Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Beautiful Dead Girls

The stories you should be reading, while the news media obsesses over Jon Benet Ramsey; from dailykos:

Beautiful Dead Girls

Mon Aug 21, 2006 at 08:19:05 PM PDT

[From the Diaries - MB]

We hear a lot about beautiful dead girls in the US media.  Here are some that we haven't heard about much.  Their smiles haven't been plastered over the supermarket tabloid press, and they're not likely to be.  One of the reasons is that they don't fit the popular stereotype of beautiful-woman-as-helpless-victim.  Another reason is that many people still haven't focused on the reality of women in the military.  Even here on DKos, I see comments about "sons and fathers" who have been killed and maimed.  Almost NO MENTION of women in the military.

Here, in no particular order, are some American heroes who were killed in combat in Iraq:

(expanded from my comment in georgia10's diary)

Army Sgt. Amanda Pinson, age 21, killed in mortar attack, March 15, 2006.

She told a reporter in 2003,  "I thought, `This is what I want to do -- and I'm going to do it, no matter what.' I tell everybody, `It just feels right.'"

"She loved being in the Army and she loved doing her job," Ehlen said. "She felt like her work saved American lives. That's what she did."

Air Force Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Jacobson, age 21, killed by roadside bomb, September 28, 2005.

"She loved what she was doing and she loved to be able to say that people should give her respect because without her and those like her we wouldn't be free. She stood up for her beliefs and made everyone around her be aware of them," said her grandmother, Sondra Millman-Cosimano of Riviera Beach.

Marine Lance Cp. Juana Navarro-Arellano, age 24, killed by small arms fire, April 8, 2006.

"She was the toughest girl I've ever met," said Pfc. Gustavo Navarro Cristales, a bulk fuel specialist with 9th ESB and close friend of Navarro-Arellano. "She demanded to be treated equal."

Her incredible strength and tenacity was something learned from their mother, Navarro-Arellano's brother explained.

"Juana saw our mother raise six kids by herself," Lorenzo said. "That made her tough. She saw the entire struggle."

Marine Lance Cpl. Holly Charette, age 21, killed by roadside bomb, June 23, 2005.  

"She wanted to become a Marine after 9-11," Charlene Wheetman, Charette's aunt, said Saturday in a statement on behalf of the family. "She wanted to do something for her country. She was a very proud Marine."

Army Spc. Carrie French, age 19, killed by roadside bomb, June 15, 2005.

French said his daughter had an adventurous spirit and loved the outdoors. She had plans to travel Europe and study law after her tour of duty in Iraq.

For her high school graduation gift she asked her father to take her skydiving.

"She was willing to try anything, really," Rick French said.


He said she died doing what she wanted to do.

"I was scared (when she deployed), but I was very, very proud of her," he said. "She's my hero."

Army Spc. Toccara Green, killed by roadside bomb, August 14, 2005.  

Toccara Green's desire to be in the military was evident early: for four years in high school she got up early and stayed late to participate in her campus ROTC.

Family and friends say her devotion to her country is what inspired her.

"The only thing that puts my mind at ease is that she died for what she believed in," said Garry Green Jr., her brother. "She said her ideal situation: go out fighting for our country."

Army Staff Sgt. Tricia L. Jameson, age 34, killed when a roadside bomb blew up her Humvee ambulance on July 14, 2005.  She was a health-care specialist responding to a casualty incident.

A friend of hers said she "wanted to go get her hands on some serious injuries and fix some things."

Marine Cpl. Ramona M. Valdez, age 20, killed by roadside bomb on June 23, 2005.

Ramona, a communications specialist who wanted to become a policewoman, had originally been expected home in May. But she died Thursday in an attack on her convoy in Fallujah.

Fiorela Valdez said the family is bitter about the war it increasingly regards as senseless, and blames President Bush.

"Why doesn't he send his daughters over there? If he had a family member there, he'd end the war right now," Valdez said.

Army Pfc. Sam W. Huff, age 18.  killed by roadside bomb on April 18, 2005.

Eighteen-year-old Pfc. Sam Huff was born with a man's name.

But she was a consummate "girlie-girl," said her father, Robert Huff.

She liked to wear false eyelashes and played flute in her high-school band. Last July, she joined the Army, the first step in a career she hoped would take her to the FBI.

On April 18, Huff, an only child, became the 37th U.S. female to die in combat since 2003.

Yesterday, her parents and comrades gathered in a Fort Lewis chapel to recall Huff's independent spirit and her unfulfilled ambitions.

But what they remembered most was that she loved soldiering, and she was good at it. The memorial became, in part, a testimonial to the growing role women are playing in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Born in Tucson, Ariz., on July 12, 1986, Huff was 16 when she announced her intention to enlist in the Army, go to college to study psychology and become an FBI agent....

"We just stood there, dumbfounded," said Robert Huff, a retired Tucson police detective. His wife, Margaret Williams, served as an air traffic controller in the Marines.

But there wasn't any family talk of women not belonging in the military, he said: "Not in our house, are you kidding?"


"Beneath that beautiful young lady was a backbone of steel," Sgt. Sam Jones wrote in a letter read aloud during her funeral.

Army Sgt. Jessica M. Housby, age 23, killed by roadside bomb on February 09, 2005.

Lt. Archie Rose of the Illinois National Guard said Housby received an award in 1999 after taking part in a training exercise at Fort McCoy, Wis.

She was chosen as the top cadet out of a group of 187 because of her "hard work, enthusiasm and the responsibility," he said.

Army Sgt. Shawna M. Morrison, age 26, killed in mortar attack September 05, 2004.

It was Shawna Morrison's adventurous spirit that propelled her to seek the new, the different, the stimulating, in life.

"She liked to try things, go new places, try new food," said her brother, Allan Morrison. "She liked to test stuff out."

The family often took fishing trips that Shawna looked forward to, [her father] said, and his daughter never minded threading a worm onto a hook.

"She always had a smile. She had a super personality and was great to be around. She would laugh at anything," he said.

Army Spc. Jessica L. Cawvey, age 21, killed by roadside bomb on October 6, 2004.

She had a 6-year-old daughter named Sierra.  Her uncle said, "She joined the service because she wanted to provide the right future for her daughter."

The Cawveys keep the medals and ribbons their daughter earned during her military career in a special wooden box. Sierra recognizes many of the ribbons, and as she showed them to a visitor, she called them by name: "Good Conduct . . . Purple Heart . . . Bronze Star . . ."

"Why did she get that one?" asked her grandma, pausing.

"Because she died."

Army Pfc. Leslie D. Jackson, age 18, killed by roadside bomb on May 20, 2004.

"The Army is what she wanted. That's why there are no regrets," said her aunt, Pearl Roberts. Jackson exchanged e-mails with school principal Earl M. Pappy about her decision to enter the military and her experiences in Iraq. "The students are very upset because she was respected very, very much," he said.


She viewed the Army as a way to further her education, Roberts said. Jackson grew up in a close-knit family and "loved to shop and dress up and do her nails."

Army Spc. Isela Rubalcava, age 25, killed by mortar attack, May 8, 2004.

Her cousin said, "She's always been a happy person, always smiling. When she came back from boot camp, she was cheerful and told us about how great it was."

Army Sgt. 1st Class Linda Ann Tarango-Griess, age 33, killed by roadside bomb on July 11, 2004.

Her husband said, "She really loved her military career."

Army Sgt. Tatjana Reed, age 34, killed by roadside bomb July 22, 2004.

"She loved the Army," her mother said.

She had a 10-year-old daughter.

Army Capt. Kimberly N. Hampton, age 27, killed when her Kiowa helicopter was shot down on January 02, 2004.

Her parents said she had wanted to be a pilot since she was a child.  In third grade she wrote a paper about how she always wanted to fly.

While in Iraq, she wrote her mother an email:

"If there is anything I can say to ease your mind ... if anything ever happens to me, you can be certain that I am doing the things I love," she wrote. "... I'm living my dreams for sure, living life on the edge at times and pushing the envelope. ...

"So, worry if you must," she added, "but you can be sure that your only child is living a full, exciting life and is HAPPY!"

Army Pfc. Rachel K. Bosveld, age 19, killed in mortar attack October 26, 2003.

She enlisted in the Army when she graduated in June 2002, following in the footsteps of her father, who served in the Army in Italy from 1967-1969, and Craig, who served in the Army in Alaska.

"She idolized her brother," Marvin Bosveld said, pointing to a photograph of Craig holding a toddler-sized Rachel on a tree branch. "I had some reservation because she was a girl. She asked me not to worry about it. She was as good as anyone."

Her mother said she desperately tried to talk her daughter out of it.

"I would have done anything to have her choose a different career," Mary Bosveld said. "She said, `I know, Mom, but I have to do this. ... I want to keep up the family tradition. Except, Mom, I'm going to be the first girl in our entire family."'

There are many more.  If you want to see their names and how and where they died, go to Coalition Casualties and search on "Female".

I'd like everyone who has some kind of problem with feminism to look long and hard at the faces of these women and consider the fact that they died for YOU and they were doing a man's job.


Konrad Williams said...

Its a damn shame that such beautiful intelligent and strong willed individuals are lost because of our lust for war.

Anonymous said...