Remember Them Too…

I was just going through my daily spam – delete, delete, delete – I came across my first round of Columbia spam. Yes, you can now send out e-cards to “Pray for God’s help following the Columbia tragedy” and “Remember these brave heroes who gave their lives for humanity.” Just so wrong.

I think it’s terrible that the shuttle crashed. I’m grateful for the people who are astronauts. But at the same time, I keep thinking over and over about the fact that if we go to war, 7 people could die in the first day. There won’t be media tributes for two days when that happens. There won’t be news about them at every turn. Astronauts choose a path knowing that there could be risks, but they live out their dream. Most people that join the military do so thinking that they will never be called in to battle. I know this first hand – the majority of the people that I knew in the Army back during the first Desert Storm said exactly that. They never thought they would go in to battle, they never thought there would be a war.

I feel for the families of the Columbia astronauts. I feel also for the families of the members of our military as we are about to head in to war. I especially feel for people like my cousin Eric, who watched his best friend die in Operation Anocanda almost a year ago. A total of seven were killed in the mission. While I watched all the tributes this weekend, I couldn’t help but think of how there was no tribute for those men that died in Afghanistan, fighting for their country.

They are the real heros in my eyes. If you ask me, they deserve the tributes.

“If someone wasn’t there, they’ll never understand or really realize the feelings, the sights, the smells you really do experience when you’re over there.”

“A lot of people know we’re in Afghanistan, but they go to bed and don’t know what’s going on there on the other side of the world – what war actually is.”

By Christine

Christine is an Avenger of Sexiness. Her Superpower is helping Hot Mamas grow their Confidence by rediscovering their Beauty. She lives in the Heights in Houston, Texas, works as a boudoir photographer, and writes about running a Business of Awesome. In her spare time, she loves to knit, especially when she travels. She & her husband Mike have a food blog at Spoon & Knife.

11 replies on “Remember Them Too…”

“The protected can never appreciate freedom in the same way the protectors do.” That was found scrawled on a piece of cardboard from a K-Ration in Viet Nam on a Marine base.

It’s interesting; of all the Marines I knew (and I knew MANY having been a Marine for 12 years), ALL of them figured that war was a reality, and that one day we would have to fight. Then again, many forget that the Marines are the commando arm of the Navy, and as such, are filled with a bunch of brainwashed gung-ho nuts! (I know this, also; I am/was one!!!) 😉

I fully expected to go to war when I joined; he Marine Corps hooked me up with Desert Shield/Desert Storm, and Somalia. Fortunately, the Air Force never came and picked us up for Somalia, so I didn’t have to go there… but I was standing on the tarmac for over 30 days, and I was ready. Not ONCE did I question why I was going, or did I worry about if I was going to die. It was understood; being a Marine is dangerous, and the nature of the Corps is to fight wars, not to earn money for college.

Ironically, I am now attending college thanks to my service in the Corps. Go figure…

Finally, I agree with you wholeheartedly, Christine; each and every soldier, sailor, airman, and Marine deserves a tribute when they are killed in the line of duty. I think the only difference, however, is that the astronauts truly are our best and brightest. Our society loves and adores them, just as we fawn over celebrities, A-List persons, and successful people. It’s human nature.


The people I knew at Ft. Bragg were much like you in that they knew that they would go and fight. I think I was better off for knowing them before I got married, because I had talked to Airborne wives who had told me first hand what it would be liked if I was married and my husband was sent off to battle. Sure enough, a few months in to my relationship, I got a call. “I’m going. I can’t tell you where, I can’t tell you what. Watch the news.” That’s all I knew, and next thing they were in Panama.

By the time Desert Storm broke out, I was around more of the “average” enlisted men. They were more likely to have joined for different reasons. It was sad to see when the time to go came up. Even harder was to see the wives and families that are left behind. The men? “We trained for this, and while it sucks we are ready to go and proud to fight.” The wives? “I never thought they would go. I never dreamed it would happen. Why him?” I didn’t react like that, but so many did. I can understand why they felt that way too.

I agree it’s a shame those who gave their lives in the military aren’t always honored as our fallen astronauts are. But as described at my own blog, my (and your) generation literally grew up with the Shuttle program. From the first launch live in the classroom, to Challenger live in the classroom as well. The Shuttle tragedies are also something that’s happened literally right over our own skies, when we’ve been very lucky to avoid the same fate on our own soil as far as military conflicts go. I never had live coverage from Afghanistan in school, and it’s harder to “relate” when it’s generally mentioned as an afterthought on the 5 p.m. news. Is that right? No. But it is reality, at least for me.

Ah, please! The modern American way of fighting a war is with a “zero casualties” policy, to politically justify your own involvement to yourselves. To achieve that you need to bomb the other part to pieces. And even then, it’s not good enough. Know that, for every one who doesn’t make it back, you’ve caused the deaths of so many more. From turning a blind eye to Algerian domestic massacres in return for oil rights, to dropping your bombs on wedding parties in Afganistan, and even bomb shelters in Iraq.

Why thank you, foreign scrutinizer, but I actually do know that. I’m not a big supporter of going to war whatsoever. I personally think the “war on terrorism” is a joke because terrorism in one form or another has been around since the beginning of time, and what Bush is proposing is terrorism from the perspective of the countries we attack. I do not turn a blind eye on it at all. I was the first to complain when rumors were coming out of (then) Yugoslavia that there were concentration camps – yet our government did nothing after being so quick to run in to Iraq just a year earlier. But there was no issue of oil in Yugoslavia, so the first Bush didn’t seem to find it much of a concern and it was years before our military ended up in Bosnia.

Bush’s State of the Union comment that basically snubbed the U.N. and their policy of handling Iraq with a “we will go there if we want to” made my skin crawl. It is at moments like those and many others that I can not stand the man.

Having lived in Germany, I have a slightly different perspective. I have seen and understand the effect of this attitude our government seems to have, and I don’t like it.

However, I support the members of our military 100 percent. THAT will not change. And THAT was the whole point of this post.

Astronauts choose a path knowing that there could be risks, but they live out their dream. Most people that join the military do so thinking that they will never be called in to battle.

And this is exactly why people are upset over the shuttle astronauts. They chose to do this with no gain to themselves other than having done what so few others have, at extreme risk to themselves. To go into the military and not expect to be called to duty is foolish. To go into space and not anticipate that you may not go home is something they accepted and expected. No astronaut has ever said that they didn’t think it possible that they may not live through their flight.

Don’t forget that the public knows well that the military will suffer losses when they go into battle. Loss of astronauts is not expected by the public. It’s just a shock. It also happened right in front of a lot of people.

I’m not flaming you, just trying to point out that people are tied to the space program in a way they are not to the military. Space flight is a beautiful, amazing thing. To lose someone to that is really unfortunate and really shocks some people out of the romantic visions they assign to it.

Maybe that’s just it – while I think it would be amazingly cool to go in to space, I also think of it as science. So I don’t have romantic visions of it, and I wasn’t shocked. Matter of fact, considering re-entry is the most dangerous time, I was sort of surprised it’s never happened before.

My second thought (the first was shock) was the same as yours, Christine. Living in a country where there is no space program, and where astronauts are viewed as just people doing their job, scientists, engineers, etc, it is hard for me, personally, to understand why they are being called heros. It is all very, very sad, and I don’t mean to minimise anyone’s suffering.

And if there is such an outpouring of grief at the loss of seven (even here in NZ) how on earth is the world going to handle the massive casualties that will come with war.

I agree with you 100% but a lot of my agreeance comes from many military relationships I’ve been in and groups I’ve been a part of. They don’t get half the recogonition they deserve. I’m not going to go into some big soap box tantrum on here cuz that’s not any better lol. All in all, death is tragic regardless of whose it is, but I think people need to be more self conscious about the extent they take the media with mourning.

Matter of fact, considering re-entry is the most dangerous time, I was sort of surprised it’s never happened before.

That’s how I feel about it too. Actually, more than just the re-entry part. What amazes me is that events like that are the *exception* not the norm. And I wonder how much they really thought it would happen to them. I can’t believe they would go on that thing REALLY believing they might not make it home. I tend to think that people think of themselves as the “hero” of their own story. That if it will happen – it will happen to someone else – and they will be the hero of the story that somehow miraculously survives. Otherwise – it all becomes a suicide mission. No one would do it… I’m sure they have to think positively to themselves that “they’ll make it through this”.

Then again, I don’t romanticize space flight. I look at it with the same eyes I look at regular Airplane-type flying. This is why I won’t be able to fly for a long long time. I know I am not the “hero” – and I am convinced every time I step foot on a plane that the chances of me not coming down on the ground in one piece are just too real.

I was talking about this with my mother over the weekend – I think Rachel has a lot to do with it. She needs me more than I need to get on a plane and go somewhere. I wouldn’t risk denying her my being here… Maybe when she’s older, I’ll be willing to play (what is, in my mind) russian roulette and get on a plane – but not now. But did they see getting on a space shuttle as a possible suicide?

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