Back in 2006, the news was full of a horrific story: a convoy deliberately targeted by a complex attack. This Iraqi convoy was carrying reporters, and according to a number of reports, it may well have been the reporters that were the focus, for what better way to ensure coverage? And coverage it got, to the point that it generated some ill-will and backlash for Bob Woodruff got coverage in spades, coverage that few Americans or Iraqi's got even a small fraction of.
At the time, Matt said:
Pray for the recovery of Bob Woodruff and Doug Vogt. I'm sure that they won't ever forget who saved their lives.
More prescient words he may never have spoken.
Bob Woodruff did survive, and both he and his wife are very well aware that he is alive because of our troops. Our troops who risked their lives to get him, give him aid, and get him out. Our troops who treated him as they would one of their own, until such time as he could be put into civilian care. Please trust me when I say that Bob and his lovely wife Lee will never forget those who saved his life, nor will they ever forget our wounded.
They also realized that they are in a unique position. The media frenzy that surrounded him and his injuries was no surprise to those who study people. In short, things are rarely real unless they happen to someone we know; then, it hits home in spades. An intellectual awareness and even understanding is one thing, but when it hits home it hits the heart. What happened to Bob Woodruff hit home with people who had never before been hit in the heart by what was going on.
Bob and Lee simply could not sit by, for they had to do for those who were wounded. So, the Bob Woodruff Foundation was born and with it ReMind. This is not a re-invention of the wheel, for what is done is to raise money that goes to the organizations that DO for our wounded, our troops, and their families. Bob and Lee reach audiences that we in the military blogosphere don't, and have gotten them involved to support those who need it most -- our wounded.
Today, we all work together as ReMind starts Tweet-To-Remind, a campaign to raise $1.65 million for that effort. The idea is fairly simple: Today, 12 May 2009, put up a post or tweet the answer to the question "Who is Your Hero?" Then, if everyone participating and everyone who reads donates $5.25 (or more), guess what could be done in a day? So, who is your hero?
In many ways, mine are all those who serve, open or black -- in particular those with whom I've embedded. But, I want to list some special heros for you, for they paid the ultimate price for what we have today. My Heroes:
Foster Powers, USN killed 1945 on or near Japan during an attack on a Japanese port
SPC Marieo Guerrero, USA, KIA 17 Mar 07, Iraq; A CO 1-18 IN
PFC Damian Lopez, USA, KIA 6 April 2007, Iraq; HHC/1-18 IN
SPC Ryan Dallam, USA, KIA 6 April 2007, Iraq; HHC/1-18 IN
CPT Anthony Palermo, USA, KIA 6 April 2007, Iraq; HHC/1-18 IN
LCPL Jeremy W. Burris, USMC, KIA 8 October 2007, Iraq; 1st Bat 4th Marines
I owe you their stories, for the deserve not merely to be told, but sung unto the hall of feasting. For know, know that each was special, and each is missed.
So, who are your heroes?
Take part, and help us help those who need it most.