09 October 2013

And What Will You Do?

 *This post has been edited; please see below for updates. 

I cannot express how sad I am to write this post.  I have written drafts with many paragraphs, linked to many sites, raged many rages, cried many tears, but we've all read enough words and seen enough news.

Ultimately, I don't believe that I can write what I want to say.  Instead, I am going to use minimal words and try to get my point across in photos.

I ask that you click on each one; study each face; memorize each detail, for those details are important.

This is Sergeant First Class Matt Blaskowski with his parents, Cheryl and Terry, on his wedding day:

Mattew Blaskowski (Property Jennifer Barko)

This is Matt, with his beautiful bride on that day:

Courtesy Jennifer Barko

This is Matt, with his only sibling, his younger brother, Stan:

This is what Matt said to his father in 2005 while he was home recovering after having been shot during a firefight in Afghanistan.  Despite being injured, he had continued to drag a fellow soldier to safety:  

"I'm not a hero.  The real heroes are the guys that don't make it--those that are killed in action."

Matt recovered and went back to serve his country again in Afghanistan.  He told his grandmother that serving his country was his job and he was proud to do it. 

He was awarded a Silver Star and a Purple Heart for his courageous actions.  Here is a photo of him from that day: 

A bit after midnight on September 23, 2007, his parents heard a car pulling up their driveway.  

They opened the door to the military representatives standing outside of it, despite knowing what would happen once they did.  

They were informed that Matt was shot in the chest and killed by a sniper while his base was under attack.  Matt was 27 years old when he died.

Here is a photo from the last time that Matt arrived home: 

Image property of Jennifer Barko

Matt was an outstanding athlete in school.  Here is a photo of the last time that he went by the school that he attended: 

Image property of Jennifer Barko

Here are some photos from the last time that Matt traveled through the streets of his home town: 

Image property of Jennifer Barko

Image property Jennifer Barko

Image property of Jennifer Barko

Image property Jennifer Barko

Here is a photo of Matt's parents on the day that a memorial was dedicated to him:

Here is a photo of Matt's brother with his daughter on that same day:

Do you see the differences in their faces?  Do you see what losing him did to these people?  Do you feel sick to your stomach with the thought of it?  

I'd ask you to imagine losing your child, your brother, your sister, your husband, your wife, your friend, your uncle, your aunt, your cousin, etc. while they fought on behalf of our country.  

Then I would ask you to imagine being told that the government that sent them off to war, that the country that they died for, was not able to assist you in bringing them home.

Angry yet?  The services that we provide and fund for our veterans and their families should not be selected one by one, the services that we provide to our veterans should be funded, in full, without further ado. 

Enough with the speeches.  Enough with the rhetoric.  Enough with the finger pointing and hyperbole. ENOUGH.  These pictures speak the truth.  Our government is not working for any of us.

Please, speak up; make your message to your "representation" in D.C. clear:  Do your job.  NOW.

"Every citizen should be a soldier. This was the case with the Greeks and Romans, and must be that of every free state."  Thomas Jefferson

*Edited:  I wrote this post with regard to the death benefits that were being withheld from the families of those that lost their lives fighting for our country.  Today those benefits were restored, but MANY, MANY veteran services are STILL NOT EVEN CLOSE to being funded.  You can follow this link to keep abreast of what else our government is not doing for us. 

Following are some other links to stories about Matt. 

1 comment:

Sarah said...

Yes. Yes. Yes.