by: J at December 01, 2004 06:20 PM (TUisz)

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