Sunday, June 22, 2008

Final Salute

I just finished a book called "Final Salute: A Story of Unfinished Lives," a book by Pulitzer Prize winner Jim Sheeler. It centers around a Marine casualty assistance officer and the stories of the families most affected by the war. It'd behoove the nation to read it. I wrote a little something about it on VetVoice. Please do take a look!

AH

31 comments:

Queen of the Universe said...

Thanks for doing what you do. I am putting you in my Blogroll, hopefully more folks will take a look.

Keep your head down soldier.

Anonymous said...

quit trying to pimp yourself out. you weren't shit at Fort Lewis, and you ain't shit now.

Alex said...

quit trying to pimp yourself out. you weren't shit at Fort Lewis, and you ain't shit now.


I appreciate the advice. I'll try to tone down the pimping.

raven said...

Anonymous seems like a punk ass motherfucker but I could be wrong.

Jeff said...

"quit trying to pimp yourself out. you weren't shit at Fort Lewis, and you ain't shit now."


I'll bet he walks leaning to the left under the weight of all his medals. Spoken like a true fobbit.

Dad

Queen of the Universe said...

Yeah, the really cool punk ass mofos always post as anonymous.

Demeur said...

Don't you just love trolls?

Anon's probably pissed cause he got stuck cleaning latrines. We can call him the "Head Man" now.

Alex said...

Demeur,

You know you've made it when you get your own trolls!

abstractjenn said...

I just finished this book two days ago. I was at a conference out here in Mass. entitled "Combat Stress: Understanding the Challenges, Preparing for the Return" which was pretty amazing. I had to stop reading the book in public because it was so emotional but you are right it is something everyone should read it gives you a whole new perspective.

I talk about the book and the conference on my blog - please do stop by.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, for my generation it was a book called 'No Bugles, No Drums'. Look it up if you get a chance, good read. The author was one of the survivors of Quang Tri.

Alex, keep on keepin' on, bro. Come home with all your parts. And for the love of the almighty, stop trusting governments. Politicans are pimps and slavers, and governments - ALL GOVERNMENTS - are groups of thugs. Like I always say, let your conscience be yr guide, and demand all illegal orders in writing, if you follow them or not.

Only soldiers really know what I mean when I wish them

PEACE!

JIK

Rick98c said...

Hey, at least anonymous can read and write. There might be hope for him yet. His English and moral fibre could use some work, though.

Anonymous said...

I wouldn't call anonymous names, myself. After reading some of your posts and comments, you think you're something "special". You're not. My son is in Iraq now as an 11B, and he's not complaining about anything via the internets.

Man up...

Alex said...

I wouldn't call anonymous names, myself. After reading some of your posts and comments, you think you're something "special". You're not. My son is in Iraq now as an 11B, and he's not complaining about anything via the internets.

man up...


I'm glad you're speaking from no-hand experience there. I can't think of anyone from my platoon who didn't give the link to my blog to their family to better describe to their families their feelings of our situation. Quoth my friend in an article, "we love his writing and are behind him 100%."
http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/news/localnews/stories/102207dnmetarmyofdude.36aa198.html

You're part of the problem in this country with this "man up" garbage. Venting is a way to not go fucking insane with PTSD. I happen to do it here on a personal website. It's the only place I can be totally honest. So you can cram that bravado bullshit right up your ass, chief.

I hope your son makes it back safe.

Alex said...

Oops, link here.

raven said...

"one of the survivors of Quang Tri"

About the Author
RUDY TOMEDI is a veteran of the Vietnam War who later served in Korea in the armed forces radio and television corps.

Queen of the Universe said...

WOW! More than one negative anon? You are famous now!

Woo hoo!

Hehehe

Victor said...

Everyone in Iraq goes through different experiences. Alex can speak on behalf of most of us in the platoon. If you want spread this bullshit hype of "man up", then obviously you haven't read much of this blog. As I recall Alex never quit during the worst of times. And there was plenty of that.
Man up?? Then why don't you go tell that to the countless number of veterans with PTSD at the VA hospitals.

Victor said...

Quit with the swinging dick competitions. It's pretty fucking childish.


P.S. Even if we don't agree on much, I still do hope your son does make it back alright.

Alex said...

Thanks for gettin' my back, Victor!

Victor said...

No problem.

jessica said...

i picked this up today. i cant get through 2 pages without tearing up.

Anonymous said...

Hell, I'm anonymous too, and your blog does suck. I was there in Mosul, and anonymous was right; you ain't shit. Oh, and who the hell is "Victor"?

Anonymous said...

why you got comment moderation enabled? censoring of speech?

Alex said...

Thank you for the input. Comment moderation is only reserved for tremendous idiots. You barely passed the test.

Victor said...

What the hell does having been in Mosul have to do with anything? You think because we were at the same place, possibly at the same time that we should share the same views?
I can't even argue with you because your post doesn't even contain an argument.

"Hell, I'm anonymous too, and your blog does suck. I was there in Mosul, and anonymous was right; you ain't shit. Oh, and who the hell is "Victor"?


Whats your point?

Jeff said...

Odd, not a single comment here about "Final Salute," the original topic of this thread. I enjoyed reading it while visiting Alex and Lauren over the Independence Day weekend, even though it caused me to shed some tears reading about parents much less fortunate than I.

Dad

Anonymous said...

yawn....you're gay, and so's your blog. you merely act straight so people don't question your masculinity. wassamatta, did laurne leave you?

Alex said...

The previous comment was accepted for its subtle genius. Thank you!

Jeremy Boyd said...

Hey man. Thanks for your blog. I have it on my blogroll. Anyway, it's too bad about these people who want to treat military service as a competition (Swift Boaters ring a bell?). I don't care what your MOS, AFSC, rate, or whatever was. If you served, you've had to put up with way more crap than most civilians. I was in Victory from Aug 06 to Nov 07. I just got out of the Army a few months ago. Also, I was a "fobbit" as one of your respondents so graciously put it. I was a SIGINT Analyst and never fired my rifle once. I did, however, get thrown into a T-wall from a mortar whilst on my to dinner, of all things. I also saw my sister company's commander nearly lose his arm from a rocket that also killed about a dozen Phillipinos (sp?). And I also bore witness to around 35 people get blown to shit while I grabbed my dumb ass private and pulled him inside. I've been back about 8 months now and I'm still having a hard time dealing with it. I'm not so self-centered as to believe that these experiences are any worse or even comparable to what servicemembers who go outside the wire see (my brother was an MP and he has shared some of his experiences with me). All I'm trying to convey is that this ugliness affects each person differently. If anyone wants to call me a coward or a pussy; so be it. I know what I did and what I saw and I have to live my life. If it takes the ridicule of another to make someone feel like a significant human being, I'm happy to provide the fodder. Thanks and take care.

Anonymous said...

Jeremy, I am a retired Infantryman, and retired after a final tour in Iraq to finish out my career. It's far safer outside the wire depending on where you're based. We got stationed as a QRF at this shitty little place called Log Base Seitz that was over by the BIAP to catch a group of mortarers...We never caught them, but got the shit blasted out of us 3-4 times a day for the 2 weeks we were there. I'd much rather be outside the wire than sit in that shithole. Most of the time it's much safer outside than inside. I figure I got mortared/rocketed about 200 times in a year on the FOB's, and blown up by one IED, got shot at by 2 RPG's, and had 3 minor firefights outside the wire...Go figure. We lost 2 guys from mortars inside the wire, and 1 guy outside the wire.

BigIslandMike said...

Alex,
"Final Salute" is one of the most moving books I've read. I quit reading it on the plane because I couldn't read without crying, so I read it at home. Thanks for having the courage to write about your own experiences, knowing that some smaller people will make ad hominem attacks on you rather than reasoned disagreements with what you say.