Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Christopher Fishbeck is buried, Troy Gilbert remembered and Tammy Duckworth honored

christopher fishbeck

The photo above is of Christopher Fishbeck (from his MySpace page) who died, along with five others, as a result of a June 6th attack while serving in Iraq. Yesterday was his funeral. Michael Mello (Orange County Register -- link has text and video and a photo essay) reports "A large crowd filled St. Irenaeus Catholic Church to pay their last respects to the Buena Park soldier." His wife Stephanie Kidder remembers, "We were driving . . . A Katy Perry song came on (the radio) and he started dancing. Everything in our relationship was quite intense. We would fight, and even if it was my fault, he'd find a way to make up." Yesterday, we noted Tamara Keith's report for Morning Edition (NPR). And it was a strong report but if Keith had more on air time, she might have been able to note his "About me" from his MySpace page in full:

I'm a simple man with big dreams. I dream to become an Astronaut and orbit the earth. I dream to run in the olympics. I dream to become an American Hero. I dream to change the world. I dream to impact society. I dare humanity to evolve. I dream people will stop waiting on the world to change ( John Mayer ). I dream of running from San Diego to New York. I dream of traveling alone in the wild for months. I dream that the world will stop over populating itself. I dream for acceptance and cooperation. I dream of a world with common goals. I dream of space. I dream to make the impossible possible.

Christopher Fishbeck is one of 9 US soldiers who have died in the Iraq War this month. Each of the fallen in the Iraq War (and in the Afghanistan War as well, but our focus here is the Iraq War) leaves behind loved ones and hopes and dreams. Richard Carter (Wichita Falls Times Record News) reports on Kay Gilbert, mother of Maj Troy Gilbert (Iraq War veteran "killed Nov. 27, 2006, when his F-16 jet crashed on a mission near Balad Air Base in Iraq"). Memorial Day, a wounded dove ended up in a "swing that Gilbert used to sit in with her son, Troy" and she and Lyla Arnold of Wild Bird Rescue nursed the dove back to health:

"It makes me feel like my son is flying again," Gilbert said. "I was so afraid it was going to die. The news is wonderful," she said with tears. "I cry when I am happy or sad. In 2006 I started crying, and I think I will never stop."
Her son had five children. His wife, Ginger, works as a volunteer for Folds of Honor and talks about her husband across America.
Kay Gilbert wants her son's family to be at WBR when the dove is released, hopefully about July 6, and to possibly have one of his children release it.

Meanwhile Rorye O'Connor (Mt. Vernon Register-News) reports, "The Illinois Daughters of the American Revolution honored the female American soldier on Saturday. The DAR dedicated a statue of two women veterans -- Molly Pitcher of Revolutionary War fame and Maj. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq War veteran -- at the C.E. Brehm Memorial Library on Saturday." Tammy Duckworth was present for the ceremony. The Iraq War veteran who was severely injured in Iraq has just left her the Dept of Veterans Affairs where she was Assistant Secretary for Public and Intergovernmental Affairs and she is expected to announce shortly that she will be running for public office.

The following community sites -- plus Antiwar.com and On The Wilder Side -- updated last night and this morning:

And this is from David Swanson's "How the Mayors Debated and Passed an Antiwar Resolution" (War Is A Crime):

The U.S. Conference of Mayors has just done something it hasn't done since Vietnam, passing a resolution that supports efforts to speed up the ending of our current wars and calls on the President and Congress to "bring these war dollars home to meet vital human needs."

Here's a page that organized this: http://www.wardollarshome.org

Activist groups are already taking the opportunity to ask Congress and the President to finally listen to what has, after all, been majority public opinion for a long time.

The President is about to announce whether he will violate his commitment to a significant withdrawal from Afghanistan in July. The House of Representatives is passing amendments blocking funding for the Libya War, and 10 congress members have sued the president in court to end it. Iraq, we are told, may soon "request" a continued occupation into next year. A CIA war in Yemen is ramping up, along with that in Pakistan. Congress will soon vote on $530 billion for the Department of "Defense" and another $119 billion for the wars.

The e-mail address for this site is common_ills@yahoo.com.

thomas friedman is a great man

oh boy it never ends