May 2, 2008

Mission Accomplished

On the 5 year anniversary of Commander McFlightsuit's stunt abord an aircraft carrier where the now infamous banner proclaimed "Mission Accomplished", perhaps it's appropriate to examine at least one part of that accomplishment.

THIS American soldier is called "Miracle Mike". Why? Because as a result of a roadside explosion in Iraq, he was burned over 97% of his body and against impossible odds, he survived.

He was an inspiration to all around him, and worked tirelessly to help other burn victims.

He was called "Miracle Mike" because it was a miracle he was alive at all after the horrendous burns which left him hospitalized for 17 months and endured anywhere from 120 to 150 operations. (his family has lost count.)

"Miracle Mike" died in April. He was 21 years old.


From a post at Patriot Guard:

updated 15 APR 08 0615 PST by wags


Short Notice – Memorial – Sgt Merlin German USMC, 22, San Antonio, TX, 15Apr08, Operation Iraqi Freedom

Sergeant Merlin German was born 15 November 1985 in Manhattan, New York. He enlisted in the Marine Corps 08 September 2003 and received a meritorious promotion to Private First Class out of boot camp. in April 2004, Sergeant German transferred to his first permanent duty station, 5th Battalion, 11th Marines, 1st Marine Division where he served as a Field Artillery Cannoneer. Shortly after Sergeant German was assigned to his unit, he was sent to Machinegunner's Course. Among the Corporals and Sergeants, he was the only Private First Class to attend the course. Sergeant German's outstanding leadership skills helped him to graduate second in his class.

In September 2004, Sergeant German's unit was attached to 2nd Battalion, 11th Marines and became part of Weapons Platoon for convoy security. His unit was charged with safely transporting prisoners and cargo, and Sgt German participated in over 150 successful missions.

Sergeant German's Platoon Sergeant and Company Commander applauded him for his keen sense of spotting improvised explosive devices (IEDs). In the first six months of deployment, Sergeant German found 8 IEDs without anyone sustaining injuries. On 21 February 2005, Sergeant German's squad was on a mission to recon an unknown route from Jordan to Baghdad. While en route to Camp Ramadi, Sergeant German spotted an IED while standing in the turret at his Mk-19 machine gun. With no time to alert the driver, their HUMVEE was hit on a left side by a gas-fed shape charge explosive. Sergeant German was blown clear of the vehicle, and his fellow Marines helped extinguish the flames that had quickly burned 97% of his total body surface area.

Sergeant German was immediately transported to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany where doctors stated Sergeant German had NO chance of living. He had a quick turn-around flight to the burn unit at Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio and he arrived on 25 February 2005. He was cared for as an inpatient for 17 months, and then resided as a guest of the Fisher House before purchasing his own home in San Antonio.

Sergeant German fought bravely for more than three years but died in the hospital on 11 April 2008 while recovering from his most recent operation. He is survived by his parents, Hemery and Lourdes German, his sisters, Marcia and Lawren and his brothers, Ariel, Freddie, Johnny, Alejandro and Julio.

Last December, after months of practice so he could lift his arms, turn and pivot, he donned his Marine dress blues and hit the dance floor at Brooke's Holiday Ball.

He surprised his mother, taking her into his wounded arms, gliding smoothly across the room to a melody he chose -- a Rod Stewart song, "Have I Told You Lately That I Loved You?"

The crowd stood and applauded. And cried.



Meanwhile, an Army Ranger exists no more after being killed on his SEVENTH tour of duty.
A Poway High School graduate who achieved his childhood dream of becoming an Army Ranger has been killed in Afghanistan, it was reported Thursday.
Sgt. 1st Class David L. McDowell, 30, of Ramona died Tuesday in Bastion, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked using small arms fires, according to the Defense Department.
...
He had been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq seven times and was a recipient of two Bronze stars and a Purple Heart, according to the Union-Tribune.


Can any of the right wing war cheerleaders please explain just why these soldiers and thousands of others have suffered horribly, been maimed, crippled, and murdered, their friends and families left to endure unending pain and grief? What exactly did they die for? Is our country any more secure or better off for any of it? Seriously. You were not shy about thumping your chest and condemning anyone who opposed it. Surely it's a simple matter to answer those questions now.

5 Comments:

At 5/02/2008 1:44 PM, Anonymous Amy A. said...

Regardless of political opinion in either direction, please be cognizent that when you use individuals as examples that these are real people. Especially when talking of the recently deceased, I find it disrespectful to use them to make arguments you have no way of knowing if they supported. This is a time for friends and families to grieve. Thank you. RLTW

 
At 5/02/2008 6:54 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Amy,
I find your opinion more than a bit warped.

These people were sent into harms way in our name.

If you find the fact that they were slaughtered and/or maimed and horrible disfigured offensive, I suggest you may want to examine your way of looking at this issue.

You're free to support continuing to send more thousands of our men and women to experience death and horrible injury, just as the majority of Americans are free to feel it that it's a tragedy and blunder of unimaginable scale that they are being killed and maimed for no clear benefit to our country.

The government, and those who think this "war" is a fine thing, do not hesitate to use our military to try to generate support for the continuation of this slaughter.

Do you find it dishonorable if their tragic struggles and sacrifices are even mentioned?

I find that disrespectful and offensive.

Did you also write to the many newspapers and other media who have reported on these same soldiers death?

Or is it only offensive if someone who opposes what these men have gone through brings it up?

Pretty sick thinking, in my opinion.

 
At 5/02/2008 6:57 PM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

Amy,
I find your opinion more than a bit warped.

These people were sent into harms way in our name.

If you find the fact that they were slaughtered and/or maimed and horrible disfigured offensive, I suggest you may want to examine your way of looking at this issue.

You're free to support continuing to send more thousands of our men and women to experience death and horrible injury, just as the majority of Americans are free to feel it that it's a tragedy and blunder of unimaginable scale that they are being killed and maimed for no clear benefit to our country.

The government, and those who think this "war" is a fine thing, do not hesitate to use our military to try to generate support for the continuation of this slaughter.

Do you find it dishonorable if their tragic struggles and sacrifices are even mentioned?

I find that disrespectful and offensive.

Did you also write to the many newspapers and other media who have reported on these same soldiers death?

Or is it only offensive if someone who opposes what these men have gone through brings it up?

Pretty sick thinking, in my opinion.

The bottom line is that if you find stories or pictures of what is happening to our troops offensive, then perhaps you shouldn't be so quick to support the policy that's causing it?

Oh, and by the way. I'm sure their families, as well as thousands and thousands of others, won't miss out on grieving simply because of this blog post.

Thanks.

 
At 5/02/2008 9:37 PM, Anonymous sueshedap;puhleeze said...

TID,
and THE problem is the banner wasn't specific enough...quoted from the Chicago Suntimes...Dana Perino said..."President Bush is well aware that the banner should have been much more specific and said 'mission accomplished' for these sailors who are on this ship on their mission,"

OH...kay, that explains it. (Oh, and sure am glad he's 'well aware')
This administration has been giving a backward passing glance on all issues of (cough)the governing of this country while engaging in the actual business of 'hanging us all out to dry' so to speak. (So the banner is correct in that context) The fall-out of this neglect (and manipulation) has been all the expanding problems, especially blossoming from this incredible debacle in Iraq with miss-step and wrong turns the whole way...and true to form...the lame excuses come after the facts. These excuses would really be laughable, if the effects of these mistakes weren't the dead and maimed soldiers, civilians, and the humongous misery caused in general.
The images you show are incredibly heart-wrenching and more so in light of the insensitivity that the administration acts towards them. Especially after all the phony lip-service given to 'supporting the troops'.
I remember KWQC had a cork-board in the newsroom where they would tack up pictures of soldiers fallen in Afghanistan and then Iraq...last time I remember seeing the board it was full. Now it's nowhere to be seen.
I really think people need to be reminded of the true price we are paying.
Thanks for the links....personally, when I pray, it's good to have the faces and stories in my mind; keeps me from being 'luke warm'.

 
At 5/03/2008 5:56 AM, Blogger The Inside Dope said...

I can't imagine someone like Amy feeling that any reminder of the great sacrifice, suffering, and loss that is inflicted on our military families and their loved ones is somehow "offensive".

They just don't want to be reminded of what this "war" that they so mindlessly support is costing.

It's "icky" I guess to remind them that it's not some reality show on TV, but real blood, guts, slaughter, disfigurement and inhuman brutality.

Sorry Amy.

And you might write to "Miracle Mike's" family and tell them to take down the web page they established about their beloved soldier too, since it's in bad taste according to you. (although apparently you feel that if those suffering support the war, then it's greatly patriotic, and if someone doesn't support the very thing that lead to this pain and grief, then it's "offensive".)

The link is in the post.

 

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