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Tuesday, April 19, 2011


I am typically a fellow who will admit when I'm wrong and if I have made a mistake or upset someone needlessly, I am pretty good about coming back and apologizing. I have no problem saying I'm sorry...I'm guess I'm fortunate in that regard because I've known people who really had difficulty saying they were sorry and in turn taking responsibility for their actions. It can be de-humanizing when it is someone you love and thought that they in turn loved you.

Well today I have a situation where I take FULL responsibility for what happened yet I am NOT sorry. And please don't wait for me to change because I'll never modify my position on that particular subject....I made the statement I wanted to make and said what I wanted to say.

I'm reffering to my decision earlier today to use a historic picture of a seriously wounded First SGT Brad Kasal (Now Sgt Major Kasal) being helped by two fellow Marines out of a house during the Battle of Fallujah in November of 2004. It is one of the more iconic photographs taken of the War in Irag and shows the very essence and ferocity of Men at War. These men were photographed just moments after fighting for their lives. The house contained the bodies of some of their buddies and all of the men that had been trying to kill them....

Sgt Kasal had been in heavy, hand to hand combat in the close quarters of what became known to those Marines as "The House of Hell". Kasal won the Navy Cross for his actions that day while leading his men in that fight and while being severely wounded in the process. Wounds including those he received while shielding his fellow Marines from the blast of an Insurgent Grenade thrown at him while the fighting raged in the house.

I do not in any way try to compare what Sgt Kasal or his fellow Marines did with people have hard times in their life. My rational for using that picture is it very clearly shows what a human being looks like after he has literally been "fighting for his life".

People dying as a result of addiction or suicide or such things pisses me off. It is such a waste. Though I am not comparing life's day to day struggles here in the States with the lives of soldiers in combat, Life's realities can be an unforgiving, Life hurts sometimes and can be terribly difficult to deal with. I don't want people who are hurting, lonely and feeling alienated to give up. I want them to fight for themselves, like Sgt Kasal fought for himself that day when he had no other choice.

I know that as a society we have become somewhat calloused and de-sensitized to some things. It's easy to think that a person who is that troubled is weak and making a bigger deal out of stuff than they should. People can assume that they are just being dramatic and over-reacting to their situation. Perhaps those things are true in some cases but the frightening fact is that people are giving up and killing themselves today at an alarming rate and it is my strong belief that we need to reach out to them if at all possible to try and stop it.

Once again I honor those men like Sgt Kasal for doing their duty, not for trying to be heroes but for taking care of their buddies and themselves: for Surviving!

And I want anybody out there today reading this to know that they are WORTH fighting for. Don't EVER give up on yourselves....EVER!

1 comment:

  1. Because I have spent most of my life feeling the need to justify or rationalize everything I say and do, when using a "real life" image (if not my own photos), I would probably lean towards attributing the photo, say as a caption underneath it. I might even go so far as to add a brief write-up explaining why I was moved by the image and how it relates to what I am writing. This would then help to avoid the 'splaining afterwards.