Fallen Soldier Leaves 200 Page Journal to Son

From the NY Times:

He drew pictures of himself with angel wings. He left a set of his dog tags on a nightstand in my Manhattan apartment. He bought a tiny blue sweat suit for our baby to wear home from the hospital.

Then he began to write what would become a 200-page journal for our son, in case he did not make it back from the desert in Iraq.

For months before my fiancé, First Sgt. Charles Monroe King, kissed my swollen stomach and said goodbye, he had been preparing for the beginning of the life we had created and for the end of his own.

He boarded a plane in December 2005 with two missions, really — to lead his young soldiers in combat and to prepare our boy for a life without him.

Dear son, Charles wrote on the last page of the journal, “I hope this book is somewhat helpful to you. Please forgive me for the poor handwriting and grammar. I tried to finish this book before I was deployed to Iraq. It has to be something special to you. I’ve been writing it in the states, Kuwait and Iraq.

The journal will have to speak for Charles now. He was killed Oct. 14 when an improvised explosive device detonated near his armored vehicle in Baghdad. Charles, 48, had been assigned to the Army’s First Battalion, 67th Armored Regiment, Fourth Infantry Division, based in Fort Hood, Tex. He was a month from completing his tour of duty.

(via Digg)

6 Comments

  1. I really wish this banal hero worship in our culture would stop. The media has always been saturated withe these stories of “fallen soldiers”, or dead idiots like I prefer to call them.

    Again and again thousands of young kids are duped into signing up for military service because they have been brought up to believe that this is somehow heroic. To be stripped of their individuality, barked at and ordered around. To become servants or even slaves who can be ordered to go to another country and kill complete strangers just because their masters happen not to like these foreigners. What a completely bizarre concept. No one would ever fall for such a scheme if they hadn’t been raised to blindly accept the idea of a soldier as a hero.

    So here we have an example… boo-hoo. The fallen soldier leaves a written testament to his son. I think the son should throw the manuscrip in the trash instead of reading it. Maybe then he won’t suffer the risk of being moved by it into believeing that his father was a hero. If his father had really wanted to have an influence over the kid, he could have tried staying at home and talking to the child in person instead of leaving a monologue.

  2. “So here we have an example… boo-hoo.”

    I cringe at the immaturity necessary to express
    such mean-spiritedness at a dead man, a loving
    father, and someone who was doing something he
    believed in, even if you don’t agree with what
    he was doing.

    For the record, I don’t think we should be
    in Iraq. It’s a misuse of our honorable military. This father shouldn’t have died.

  3. Everyone is a loving father, son, brother etc. This has nothing to do with it. Whenever someone dies somebody is there to cry on the front page. “He was such a loving father”, they say. That is irrelevant. He wasn’t in Iraq as a loving father but as a trained killer. The very function of a soldier is to kill people or to be killed by them so that the people who make decitions don’t have to risk anything themselves.

    Of course it is tragic that people die in armed conflicts, but if they choose to go out bearing arms then how can you feel surprised or sorry by their death? The tragedy lies in the fact that they were tricked into going. And the real victims are the civilians and not these soldiers who choose to go to someone elses country to kill people.

    Your “honorable military” is not the least bit honorable. In the 230 years your nation has excisted, this “honorable military” has been involved in nearly as many wars, armed conflicts and police actions in various countries. They have overthrown lawfully elected governments, trained dictators, assasinated politicians and burnt villages on every continent of the world. And they have tought people worldwide to hate Americans. You should be more critical towards those people. Because of them you have to sleep with a nuke under your pillow forever. For if you let your guard down now, everyone everywhere will want to get you.

  4. storm, you might be right about the effects of “hero worship”, but i think you’re be missing the point of the news article. just from what i’ve read in the article, it doesn’t really sound like they’re trying to make him out to be a war hero. it just sounds more like a tragic situation where a father can’t be there for the birth of his child, but he’s still doing the best he can to be in his life. it’s not really a news article about the war or a war hero as much as it’s an article about a father’s love for his son. i think it’s quite beautiful actually.

  5. They have overthrown lawfully elected governments, trained dictators, assasinated politicians and burnt villages on every continent of the world.

    Free the penguins!

  6. “And they have tought people worldwide to hate Americans. You should be more critical towards those people. Because of them you have to sleep with a nuke under your pillow forever. For if you let your guard down now, everyone everywhere will want to get you.”

    News Flash, The United States isn’t the only country with a military. And not having a military sounds like much more of an invitation for “everyone everywhere” wanting to “get you”.

    Is the military often misused? Yes.
    Is war ugly? Of course.
    But neither of these truths eliminates the need for a standing military, and only a fool would believe that Americans would enjoy all the freedoms we do today without one.

    Oh, and nobody is “fooled” into joining the armed forces. Believe it or not, adults are capable of making such a decision on their own.

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