The casualty counts don’t begin to tell the story of shattered lives resulting from the Iraq war.
Laura Youngblood clutched her husband’s photo as she drove alone to the hospital. She’d become pregnant nearly nine months earlier, the day he’d left for training for Iraq. Hours later, after the baby was born, she placed the photo in the bassinet next to the infant he’d named Emma in his last letter home. He would never hold her.
Petty Officer 3rd Class Travis L. Youngblood, 26, had died two months earlier, killed by an improvised explosive device.
As Americans, we go about our daily lives, oblivious to the war that rages on, and that each day results in casualties, physical, spiritual and emotional.
“I tell people I’m a happily married woman,” (Laura) says, crying.
We are approaching a death toll of 4000. Don’t you just love how the neocons and their apologists rage on about the thousands who died on 9/11, as though that somehow justifies every succeeding death.
“‘How did I end up in this kind of a situation?’ There were a lot of guys that said that,” says Jeff Myers, 48, a tech sergeant in the Pennsylvania Air National Guard from Pillow, Pa. His lips still discharge shrapnel shreds, the residue of two roadside bombs he survived in 2004; a neurologist monitors the concussions he sustained.
In his job as a gunner guarding Army convoys, he saw men so paralyzed by fear they wouldn’t go outside the wire. He saw others die 15 minutes after he was chatting with them.
Travis Youngblood of Florida left his wife, Laura, and two children, who remember him every minute of every day.
“It is hard. I feel bad for my son because he’s 7. He doesn’t know how to ride a two-wheel bike. His daddy was going to teach him,” she says. “I can’t do all the boy things that he wants to do.”
She put together videos so her daughter (Emma, above) will know the father she never met.
“I’m a survivor of the war. I’m a surviving spouse,” Youngblood says. “That’s the best way I can say it because every day you’re surviving.”
And the question remains.
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Copyright 2008 Liberaland