Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pro Patria Mori

 
Today we remember those who gave their lives yesterday at the Navy Yard in DC in yet another act of senseless, explosive self-destruction.

Per CNN, the names of the dead are:

• Michael Arnold, 59, of Lorton, Virginia

• Kathy Gaarde, 62, of Woodbridge, Virginia

• John Roger Johnson, 73, of Derwood, Maryland

• Arthur Daniels, 51, of southeast Washington, D.C.

• Richard Michael Ridgell, 52, of Westminster, Maryland

• Martin Bodrog, 54, of Annandale, Virginia

• Vishnu Bhalchandra Pandit, 61, of North Potomac, Maryland

• Kenneth Bernard Proctor, 46, of Waldorf, Maryland

• Mary Francis Knight, 51, of Reston, Virginia

• Gerald L. Read, 58, of Alexandria, Virginia

• Sylvia Frasier, 53, of Waldorf, Maryland

• Frank Kohler, 50, of Tall Timbers, Maryland

The only good(ish) news is that the youngest victim was 46: so all were adults without very small children (Mr. Proctor left two teens, one in basic training for the Army) and there were no kids or youths or young adults among the dead. They were all career military or mil-bureaucracy. Some of their life stories can be found here.

Dulce et decorum est..... Eternal rest and memory grant them, O Lord, and may Light Eternal shine upon them.

ADDENDUM: One victim, Mr. Daniels, lost a 14 year old son in another shooting incident four years ago. It never ends, does it?
***

I spent yesterday worrying about an old friend to whom I hadn't spoken in seven years, whom I knew worked in that building. I sent a number of RUOK emails and got no response, neither did I get a "cannot deliver" bounce message. She and I were in the same Army unit once and had been good friends back in the day.

The good news is that last night I was able to catch her at home. She was and is OK. But she passed me some bitter news....

I just found out that my old First Sergeant in my old guard unit died of a self inflicted gunshot wound two years ago. (I'm not going to say his name out of respect for his privacy.)

He had serious PTSD issues--mostly but not all from his Nam days. His son died in 1999 three days after his 18th birthday and he never recovered from the loss.

He was a great guy and a great soldier... in pain all the time from his combat days...

God grant him mercy and eternal rest and memory. He served his nation too, every moment of his adult life. God rest him.

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Keep it clean for gene.