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An American Soldier

Discussion in 'Passings' started by Tom Smedley, Jul 26, 2007.

  1. tracydr

    tracydr Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina, 3 miles from South Carolina
    2,725
    742
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    Deepest sympathy to family and friends. I was the 3Corps Artillery Surgeon and lost far too many friends from my unit in the first months of the Iraq war.
     
  2. letterboy

    letterboy Eww poors ScubaBoard Supporter

    35,989
    25,708
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    From a Dadeville newspaper
     
  3. PhilEllis

    PhilEllis Dive Shop

    1,986
    11
    38
    Pfc James J. Harrelson................

    Job Well Done!

    Phil Ellis
     
  4. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Instructor, Scuba

    14,095
    28
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    Ya think?...

    My son is a Marine in Iraq and I don't think there are many who feel more for the young folks dying over and their families than I do.

    I keep telling myself that I'm not going to post to any more of these war related threads. I have stayed out of a few but I just can't stay out of all of them. I'm probably going to get this thread closed but every time I see a death over there romanticized, it just turns my stomach.

    I'm sure that articles like the one in the last post sell papers and stories like that boost ratings for the news networks but they turn my stomach.

    We have a thread on the board titled "If I should die while diving". Some of us have weighed in there and expressed our wishes. Maybe we need another titled "If My Child Should Die in the Middle East"?

    I don't know what will happen and maybe the things that give other people comfort give me a sick stomach because I'm strange but I'll tell you what I'm thinking now. I'd rather talk about my son while he is alive if you don't mind because, should he fall over there, I doubt I'll have much more to say. I hope I don't say anything that he wants kept confidential.

    He calls me every few days and I know what he wants...

    He wants to come home.

    He never drank before he was a Marine but he says he wants a beer.

    He wants to go fishing in the nice little small mouth river that we have right close to the house.

    He wants to go diving.

    Those are all things for him but he isn't selfish, just homesick.

    He's planning two big cookouts (probably at my expense, LOL). One for family and another for his buddies. He was going to have one for everybody but once he mentioned the music I suggested that he just make it two different get-togethers.

    Not long ago he was talking about becoming a farrier (shoeing horses) and working with me.

    Now he says he wants to go to the police academy but he's also talking about going into ministry and opening a church. The very last time he called, he asked me how you go about opening a church. At that age, who knows what they are really going to do? Anyway, I told you that he wasn't selfish.

    On that same phone call he also wanted to talk about a little problem in the family and his plan for fixing it when he gets home. He made me promise to not do anything other than think about it until he gets here. It felt a little strange having my son counsel me on family matters and I almost spoke up to put him in his place. Fortunately my brains overtook my mouth for probably the first time in my life and I shut up and listened. Imagine that, though, he's over there dodging IEDs and pot shots from snipers and he's worried about this stuff.

    He NEVER hangs up the phone without telling me that he loves me. He's a large sized, almost 22 year old, trained and honed Marine fighting machine and he makes it a point to tell his father that he loves him during every phone call.

    Should he fall, I don't think I will listen with kindness to anyone talking about how they knew him as a child because they didn't! I don't think I will suffer crowds lining the street. Should he be lost, none of them will have any idea what was really lost. How could they? We don't know who those people are now and we'll just finish this without them, thanks anyway. If any of them want to do something, now would be the time. Otherwise, they can stay home and watch "American Idol" or something.

    If my son should fall over there it would not be wise for any reporter to put a mic or a camera in my face unless they have a very VERY good proctologist.

    I don't think I want to see any general or representative of the secretary of the army, marines or anything else speaking for or over my son whom they have never known. This gamoke isn’t going to represent my son around here unless I hear my sone say that he does.

    Should he fall, no politician will use either my son or I in a political campaign such as we saw here in Indiana during our last Gubernatorial race. I've never seen anything quite so disgusting in all of my life.

    He was always a good boy with a good heart and now he is a young man with that same nature. What kind of beyond the pale, indescribable arrogance does it take for any of us or our government or anyone in Iraq to think that we or anything to do with us is worth saving if the cost is people like him?

    I may have a foul disposition but this "modern", "nonviolent", "enlightened" society of ours with its limitless capacity for monstrosities is just flat out barbaric. I'm even starting to believe in...or should I say "hope for"?...evolution. When do you think it will start?
     
  5. ce4jesus

    ce4jesus Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver
    881
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    As a former soldier, my heart goes out to the family.
     
  6. ce4jesus

    ce4jesus Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: Denver
    881
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    Mike,
    "He was always a good boy with a good heart and now he is a young man with that same nature. What kind of beyond the pale, indescribable arrogance does it take for any of us or our government or anyone in Iraq to think that we or anything to do with us is worth saving if the cost is people like him?"

    People like your son gave this country its freedom.

    People like your son ended slavery.

    People like your son defeated the Axis Powers.

    People like your son ran into the twin towers to help save lives while others were running out.

    Without people like your son that serve their country, there would be no country.
    I won't even pretend to understand your anxst and while I don't personally feel that I am worthy of anyone's sacrifice, I am deeply humbled and grateful for it.
     
  7. Azza

    Azza Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: New Zealand
    1,697
    6
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    I am completely on your side. I hate people glorifying war and death... its a nasty business and shouldnt be represented as anything but.
    I hope your lad comes home safe.
    Kia Kaha
     
  8. DiveDiva_Rach

    DiveDiva_Rach Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: New Zealand
    97
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    I am with you too Mike, Azza and I don't believe anyone's death should be used for any political gain.

    Best wishes to your son Mike - he sounds like a mature lad with a lot to live for.

    DD
     
  9. Tom Smedley

    Tom Smedley Tommy ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives:
    Location: Montgomery, AL
    2,272
    50
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    Mike

    Thanks for the post pouring out your fondest thoughts of your son. Too often we fail to do so until it's too late. Thus the old adage, "You don't know what you got till it's gone." You have no doubts that you have a wonderful son who loves and respects his family.

    I enjoyed reading your thoughts. I wish and pray that your boy will fulfill his mission and return to yuu unharmed.
     
  10. MikeFerrara

    MikeFerrara Instructor, Scuba

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    When I first read the thread and began composing my post, I guess I didn't pay attention or give much thought to what forum the thread was in. In that light, my post probably wasn't completely appropriate. I apologize if my post side tracked the discussion away from the "Passing" of Jacob Harrelson. I'm a bit preoccupied with the fact that my own son is over there but I didn't intend to be disrespectful or inconsiderate toward someone elses son.
     

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