Gold Star Dad

The thoughts of a father who has lost a son to war

Archive for September, 2012

Military Funerals are NOT family reunions!!!

Posted by fozzynok on 09/28/2012

Here comes another topic that will probably get me on some shorter list of being someone’s favorite as I have already told a few people what they could do and where they can do it and their either complete ignorance or carelessness as it relates to them taking and or posting pictures of the families of the fallen during the services. Next to taking and posting pictures of dead or dying military men and women, this is unquestionably the most disrespectful, heartless and voyeuristic thing that anyone could do! 

This came up as a topic last week for me as there was yet another “nonprofit” military support page that posted an absolutely heart breaking pictures of a young woman who was standing at the rear of a hearse with a flag draped coffin in it. I KNOW what this woman was going through at the moment and a damned good idea what she was feeling and if you have not gone through this  then you simply have no idea what it is like! I do not care if you’ve been in the military for a thousand years or how much you supposedly “care”.

 I think if you have not gotten specific and direct permission from the immediate family, taking pictures at military funerals is barbaric and depending on the person doing so, completely self-serving. I do not understand what the desire or motivation would to take pictures of other people and even strangers going through what people go through at these ceremonies.

I got into a scrap the other night with the person who posted the photo (and many more) on his “support” page.  He could not wrap his head around the fact that this is an intrusion of someone’s privacy in probably the absolute worst moments of their lives. He told me that he has been doing this for three years and that he scans the internet for over ten hours a day for pictures like this. I told him that these were very disrespectful to the families and he then told me that he posts these pictures to “elicit emotions and create support”. Did I mention that this man runs a non-profit? Hmmm… Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out why he’s really posting these pictures.

I kept up with that site for a few more hours just seeing what he was posting and was posted back (He blocked me of course) and it was pretty damned amazing when he went into victim mode. He had been attacked by a gold star family and was “really hurt”. Well isn’t that too damn bad? Trying to explain to the selfish ass that these pictures are NOT done out of anything but a means of cash flow to him was an “attack”. His supporters came out of the woodwork of course tell him that they of course would certainly be proud as peacocks to allow photographers to take pictures of them at their son’s funeral “if it ever happened of course” If any of these people had to sit and the side of their son’s flag draped coffin while parasitic humans snapped pictures of them.. I think they would feel differently

Then a supposed veteran who has had “family members in every American war since the revolution” told my wife to “Fuck off” because he knew more that her about what is honorable and proper at military funerals. There were plenty of others who chimed in to tell the rest how they were certain that these pictures bring no pain to anyone and are a wonderful way for us to remember the day… REALLY? Does anyone actually think that we would forget that day? Does anyone think that we’d drag the photos out and share them and have a good time reminiscing of the day we buried our oldest son?

So let me tell some of you people something. If you are in the mindset that taking or posting of pictures of mourning family members at the FIRST moments that they lay eyes on their returning son’s coffin being pulled from a plane, or photographing the family members during the moments of the LAST time they will every lay eyes on their son before the place him in the ground.. You’re an ignorant, selfish moron who WILL never understand how evil and morally bankrupt that you are! 

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The Spc. Micheal E. Phillips Memorial Highway

Posted by fozzynok on 09/25/2012

Pokey's signNot even sure where to begin on this entry. So many things have come and gone since the last entry.  We got the news that the interstate running through the town we live in was to be dedicated to Micheal. This would never have happened if not for the hard work of our State representatives and I thank them for their hard work in getting this done.

Micheal would have of course been completely mortified and probably even irritated at these signs being placed. He was a class clown and generally out to get laughs and laugh himself in good times and bad. His being so publically recognized for being a brave young man who was killed in the service to his country, his brothers and humanity… not so much.

We were told that the highway dedication was approved and that sometime in September, the signs would be placed and the interstate officially dedicated in his honor. As things go or have gone, we got some excited phone calls from friends of friends who alerted us that the signs were placed… on August 27th! So Angelia and I hopped into the truck and headed north to see if we could find them… We found the sign on the southbound side of the Interstate.. it was kind of a confusing emotional few moments as the sign came into view. We got out of the truck and walked to the sign… This is definitely not how you ever plan on having your kid’s name up in lights so to speak.

We took a few pictures and came back home, the next day, road crews placed covers over them. I was kind of glad to get the preview. The actual ceremony was weeks later and we had the honor of having the PGR ride captain who was there for us the day we brought Micheal home there for the dedication. We had a little short ceremony (I was pretty nervous being on the side of the interstate) and Senator Simpson gave a shot speech and it was easy to see and hear in the man’s voice that this was not just another political event.

He spoke of Micheal and of the dedication and got rather choked up, we choked up, the media choked up, but as soon as he and Angelia cut the bindings that held the canvas covers over the signs and it fell away, It made us all feel a better, several trucks on the interstate passing by honked their approval and support (I hope) and we all ended up smiling when we left the site.

If the sign will make people passing through our town stop and think of the military men and women who do so much for all of us, then the signs will have their desired effect. 

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