Friday, November 17, 2006

They Have Names

One of my blogger friends, also a United States Soldier, has created a perpetual memorial site to honor our fallen. His plan is to tell their stories... to let their families tell their stories.

On May 29th, two journalists were killed and one severely injured by an IED in Iraq. Every media outlet in the country seemed to trip all over themselves trying to tell the American people about these "brave journalists". There were specials aired during prime time, full front page articles on almost every national newspaper and most local papers. And, in every single article was this vague and nonspecific notation: "A U.S. soldier and an Iraqi translator also died in the blast."

Who was this "U.S. soldier"? For days, he endured anonymity for his sacrifice while these journalists whom he'd given his life to protect were paraded throughout the media as martyrs. I made it my goal in life to find our who he was and to tell his story. He was not just "a U.S. Soldier" to me. He was a brother. He was a father. He was a son. And, he had a name.

They have names was created in order to pay proper respects or our fallen heroes. All to often, these Troops are relegated to mere numbers by the press. Their stories are unknown. Their lives are unknown. And, their names are unknown. Their sacrifice is impersonal and taken for granted. To many Americans, they are faceless figures. They are not enigmas - They Have Names.

At the time of this writing, over 3000 troops have been killed in Iraq alone. Each and every one of them has unique talents, hobbies, families and histories. Each of them had a reason that led them to serve in one of our nation's armed forces. These people are not mere numbers - They Have Names.

This site is dedicated to the memory of CPT James "Alex" Funkhouser, who gave me the motivation to share the stories of our fallen heroes.

I remember this event vividly - I frequently yelled at the television "Who was the soldier?" I was angry at the lack of importance that was placed on him and the attention given to the media personalities. It became even more personal when his name was finally spoken, my heart sank. I had been given his name the week before to send a support letter to... the letter was returned unopened.

Please visit They Have Names and learn about these magnificent troops who have given the ultimate for our country.

You can contact CJ here.

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