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KQµårk 死神 On November - 11 - 2009
Categories: Featured, Veterans

Written by KQµårk 死神

My PlanetPOV contact is [email protected] Proud Dem whose favorite hobby is cat herding. The GOP is not a political party, it's a personality disorder. Cancer, Heart Failure and Bush Survivor.

91 Responses so far.

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  1. PatsyT says:

    Hi Everyone,
    I really appreciate all of the contributions.
    During WW II My Dad was in the United States Army Air Corps which then became the U.S. Army Air Force.
    Because of his radio and electronic expertise he was stationed at a very remote
    post some where in Burma
    to work on radio and code interception.
    He never talked about this, never.
    I am told he sometimes often to go without rations because
    they could not get air drops where he was.
    He had to depend on what ever the few villagers might have had leftover and that was often mysterious animals if they had that.
    As a kid, all I knew was that he could never eat any kind of Asian food and
    we were not allowed to own or drive any Japanese or German cars.

    • KQuark says:

      You know come to think of it my father who served in Korea never let my mother fix rice when we were growing up. I don’t think it was a resentment thing but now I wonder why. Growing up we had a neighbor down the street who was a Korean vet and as conservative as your could get but he brought home his Korean War bride and a couple of his kids were our best friends. He was Irish like my dad so all the kids had Irish names. My name is Kevin and my younger brother’s name is Brian and they had a Kevin and Brian in their family as well.

    • Kalima says:

      Although I can understand your father’s feelings about the war, I just wanted to say that the ordinary Japanese and Germans were not to blame for what happened during the war.

      Japan changed radically during the occupation and many Japanese copied mannerisms, women changed their kimonos for western clothes, their hair and went out dancing at night and became somewhat Americanized, despite the fact that on the 6th of August 1945 in the early morning, America dropped it’s first atomic bomb on the sleeping men, women and children of this city, days later the same on Nagasaki.

      I have been here a long time, have visited Hiroshima a few times, encountered people who survived but suffered horrible surgery for their fight to live many years later and I have never heard a single bad word spoken about the American people or that they were to blame for any government decision.

      My family in Europe and myself, didn’t blame the American people for Bush’s blunder into Iraq, we blamed your government and the people who voted for him twice.

      • escribacat says:

        I just read this article today about suppressed newsreel footage from Hiroshima and Nagasaki. You might be interested …


        • Kalima says:

          Thanks escribacat, yes I should imagine a lot of things were covered up but the Japanese had their own local photographers record many scenes and the photos displayed in the Hiroshima War Museum were so horrific that I almost fainted, when I got back to our hotel I couldn’t sleep because the same question was churning in my head, “Who could ever do this to another human being?”

          The images are still sometimes clear in my mind and everyone should see them and the stories of what the badly burned survivors had to endure for so many years after repeated surgery to let them get back into society. Some committed suicide after spending decades in darkened room, afraid to look in a mirror.

          Gosh, I just realized that the link sent me to that other dark place, I was in and out like Speedy Gonzales before my computer started to hiss. :)

          • KevenSeven says:

            Forgive them, they knew not what they did.

          • escribacat says:

            LOL. Sorry. I didn’t mean to contribute to your delinquency! Still, the article is interesting. It talks about some Japanese filmmakers on the project working with the Americans. They snuck a copy of the film and hid it in the ceiling or something like that…figuring they’d go back and get it when the occupation was over.

            I suppose this sounds sick but I’ve always felt that if we end up in a nuclear war, I hope the bomb lands right on my head. I don’t want to be around for the aftermath.

            • Kalima says:

              No probs, I was in and out like a rocket. They never even knew that I was doing a speedy “lurking” thingy.

      • PatsyT says:

        Thanks Kalima,
        I agree with you, the people themselves, of course, were innocent.
        The takeaway for us as kids was
        our father was there
        but we never talked about it.
        All we knew was --
        no Chinese food and don’t drive Japanese or German cars
        and don’t ask questions.
        So many came back and were told to tough it out, you know, be a man.
        I think that silence was hiding painful things.
        Shame, he passed away a few years ago,
        so we will never know what happened

        • Kalima says:

          I’m sorry that you lost your father Patsy, I didn’t mean to sound contrary but being born in Germany, hearing stories from my grandparents and relatives, I understood their hatred of the dictator, it was wide spread over the country but people were just to afraid of spies and the SS to take matters into their own hands although some did, despite the danger.

          Also my husband is Japanese, I live here, so I might feel more strongly than others about this. Thanks for your reply.

  2. LITU says:

    Whenever someone posts a comment about Korean War veterans I sort of shrink within myself.

    The Korean War! What an enigma! And what an effort by the resilient servicemen and women, who battled against insurmountable odds, with the worst goddamn support imaginable. I always come away from hearing about this “police action” with a feeling like, these are the unrespected heroes of our country!

    I’m a vet. It wasn’t fun! But I take my hat off to my predecessors; the veterans of the Korean War. Thanks to all!!

    • KQuark says:

      My father a Korean War vet never talked about the war much. But when someone talked about it being a “police action” his displeasure was noticeable. My father actually is the quietest and calmest person I have ever known so when he even changes his tone a little it’s a big display for him.

    • PepeLepew says:

      You know, my dad would never allow us kids to watch M*A*S*H when I was little, and I always thought it was because he was a right-wing prick … but after he died I realized it was because he really didn’t want any reminders of Korea…

    • deygirl says:

      Thank you for serving for us all. My hat is off to all of you.

  3. deygirl says:

    I have a dear friend who is a WW2 vet. He was hit by tank fire on Christmas eve and lay in the field for 3 days, waiting for help to come, in a field of corpses. He watched our parachuters being shot from the sky and suffered severe frostbite that eventually took all of his toes.

    He twice was found by German soldiers, the first ones didn’t shoot him because they said he was nearly dead any way. The second set bayonetted him in the heart, and he was saved by the copy of the new testament in is pocket, which deflected the blade.

    One leg had been blown over his shoulder when he got hit, his hip and knees shattered, and he spent 18 month recuperating in a full body cast.

    He ended the story by saying “I’d do it all over again. Best 56- oops, 57, knew her a year before I married her--years of my life.

    He is my hero and inspirtion.

    • AdLib says:

      What a remarkable human being and what a challenging life to have lived.

      Please send him our best wishes, affection and respect for enduring what he did in the cause of freedom. They don’t make ’em like him anymore and that’s a shame.

    • kesmarn says:

      Wow. The strength of the human will to survive. And he made it--not just through those 3 days--but to the present! A great story.

    • HITO says:

      Like we said the other day, what does not kill me makes me that much stronger.

      Dey, that was a wonderful story of survival. The human will is a powerful thing indeed.

    • escribacat says:

      Wow. That’s an amazing story. Sounds like he has a good attitude.

    • Kalima says:

      Wonderful but also heartbreaking story deygirl. The soldiers of this generation were fighters in every sense of the word and we thank the all.

  4. PepeLepew says:

    For Veterans’ Day.
    My dad was a major in the Canadian Army. He was in the signal corps and served in Korea. After he died, we found out he was drafted out of the signal corps into a sniper unit in Korea, and likely killed many, many men. He never talked about this to any of us kids in any, way, shape or form. It was such an interesting thing to find out, and interesting that he simply didn’t want to talk about it…

    • escribacat says:

      Pepe, I tried TWICE to post a response to you over there about your dad. Both times it was scrubbed for gawd knows what fucking asshole dickhead….etc….reasons!!! Anyway, all my post said was that my Canadian uncle was a WWII POW at the infamous Stalag 17. I found an old diary of my father’s that had my uncle POW address scribbled on the back cover. That’s the stalag from the “great escape.” The Canadians were in that war long before the USA.

      • PepeLepew says:

        PS, ‘Cat, my grandfather was in WW II. He joined up in 1939 and was gravely wounded at the Battle of the Bulge … by British artillery. My mom said he came home to the farm in Saskatchewan a shell of his former self. He eventually died of his wounds in 1946. He had wandered down to a riverbank at the farm early in the morning and my mom found him slumped dead sitting against a tree.

      • PepeLepew says:

        I think I got under AC’s skin with my crack about “Al Gore never won the Nobel Peace Prize.”
        Really, she doesn’t bug me anymore. She’s an angry little girl.

        • escribacat says:

          I was actually pretty shocked by her snide comments about Afghan women. Did you see that? “Who gives a crap about Afghan women?” I couldn’t believe she actually posted that. I didn’t realize what an empty husk of a fake human being she is.

          • PepeLepew says:

            Yup, she was just trying to piss off as many people as possible. When people weren’t calling her names, she slinked off. That’s what she wants. She wants people to call her names.

    • KQuark says:

      My father served in the Korean War as well. He was skipper of a river boat that ran supplies to the front. He does not talk about the war that much at all. My older brother is the same way about Vietnam. I respect that many vets just don’t want to talk about their experiences or only talk to over vets.

      • kesmarn says:

        I’ve also known quite a number of vets who have never spoken of their war experiences to their family/friends through an entire lifetime. Do you think there might have been any benefit, psychologically, to just “walling off” the experience, so to speak? I realize this goes against current accepted wisdom, which would emphasize the value of talking it out, but it seemed to work, in a certain sense, for some older vets.

    • FeloniousMonk says:

      Pepe’: I have known few veterans of wars who really talk to others, except other veterans, about their experiences. I grew up around a lot of World War II and Korean War veterans, and few ever spoke much about it. And unfortunately we didn’t understand PTSD back then and I’m sure many went through the rest of their lives carrying burdens that we will never know. I can say the same of the many Vietnam War veterans I know, but at least by the end of the Vietnam War we started to recognize, to a degree, the magnitude of PTSD and started to work more with these veterans to overcome some of it’s effects.

      My father served in the South Pacific during World War II, and was a Seabee, and for those of you who don’t know what the Seabees did, they came on shore usually with the Marines to help start building new facilities for our services as soon as possible. Docks, airfields, you name it. A “non-combat” job in the heat of the combat zone. And, like many SeaBees, he was old enough he didn’t have to go, but chose to do so.

      • HITO says:

        Good evening Monk.

        My uncle was a marine that served in the SP.

        He never spoke of his experiences, which included watching his best friend die over there. My aunt told me that his nightmares were dreadful for the remainder of his life.

        Stern and regimented, but a sweetheart to his favorite niece (his offspring were three boys). I was always a little afraid of him though.

        • KQuark says:

          That’s the amazing part to me about our greatest generation. So many of them went through so much and did so much for this country and they never complained. Of course all vets should get help who have PTSD but I still admire the amazing fortitude of that generation.

          I had three uncles that served in WWII and one was disabled his whole life because of his injuries. I could see every step he took was painful but he never complained.

          • Kalima says:

            Hi KQ, my father’s story is in an earlier comment so I won’t repeat it but as I said in my first comment, he participated in “D” day in Normandy and has never really shared much of his experience with any of us.

            I believe he saw too many horrific things and by openly talking about it, would of course still remember it vividly. I learned long ago not to ask him question about this time of his life.

            • KQuark says:

              I read the story about your father and thanks for sharing so much. Being a student of history I will never forget all our allies in WWII and how they literally saved the free world.

              My uncle Bud who died relatively young in his 50’s from a heart attack fought in the Battle of the Bulge in the Ardan. He met up with one of my other uncles in France and my father still has the picture in his house. I still get goosebumps when I see it thinking about how brave they both were and the incredible joy they experience finding each other in good health on the battlefield.

              My father was only in a couple skirmishes but I think the reason my father does not talk about Korea is because besides sending supplies to the front he also brought the dead and wounded back to Seoul.

            • Kalima says:

              How amazing to meet a relative in these stressful days of fighting for freedom.

              Yes when I think of these young kids, my father being one, he was 22 I think, and all without the latest technology, I have nothing but the utmost respect for each and every one.

              My father too was scheduled to go to Korea but it was cancelled at the last moment.

        • FeloniousMonk says:

          Evening HITO: How is it going? I know the trip to the city probably wasn’t the best.

          My brother was a Vietnam War veteran, but he was a few miles off the coast doing naval fire control duties.

          • HITO says:

            Glad to be home. Never understand how I ever lived that lifestyle of everyone on top of each other. Good to be back in the country where you can see the stars.

            Today’s type of event never ceases to amaze me…pagan rites (catholic) of embalmed corpse viewing. Had an opportunity to share my wishes with my kids…party hardy, good food, music and booze when I go.

            • FeloniousMonk says:

              I’m all for immediate disposition with cremation and just being spread out in the desert. I understand the reality of life, we are all here, we pass, and within a generation 99.9999% of us are forgotten. Even if we have done good works.

  5. PepeLepew says:

    Pool time.
    Did Lou Dobbs quit on his own or was he forced out?
    How long before he’s on Faux?

  6. SeeknDestroy says:

    Happy veterans day to all that serve and all that have served our great county.

    Lou Dobbs just quit CNN effective immediately.

  7. Kalima says:

    I as a foreigner here would like to personally thank all the brave soldiers who joined forces with the Brits and the French to rid Europe of the most vile, violent, murdering and certifiably insane dictator the world has ever known. Thank you for saving the country of my birth and childhood.

    To the American soldiers who gave their most precious commodity, their lives, I say thank you and God bless you, to the vets who survived, thank you for saving us from our fate, you are never far from my mind.

    My father is a vet, he landed on Gold Beach in Normandy on the 7th of June 1944, “D” day. Your troops had landed further down the coast and later my father met many of them to share stories of home, a smoke and a cup of coffee. He told me “We were all just kids” and that he found the American soldiers to have a great sense of humour and were a very friendly group of guys. Some even exchanged addresses with him and they communicated for many years after the war had ended.

    My father will be 87 next month and I sense that lately he is becoming more and more reluctant to talk about this war in which he was eventually wounded and almost lost his life due to sniper fire from a German straggler.

    So again my heartfelt thanks to all of your vets and for all those young men and women still in the thick of combat, I hope and pray that you can come home to your loved ones soon. There are no winners in wars.

    • javaz says:

      You’re so lucky to have your father!

      When we lived in France, in a suburb just outside of Paris, St. Cloud, there is a cemetery.

      There is a sign in both English and French, for when the Americans marched through and liberated Paris, and it meant the war was over.

      Sadly, and this is a very sad story, but the French were armed, and unfortunately they armed a kid who was not mentally stable.

      So, when the Americans were walking down the boulevard, once they had defeated the Germans, the kid shot and killed the American.

      They disarmed him instantly, but that’s war.

      When we lived there, and nearby was the Parc de St. Cloud, on the outskirts of the park were still the German armaments.

      • Kalima says:

        There are so many horror stories about civilians during wars and I have always hated the euphemism “collateral damage” it seems so cold and heartless when in reality it is the slaughter of innocents.

        How interesting that your family lived in France, how long were you there?

        • javaz says:

          My husband and I lived there for 2 years, and when 9/11 happened, he was over there and it took hours for him to call me and tell me he was all right.
          I’d never been to Europe, nor did I ever have any desire, but when his employer offered him a job over there, and all expenses paid, I had to go.
          We struggled with the language barrier at first, and the fear of Europeans, especially the French hating Americans, but we soon found out that those fears were unfounded.
          We drove all over Europe on vacations, and it was the best experience of our lives.
          We were there when Bush Jr. started Iraq, and let me tell you, how embarrassed we were in that the Reps in the US actually took time to rename food from French Toast or French Fries, to Freedom Toast and Freedom Fries.
          And when the French news showed restaurant owners in New York pouring French wine down the gutter.
          But the French knew it was politics, and honestly, they did not hold it against Americans.

          • Kalima says:

            Thanks for sharing javaz. Your fear of Europeans hating Americans was unfounded, it was never about the people, only about your government.

            Yes Georgie and his gang of dictators certainly showed their ignorance and I knew that many Americans would be appalled and embarrassed by most of the things that happened on Bush’s watch after 9/11. I was in Tokyo and installed cable as soon as I got the first news about 9/11 and watched the build up to the invasion of Iraq on CNN and the BBC in a state of wordless horror.

            I’m glad that you eventually had a good time there and have happy memories to keep.

            • javaz says:

              Are you an expat?
              And if so, why are you in Tokyo?
              Can you ever come home, and do you miss America?

            • Kalima says:

              I’m German born with a Swedish mother and a Estonian birth father. My mother remarried a Welshman and we moved to England when I was 9. At 19 I became a naturalized Brit, I’m not American I’m European, half of my family is in Germany.

              I met and married my Japanese husband in London and we came here one year later because my husband wanted to try to start his own business. We have been here in Tokyo ever since.

  8. AlphaBitch says:

    Here is a link to the writings of some of my girls (Fatima and Fattema). These are many of our alumnae. It’s an Afghan Women’s Writing Project. Let them know you’ve read their articles and encourage them! One of mine is the one who wishes to be a journalist…..


    Enjoy, and maybe this will explain WHY I feel so compelled to help. I can’t leave them without hope.

    But to be fair: I have two boys who can write equally compelling and heart tugging stories. They are JUST as sweet, JUST as smart, and JUST as desiring of change. They just don’t have the venue to share their stories with the world, but their stories are in my mind and my heart. I love them all.

    • nellie says:

      This is incredible. I am posting the link to my facebook page.

      • AlphaBitch says:

        Nellie: please don’t. We try and protect their anonymity in some ways. I’m sharing it with Planet, because I trust you guys and because you are a fairly small site (at least for now!. I get nervous when it floats too far out on the internet that it could return to haunt them, even if they are fairly anonymous. If you wish to share via email with any of your friends, and not on a general internet site, please do so. Sorry -- I feel like a weasel! But my first and foremost concern is their safety, the safety of the program, etc. I still have four over there I’m trying to get back and into college. I can’t/won’t rest until they do.

        Enjoy reading, and please DO share with your friends/family/colleagues via email, but ask that some caution be taken. It’s truly their lives that can be at risk.

        I have many reports we wrote on their activities, which I cannot post here because they are identified and photographed. It makes me sad and mad, but it is the reality.

        Thanks so much for understanding. And help them however you can.

        • bitohistory says:

          Why is there a large(in red) a link to the site given to HuffPo & back to your given page?
          I am bit perplexed?

          • AlphaBitch says:

            I don’t know why HuffP is linked to the site -- honest! I did remove the link, to lessen chances of it being pasted into sites that could then go out onto a larger site. Thanks for pointing that out, and I hope this helps. I am happy to send copies of the link in emails, if anyone wants to ask. Just would prefer it not to be found on too many sites, explained above. Thanks again.

            • bitohistory says:

              The problem I have, I already sent the link to H.S. teachers and asked them to share with their students. I just felt that some of the young U.S children would be touched as much as I was. (I have already gotten heartfelt responses) Dilemma!

            • AlphaBitch says:

              Then what we have to do is trust that the project is “secure”. I will write the administrator, and my girls, and let them know this is a shot heard round the world. Their voices DESERVE to be heard, and I am proud of each one of these girls brave enough to speak out. They are my “soldiers” as well, just as my boys are. Thanks for the link….

            • nellie says:

              Here’s the page on HP.


              There is a notice on the site announcing the publicity on HP, so perhaps they are feeling somewhat secure about the blog.

        • nellie says:

          I completely understand — I took the link down. I assumed the site was open on the net and so was ok to share. I apologize -- I should have asked first.

          I know my friends would be so moved by these stories, but I will keep the link to myself until you feel comfortable releasing it to a broader audience.

          • AlphaBitch says:

            Please feel free to share the information, so long as you do it in an email to a friend instead of on the greater web. I admit I’m a tad paranoid, but my driving force is to keep everyone safe. Without their voices, we’d be less informed.

            Thanks so much for your understanding, and for your interest. I hope you enjoy the stories/poems.

            • nellie says:

              The stories are amazing. I have to sit back and take a breath reading them. I’m going to leave some comments. I’m stunned by the bravery of these women. And their eloquence.

      • escribacat says:

        Yes. Thanks for this link. It will take some time to read…..

  9. escribacat says:

    …And stay safe — those who are still in harm’s way.

  10. AlphaBitch says:

    I’d like to especially thank all those serving in Afghanistan, since you are especially close to my heart. I have worked with my “children” and many, many service members -- two AF guys paid OUT OF THEIR OWN POCKET to ship an entire lab to the high school one of my children attended in Herat. Today, girls and boys share the same lab (different days), and they are so excited to have the ability to learn with a lab instead of by lecture/textbook only! In large part due to this project, my “son” won a four year scholarship and is attending the University of Nebraska -- Lincoln, which he claims IS paradise!

    I took one of my “daughters” last year, to meet with soldiers wounded in the fighting in Afghanistan. It was her desire to thank them for making her opportunity possible. One soldier had never seen the face of an Afghan female. He was very moved. She thanked them for their sacrifice, and said it amazed her that they were so unselfish, and would give of their time, their life to go halfway around the world to help people they had never met. They told her how proud they were of her bravery, for defying some villagers and coming here for school. Each one, far far from home but doing their part to make the world a little better.

    I had both a father and uncles who fought in WWII; one cousin served in Iraq. But it is my children who have brought me closer to the brave men and women who now serve, and to whom I feel such gratitude.

    Thanks to you all!!!!

    • KQuark says:

      I hired a young man who served in Afghanistan in the beginning when the cause was much clearer than now. He was an Army Ranger and was one of the troops really going after Al Qaeda before Bush pulled them out.

      Even though I’m disabled now and don’t work with him we still keep in touch. He still believes in the mission in Afghanistan but I just hope the mission is achievable.

    • javaz says:

      Wonderful sentiments, Alpha B!

      Please, write an article, when you find the time, about your “daughters.”

      I do not believe that it is only me that does not understand why our military is fighting there.

      Thank you.

      • nellie says:

        I would like to hear more about this, too. Thank you AB, for this wonderful insight.

        • AlphaBitch says:

          I’d love to write about these brave, wonderful children, and promise to do so. Right now, my tiie and attention are going to trying to start a refugee program for the families being brought over to the US from Iraq and Afghanistan, whereby we pair up college students, and other interested people, who will “adopt” a family for a year or so, and help them navigate the strange terrain of a foreign and new culture. They have lodging, and some food assistance, for four to six months. They need help in learning to shop for pork-free food, how to learn to count money and make change in a currency different than their own, how to dress, how to interview for jobs, how to run a washing machine at a laundrymat, how to catch a bus. I have a top-tiered university we are working with, several teachers at a wonderful magnet school, Catholic Charities and an Imam whom I have known for years, and whom I greatly respect, as our cultural liaison. I want these new citizens -or citizens to be -- to understand we NEED them, so we will help them become part of the fabric of our society. They are welcome, and loved. I see what happened at Fort Hood -- there are ways to stop this. We started this project a few weeks ago, but the tragedy at Ft. Hood and the fact that the refugee situation in my city is growing from 400/year to 1000/year, with only 30 staff to help assimilate, speaks volumes as to what we can and must do.

          So I’d love to write, but for now, I have to spend time reading! I thank you both for your interest. Do know that when I write, I will have to use false names for the children. We do all we can to protect their identities, and that of their families back home. Maybe I can even get some of them to write their own perspectives! That would be more honest, and more informative.

          As to achieving the mission: they will have to make the change themselves. We must help with security, and with education. The anti-corruption will have to be monitored; I’m thankful we are FINALLY talking about it.

          Do most of you understand that John Kerry had to go talk to Karzai because Joe Biden stood up, threw down his napkin, and walked out of a meeting with Karzai a few years ago, when Karzai sat there and denied there was corruption? Good for Joe! But it makes the situation a tad touchier, no?

          Thanks to you all. You make me so happy! I’m inviting friends in emails to join us Friday. Perhaps I’ll see if some of the children will also join in. I don’t tell them what to say or think, and their opinions can vary widely; but it’s THEIR country and THEIR stories!

          • escribacat says:

            Alpha — Your program sounds very interesting. I would participate in something like that. I befriended an Uzbeki family (Jewish refugees) years ago as “big sister” to the youngest daughter. We all learned a lot. Please post some info or email me at [email protected] if you’ve got anything.

          • nellie says:

            This is such important work that you’re doing. If you have a few spare moments, just add a couple of paragraphs to this post and you’ve got a compelling article for us to discuss!

            I’m very grateful to you for this work. It’s very honorable.

          • KQuark says:

            While I would love to see you write your account about these brave children as well I would much rather you keep up the fantastic work you are doing. There is plenty of time to write the stories but obviously they need your help now. Thanks for all you are doing.

          • javaz says:

            Do you realize that you just wrote an article?
            You should copy and paste and write it.

            I’m very ashamed to admit this, but the whole Muslim thing scares the beejeezers out of me, and I need to read something or anything that puts my fears to rest.

            Recently in Phoenix was an honor killing by an Iraqi Muslim man who brought his family over and he killed his daughter because she was getting too Westernized.

            It scares the heck out of me, because Islam, even though they say it’s a religion of peace, and women’s rights, the girl who was just killed in an honor killing, her brothers are speaking out in how the dad was right to kill her, and this happened in America!

            I’m a fairly open minded person, but when it comes to Islam and Muslims -- and yeah, think of 9/11 and just recently Ft. Hood -- I’m falling prey to believing Islam and Muslims are bad.

            I really want you to tell me differently.
            I really want you to tell me that women in Islam, well, why must they cover their heads and faces.

            I want you tell me not to fear Islam and Muslims, and I do apologize for that, but that’s how I feel.

            Please tell me that I am wrong.

            • AlphaBitch says:


              It is precisely because we are allowing these people to become ghetto-ized, to stay locked in their own culture and their own little neighborhoods, that we encounter these type of situations. Europe (especially France) has many more problems because they do not integrate within the society, but stay apart. Things like honor killings and screwy jihads make me so angry too -- but it’s like saying that the FLDS people, who married children off to older men in Utah/Texas, are a blight on all Mormons.

              Honor killings are a HUGE problem, here and abroad. I find the treatment of women a real problem. But not all Muslims adhere to this, and to condemn them all when the more extreme of them act out is just wrong.

              Reverend Phelps (isn’t that his name) -- who says all the war casualties are because God hates gays -- does NOT speak for most Christians, yet he gets lots of attention. His hatred can provoke violence. He is a vile, evil man. But he does not speak for me. And which “Christian” said Katrina destroyed New Orlenas because God hated gays? There are idiots in every religion.

              I belonged for years to a Tri-Faith Dialogue, which brought together Jews, Christians and Muslims, to share what it was they had in common. It was there that I made many friends in the Muslim faith -- good, honest, caring and giving people, who are every bit as saddened when such things happen as we are -- maybe even more so, because it feeds such fear and hatred. It was my friend, the Imam, who called and said “We must do something to help these people; I do not want to see them locked away in these little enclaves -- it can be dangerous!” HE is the one who called out for us to do something.

              As far as covering: Islam decrees people should dress modestly. Both sexes are to observe this. The Qu’ran states that women should cover their bosoms -- I agree! It does not say anything about covering their hair; this was from some of the hadiths, and from a cultural perspective. I had one girl who argued this fact with me, until we looked at the actual verse. She now does not cover; it was HER choice, and that’s how it should be. If a girl wishes to cover to express her faith, I see no difference in doing this than in wearing a cross on a necklace. If, however, someone tells her she MUST cover -- well, that’s a different story. But changes take time, and patience and compassion go much further than demands and insistence.

              Again, let me try and get some of my children to answer for themselves rather than me answering as an outsider. Some of my children love the US troops, others worry that their presence increases the violence. Not one of them wishes the Taliban to return, however. And each one of them loves the freedom they can experience when here. One of my girls, when asked what she would most miss about the US, replied “Opportunity”. I think that says it all.

              Fear extremism, in any form, whether Jew, Christian or Muslim. There are examples in each faith; don’t just focus on one. That’s how to combat it.

  11. KQuark says:

    Thanks to my mother and father who served in Korea. Thanks to my older brother who served in Vietnam. Thanks to my three uncles who served in WWII. Thanks to all the vets.

  12. nellie says:

    Thank you, KQuark!

    A huge thank you to our service men and women who go into harms way, serve at home, and travel abroad. Thank you for your dedication, courage, and sacrifice. Have a safe tour of duty!

  13. javaz says:

    I’d like to thank my father, who died in 1985, but I’d like to take a moment to thank him and all those who served during World War II.
    Typical of World War II veterans, my father rarely spoke of the war, and being a kid and even into my 20’s, I never thought to ask him much, and I regret that.
    He joined the Navy after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, leaving behind his bride, who was pregnant at the time with my oldest brother.
    I cannot imagine the sacrifices my parents, and everyone made during that time, but I want to thank them.

    My father was awarded a purple heart and bronze star, and we never knew the actual reason why, instead it was always a joke in my family about my dad being on-board a ship in the Pacific that came under fire, and he opened the porthole of his quarters and stuck his arm and head out to see what was going on and he was shot in the arm.
    I realize now that that was a running joke, and to this day I wonder what he actually did.
    I remember his scar from the bullet.

    I’d also like to thank all the Korean Veterans, since they are the true forgotten vets from that war.

    And of course, I thank the Vietnam Veterans, and all veterans, and am getting ready to prepare gift packages for the holidays for our military in Iraq, still, and in Afghanistan.

    Even though I have disagreed with our government’s decision to send our brave young people, and not so young people out and onto the battlefields, it is a day to remember and honor those who serve.

    • KQuark says:

      We all thank your father and all those who served. I had three uncles who served in WWII. They are all gone now but they were the greatest generation.

  14. nicole473 says:

    Yes. A heartfelt thank you for all those who have served and are serving!!

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