Heartbeats of Healing: A Celebration of People, Process and Technology

Heartbeats of Healing: A Celebration of People, Process and Technology

“We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.” – H.G. Wells

photo courtesy of H. Kopp Delaney

Better. Faster. Cheaper. (BFC)

BFC – the mantra of successful business. As well it should be, and needs to be. But sometimes in pursuit of BFC, whether in the life of business or the business of life, you overlook, take for granted, or are blinded to wondrous achievements happening everywhere around you – achievements that not long ago would have been called miracles, or magic.

Suddenly, out of the blue

You come face-to-face with an unexpected life crisis. It happens to everyone, you (yes I’m talking to you, the reader) are not immune.

No one is.

Not now.

Not ever.

And, when it comes to your health, or a loved one’s health, you’re smacked down hard. But, then something happens. A special moment in time. Something that force-face-feeds you to look … to see, not through life-hazed, better, faster, cheaper eyes … but really see.

Something wondrous.

Something magical.

Miracles and miracle-makers in your midst.

Queasy easy? Stop here.

This is a true story. It’s graphic. Reality is rough. Truth is tough. So if you get queasy easy, stop here.

This story describes a complex melding of, and interplay between, some spectacular people, processes and technologies that combine to create a real-life, dynamic human organism. An organism that breathes, reacts, corrects, heals and cures. And, it’s powered by the

Heartbeats of Healing

Photo courtesy of H. Kopp Delaney

At the end of this story you’re going to meet some real-life heroes, day-by-day miracle-makers.

Cincinnati Children’s Hospital – 6 a.m. – A Friday in March

An 11-year-old little girl arrives with her parents. She looks scared.

She is.

She’s here for major spinal surgery. Two operations. Not one … two.

It’s been a long, but quick, road to this point – the pre-op room in Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. She’d been diagnosed with severe scoliosis, a curvature of the spine, eight months ago. The disease had progressed rapidly. It had been hoped that corrective action could be put off until she was in her early teens.

But it couldn’t.

The little girl doesn’t want to be here. Anywhere but here. You can see it in the way her brilliant green eyes dart back and forth. Before she left her home in the morning, she’d locked herself in the room and wouldn’t come out. Then, after cajoling her out of the room, she bolted outside into the darkness of the morning. Tried to run away. Her father chased her down. Brought her back to the car screaming.

She sobbed the entire trip to the hospital.

What is Scoliosis?

This thing “scoliosis” was a monster to her. Why was it chasing her? Why had it now caught her?

Scoliosis is the medical term for curvature of the spine. Spinal deformity is due to a myriad of causes. The etiology (cause or origin) of the most common type of spinal deformity, adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, is unknown, but it’s strongly familial.

Translated … it tends to run in the family.

It affects anywhere from two to five percent of the population, but only 0.6% of people ever need treatment. Females are eight times more likely than males to have the severe type of scoliosis that requires treatment.

Detection

Scoliosis is detected by screenings and x-rays. X-rays are read to determine the degree of curvature in the spine.

The Curve

Typically, angles of curvature (curves) of:

  • 0-10% are within normal ranges
  • 10-30% require continual observation
  • 31-45% require treatment and bracing
  • 45% end up usually requiring surgery
  • 50% and up is considered severe.

This little girl’s angle of curvature was 60 degrees when discovered, and progressed rapidly to over 75 degrees. For each inch she grew upwards in height, another inch was redirected sideways, causing compression on her trunk.

A noticeable hump had begun protruding from her back.

Some of the effects of severe scoliosis can include:

  • Progressive back pain,
  • Cardiac and pulmonary compromise,
  • Deformity, and
  • Dissatisfaction with appearance.

She was here because there were really no good options for her besides surgery. It was the only path of hope to a vibrant, normal, thriving future.

Pre-op

The little girl was ushered into pre-op. She sat on a chair looking incredibly small and vulnerable as a bevy of nurses, doctors, and anesthesiologists spoke with and questioned her. Facts were checked, double-checked and then triple-checked. Many times the same question would be asked.

That’s good.

There was no room for error.

None.

Every possible complication and medical history was explored then re-explored. It had been that way for the previous several months.

The last several weeks had gotten harder and harder on her, as the operation neared. She’d made weekly trips to either donate her own blood for the operation, see her doctors or nurses, and take lung, heart or other tests. But where had all this begun?

Her journey

It turns out that her journey had followed a very well-defined, step-by-step process, hitting points that culminated in her current situation. The steps are:

  • Screening and early detection
  • Observation of changes in deformity over time with informed judgment regarding prognosis and operative/non-operative interventions
  • Surgical planning and operating

Throughout this process the family had a chance to become very comfortable with the hospital, staff and faculty of Cincinnati’s Children Hospital. They were friendly, polite, courteous, and more importantly, internationally recognized innovators in treating this disease.

It also helped to know that Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center had been named one of the 10 best pediatric hospitals in the United States, according to U.S. News & World Report’s Annual “America’s Best Hospitals.”

The pain scale

An anesthesiologist explains a pain scale of 0-10 to her. After the operation, she is to give them a number that describes what her pain feels like. 0=none, 10=worst imaginable. The anesthesiologist then asks her what parent she’d like to accompany her to the operating room to watch her “go to sleep.”

“Neither, I am 11 years old.”

Yes.

She was an 11-year-old after all. Tough and stubborn (in public anyway). Qualities that will serve her well in the next year. But especially in the next two months.

She’s wheeled off to surgery by her own little 11-year-old, stubborn self. She leaves, looking up at the ceiling with a blank vacant stare – brilliant green eyes. You have to wonder what an 11-year-old girl thinks at a moment like that.

The waiting room – 7:30 a.m.

The parents and family sit in the waiting room at the hospital. It’s packed. Loud. perpetual motion. But the chairs are comfortable … sorta.

10:00 a.m. The phone rings at the front desk. A grandmotherly receptionist motions the parents over.

It’s part of the process. To let family members know how things are going. Seems simple doesn’t it? It is. But it’s incredibly effective.

Simple things are good.

The first phase of the two-part operation is progressing smoothly. The objective is to enter through her right rib cage with video-assisted, image-guided surgery (incisional endoscopy).

Innovative technique

This method goes in through the rib cage using three or four small incisions to reach the front of the spine.

Looks something like this

Once inside the chest, the spine is clearly visible and “soft” tissues can be cleaned off exposing the spine. Among other things that I am totally unqualified to write about, I understood, nonetheless, that the connective tissues were released to the spine so that it could be manipulated and made flexible for phase two of the operation which was to take place 7 to10 days later.

Sound scary?

Probably not.

Unless it was you or one of your family members. Then I suspect it might be.

The minimally invasive approach

This is called a “minimally invasive” approach. Minimally invasive surgery utilizes small skin incisions, minimizes the damaging effects of large muscle retraction, and attempts to leave the body as naturally intact as it was prior to surgery.

Translated … feels better, heals better, looks better

Or for you business folks out there, better, faster, cheaper.

The goal is to achieve:

  • rapid recovery,
  • lessen post-operative pain, and
  • leave cosmetically satisfying incisional scars.

Translated … feels better, heals better, looks better

If enough flexibility of the spine can’t be achieved this way, they’ll have to resort to the old-fashioned body-opening. They’d peel her back like a can of tuna from the front to the back of her rib cage, afterwards and forever leaving a big scar.

Time’s Arrow

Moves On

12:00 p.m. – nothing.

1:00 p.m. – nothing.

Overheard conversations. Salutes. Testimonials.

The waiting room begins to empty. Few people are left. The people that remain, begin to bond, open up, and explain why they’re there. And their stories, bar none, are a salute and a testimonial to the skill and reputation of Cincinnati’s Children’s Hospital. The majority of people left, on this Friday in March 2004, are all from out of state.

Not from Cincinnati or Ohio. They’ve flown in from all over the United States to have their children cared for, healed.

Hope of healing

Distance is not a deterrent to the hope of healing.

2:00 p.m. – nothing.

Worry sets in.

3:00 p.m. – nothing.

No matter how comfortable the chairs are, sitting in a waiting room for that long, seeds discomfort – mental and physical. Pacing starts.

3:30 p.m. – finally. The call they’ve been waiting for. Finishing up phase one. All went well.

4:30 p.m. – Family gets to see their young daughter for the first time in the

Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

Did I forget to mention that the operation entailed the little girl being in traction for 10 or more days?

If you ever get a chance to see someone in traction …

Don’t.

If you ever get a chance to see a little child, a little girl, in traction …

Run.

The family’s first sight of their daughter is heart-rending. A great vacuum sucked all the air out of the room. Like being shot in the stomach by a Hellfire Missile.

“The operation went great,” explains the doctor.

But the family, particularly the father, could only stare at the little girl.

What is traction?

Well, there’s the medical definition, then there’s mine. I’ll give you both.

The medical definition of traction

Spinal traction is based on the application of a longitudinal force to the axis of the spinal column. Parts of the spinal column are “pulled” in opposite directions in order to stabilize or change the position of damaged aspects of the spine. The force is usually applied to the skull through a series of weights or a fixation device and requires that the patient is either kept in bed or placed in a halo vest.

Certainly is distractive

Spinal traction relies on the application of a distractive (“upward”) force being applied to the skull while the rest of the body is held in place. The use of a device that is firmly attached to the skull is required for the successful application of this force – a device which is basically a ring that is attached to the head through a series of pins. The traction force is initially applied through both of these devices by fixing the patient’s torso in bed while a series of weights are gradually added.

Got that?

My definition

Think medieval rack.

The girl’s legs have screws about the size of magic markers running completely through both her legs directly above the knee. Darkened blood and tissue-matter are clearly visible.

Okay … one more time.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Grind.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Drilled completely through her legs, above her knees.

What’s that look like?

Looks something like this


The screws stick out of both sides of her legs. Rope is attached to the screws, which wind down to a pulley where weights hang and pull her body downward.

Next?

A horseshoe-shaped metal ring surrounds her head. At the bottom of this ring?

Screws. Or “pins” as they may be called. Screws to me.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Grind.

Buzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Pins drilled and attached to her skull.

At the top of the horseshoe-shaped ring, rope runs up to a pulley where weights hang down. Her head is pulled in the opposite direction from her legs.

Her body is being pulled apart.

Stretched.

Pulled.

What’s that look like?

Sorta like this

Why?

It’s necessary for phase two of the operation. To loosen and straighten the spine gradually, so that the risks (paralysis among others) are diminished.

Traction will be in place for the next 10 days, with the weights increasing daily, until the little girl has 30 pounds pulling her head upwards, and 30 pounds pulling down from her knees.

She’s immobilized with the exception of some movement of her arms.

So. There you have it. My definition and an official medical definition. Either way, do you get the picture? It really is simple. Think medieval rack.

Back to first sight

The little girl is heavily drugged, has IVs inserted in her arms to deliver medicine and food, a catheter to take care of bodily functions, an oxygen mask on to help her breathe, two tubes sticking out of her nose, and a couple of other hoses inserted in various parts of her previously perfect body for trauma drainage purposes.

Very little on her innocent young body has not been penetrated or tapped or wrapped with something.

Technological wonders

The technological marvels wrought by industry research, development, application and availability to perform healing triumphs are, unless you actually see it, almost ineffable.

Tiny thingy on a tiny pinkie

The little girl is hooked up to multiple machines, technological wonders, that monitor all of her important life functions, everything. And a lot of the information comes from a little attached finger wrap that emits a glowing red light.

The red light doesn’t get hot. Or even warm. Not at all. How cool is that?

But through this little red-light finger attachment, her body is monitored and melded with a machine that, when warranted (which is about every 10-15 minutes in this young girl’s case), sets off loud alarms that can either notify of heart stoppage, low oxygen, blood-pressure anomalies or other functions vital to her survival.

Another time. Another place. Magic. Big magic.

The little girl is still bloody in many places over her body. Dried. Dark. Blood. But, she is well sedated and doesn’t seem to notice too much yet. She floats in and out of consciousness.

Pain scale

This is where the pain scale comes in. The nurse asks her what number she feels (0-10), and they respond accordingly, plus she has her own little push-button device that is quite impressive. Whenever she feels pain, she pushes it and self-administers morphine. She can’t overdose herself because the machine is intelligent – programmed with intelligent software that, based upon her weight, age, and various other factors, will only administer a specific dose every eight minutes if needed.

The young girl’s teenage brothers come to see her in the ICU.

After they recover from the initial sight, they look like they have been run over by a truck. The only part visually recognizable to them is her little face covered by an oxygen mask, but even that is swollen.

Bells and tubes

Alert bells constantly go off, oxygen too low, heartbeat too low, pain too high, IVs clogged, IVs empty.

Drainage tubes fill up and need to be emptied, get blocked and cause poisons to seep back into the little girl’s body.

It’s 24-hour, minute-by-minute care. Observations, corrections, logging information, calling doctors … perpetual motion.

Enter the Heartbeat (s)

The technology is advanced, it’s spectacular, best in the world. But without the human touch, the caring touch, the empathetic touch, the healing touch, it’s irrelevant.

The nurses are great. Caring, courteous, attentive, empathetic, responsive. Seems as if they have turbojet shoes on. The slightest alarm and they race in.

A near-disaster

11:00 p.m. The drainage tube which runs up from her stomach and out of her nose, pulling poisons and waste from her stomach gets blocked and backs up. The little girl begins to vomit.

She’s laying on her back.

Immobilized.

The little girl can’t move her head. She can’t stand. She can’t roll her head to the side because the screws stick too far out of her head.

She is suffocating in her vomit.

The nurse rushes in and with the little girl’s mother’s help, cleans and suctions out the vomit – she begins to breathe again.

The tube got blocked. No mistake. Just something that can happen. A lot of poison, waste and drainage can muck up a tube.

Try this at home … not

The tube needs to be replaced. It’s pulled up from the depths of her stomach, with the black gooey poison and waste splattering everywhere. Up and out through her nose accompanied by a heavily drugged pained yelp.

Then … a new one. A bigger tube is inserted and pushed back through her nose into her stomach.

Garden hose up your nose

A very painful process. Like shoving a garden hose up your nose and down into your stomach. The gagging reflex kicks in. The little girl now has two bigger tubes running down her throat. They will stay there for the next 12 days.

After day one, the little girl has to be turned. Turned you say? That doesn’t sound bad.

Well, she is strapped to a special bed called a “Stryker.” It’s designed so it can be flipped upside down with the patient secured by straps and a large oval, metal bar.

The Stryker


Four nurses come in, take special straps, and secure them. They get the top part of the stretcher and put it on top of the little girl.

They then get a large metal bar, which has to be forced down, vise-like, until it clamps on the other side.

When it’s secured, and the little girl is squashed inside, moaning (or screaming in pain), the nurses rotate the bed upside down. This takes a lot of physical effort and concentrated attention because all the tubes and IVs have to be carefully held and flipped at the same time so they don’t kink.

Oh … did I forget to mention

That the traction stays in place and is flipped at the same time?

Then, when the little girl is upside down, they release the clamps and the top half of the bar is removed. She’s now facing down. This takes about five to ten minutes, and will be done at least once every shift for the next 12 days.

CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL – BUILDING A-6N


The Home of the Heartbeats of Healing

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

– Kahil Gibran

On day three after the operation, she is transferred from the ICU to a special unit at Children’s Hospital, A-6N.

During the next two weeks, the nurses care for her like she was their own child.

That’s right.

They care for her with the same attention and love that a mom, dad, or family member would.

Could you ask for any more than that?

Battling, struggling, healing, hoping

One has to wonder how the nurses that see this kind of trauma and pain on a daily basis, cope with it. They’re in the trenches. Battling. Struggling. Healing. Hoping.

You just have to be a special kind of person.

Very special.

You just have to be a … “ Heartbeat of Healing.”

A-6N Heartbeats never sleep

For the next seven days, it’s a series of beeps, alerts, moans and screams.

Twenty-four hours a day for seven straight days.

Words no parent ever wants to hear:

“Daddy I can’t breathe.”

“Mommy I’m going to throw up.”

She was strapped down. Pinned by weights. Quietly pulling and stretching, with the connective muscle and tissues disconnected from around her spine.

She can’t stand the thought of going to the bathroom being immobilized the way she is – an insufferable indignity for an 11-year-old girl. Everyone had to leave the room … except the nurse.

More words a parent never wants to hear:

“Let me up! I can’t move!”

“I can’t see. I can’t see!”

She’s in constant pain and heavily medicated. Morphine. Dilaudid. Roxicet. Valium … and many, many more. Wonderful pain-management tools. If it were possible, you’d wish there was a way to induce a healing coma so the innocent victims could sleep through these kinds of operations. But some of the medications have side effects on the little girl. Hallucinations for one.

Dreaming when you’re awake … no fun

“I hate this! I can’t stop dreaming when I’m awake. Make it quit.”

This goes on, and on, and on. And the nurses were there.

All the time.

Every time.

Can you say any more than that?

Yes … some of the nurses stopped by on their off hours. Get that? Their off hours.

One nurse brought in her own personal shampoo for the little girl, who has a flowing mane of locks as thick as the earth’s mantle. They shampooed her, then helped braid her hair.

On their own time.

“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every passerby leaves a mark.”

– Chinese Proverb

There was never a 15 to 20-minute respite when something wasn’t happening. Noises. Alarms. Cleaning. Doctors. Nurses.

And each day more weights were added in traction. To pull her head north, her torso south.

One amazing thing … so extra-step

I noticed immediately. I think because it seemed so unusual … so “extra-step.” The nurses not only empathized and treated the little girl like she was their own child, but were spectacular with the family – the father, mother, brothers, and visiting relatives, anyone who was present in the room with their little 11-year-old angel. The nurses brought food, drinks, videos, blankets, pillows, towels … you name it for whatever family member was there.

“What dazzles, for the moment spends its spirit;
What’s genuine, shall posterity inherit.”

– Goethe

They took a genuine interest.

Genuine.

That’s hard to find this day isn’t it?

SECOND OPERATION – PHASE 2

One week and a lifetime later, the little girl was back on the operating table again.

She went in for the second operation at 7:30 a.m.

11:30 a.m.: The waiting room phone rings for the parents. All the blood the little girl and her family donated over the previous six weeks for the operation, enough to normally do the operation … is already gone. They ask for the parents’ “okay” to go to the blood bank.

Ever seen a squashed possum in the middle of the road? That eerie, dead, glazed eyeball look? If not, had you been in the waiting room with the little girl’s parents, you would have.

12:00 p.m. … 1:00 p.m. … 2:00 p.m. … 3:00 p.m. … nothing.

Silence can be scary

RING –

Complications. Nothing major. Should be done in 1-2 hours.

4:00 p.m.

5:00 p.m.

RING – Another hour or so.

7:00 p.m. – Finished.

ICU … AGAIN – 7:30 p.m.

Back where she started. Back in ICU again. The little girl had been on her stomach for a long time, opened up from the top of her butt almost to the tip of her spine.

What’s that look like? Well … sorta like this.

Stainless steel rods were implanted along the sides of the spine connected by pedicles (hooks and nuts). It looked like a high-tech, internal latticework.

What’s that look like?

Sorta like this … a before and afterThe little girl is once again traumatized. Her eyes are swollen shut and she looks like she just got out of a world-heavyweight boxing match.

But the traction weights have been reduced down to 10 lbs. and should be off in 2-3 days.

That’s good. Really good. Once again, she is in and out of a heavily drugged consciousness.

THEN

The next day, 7 a.m.. The swelling has noticeably reduced. A neurologist comes in.

More words no parent ever wants to hear

The neurologist quickly notices something wrong – he asks her to follow his fingers. Only her right eye moves and follows. The other one is frozen in the middle. Stuck. Paralyzed? It causes her to look cross-eyed.

Here’s what the neurologist said:

“Is there a history of stroke in the family?”

Here’s what the family heard:

“Trouble. She might have had a stroke.”

The team of doctors that came in shortly was like a world-class, high-tech SWAT team attacking a holed-up terrorist. Neurologists, Ophthalmologists, Orthopedic Surgeons, and on and on … trying to figure out what was wrong. They poured over her medical records for her entire stay to date, line-by-line, looking for anomalies.

No MRI possible

An MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) was needed on her brain. The neurologist wanted it done immediately.

But … it couldn’t be done immediately.

Why?

Traction. The metal pins were still screwed into her head and the horseshoe-shaped metal bar. If they took them off prematurely, it could cause paralysis.

A dark night of the soul for any parent

During the operation, the little girl had to have blood transfusions. One unpleasantly little-known side effect of a blood transfusion.

Internal itching.

Total body itching. But that’s not too bad.

“Daddy I itch! On the inside. Something is crawling inside me.”

It feels like it comes from the inside of your body. Imagine having 1,000 termites inside your body.

Once again, the nurses ride in with their heartbeats throbbing. They caress her little face, hands, legs, and administer anti-itch medicine.

At 1:00 a.m. that night the father thanks them profusely. He recalls the night before her operation to the nurses. She forced him to go see a  Johnny Depp movie called “Secret Window” with her.

Just her and her Dad. Dad and growing daughter.

Cotton candy; oily, buttery popcorn; cokes and snowcaps.

Normal.

Just normal.

You don’t truly appreciate the “normal” moments until abnormal knocks you in the head.

What happened?

The doctors had no explanation for her condition. They thought maybe because blood loss was substantial and the operation was long, the brain may have shut down blood flow and oxygen to that side, or to the nerve that controls the eyes. (The brain does that when it thinks the body is dying, trying to protect vital organs.)

Prognosis? Maybe her eyesight would come back in 4-6 months.

Maybe it wouldn’t.

Ever. Just didn’t know.

Even with the greatest technologies and knowledge in the medical world, this was an inexplicable occurrence.

Healing and the internet

The little girl’s father was having a difficult time with this. He went outside into the dreary, drizzly night for a private moment. When it’s late, dark, and you walk out into a dreary raining night, thoughts can haunt you, guilt can overwhelm. He recalls forcing her into the car to drive her to the operation, after she had made an attempt to run away into the early morning darkness.

Now this. Could it have been done differently? Later? Another time? Another day?

He went back upstairs to A-6N. When the little girl slept, he would check his e-mail.

A strange thing happened.

A lot of people had put this little girl on their internet prayer groups. The father began receiving notes, e-mails, cards from people and churches all over the world saying they were praying for her.

The networking effect of the internet was pretty amazing. It took him totally off-guard. Massive amounts of e-mail, mail, gift baskets, etc., began pouring in.

Doctors don’t care

On the fourth day after the operation, her eye began to move again.

Why?

Who knows … was there a correlation between the internet prayer group campaign and her turnaround?

Who knows.

I’ve spoken with some doctors and researched this phenomenon. There is quite authoritative and quantitative research that shows prayer actually works in the healing process.

Why?

No one knows really.

But the doctors I spoke to didn’t care.

It worked. And that’s all that mattered to them. It worked. Anything that helped further the healing process was fine by them.

Finally

Traction was removed. A simple thing. Unscrew the pins in her skull. Then to the leg. Know how those screws come out?

I won’t tell you. But

You get the picture?

Every Day, in Every Way, Better and Better


Each day her eye functioning got better and better. It slowly returned to normal six weeks later.

No reason. Just came back on its own.

“Pretty much all the honest truth-telling there is in the world is done by children.”

– Oliver Wendell Holmes

The little girl rebounded quickly. She was in the wheelchair for the first couple of days, then she refused to ride in it anymore. She was quickly moved to a “walker” which she shortly thereafter determined to be “un-cool.”

She just wanted to get out of the hospital so bad. To her she had been there a lifetime and was seriously worried that

“My Cat Won’t Even Remember Me!”


She’s in a brace now for the next six months.

But, in a testimonial to the world-class skill and expertise of the doctors and nurses of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital … they originally thought that they could only correct her spinal deformity 50% … which still would have left a big curve. The X-rays were incredible. They had nearly straightened it perfectly. Like a flagpole. But, a costly side effect? The little girl grew several inches in height … in one single day!

“I’ll need a new wardrobe Dad.”

Now she is learning to walk again (looks like the Tin Man on the “Wizard of Oz” ).

But in my opinion, she is a little miracle girl. A miracle brought about by the doctors and nurses – the Heartbeats of Healing – of Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

Oh … before I introduce you to them, I almost forgot … the little girl’s name?

It’s Stephie.

We, amazingly enough, share the same last name.

And, there’s a reason for that. She’s my daughter.

Instauratio Magna – The Great Renewal

What to draw from this? This story? These Heartbeats of Healing?

All kinds of things I guess. But for me, personally, it was an overwhelming gratefulness. Or, as Roger Bacon once wrote “Instauratio Magna,” a great renewal.

A gratefulness for being alive in this day and age. Had this been many years ago, she’d probably be doomed to paralysis, deformity, pulmonary and neurologic compromise.

Gratefulness for a personal awakening to the magic and everyday miracle workers that are often overlooked by a better, faster, cheaper pursuit mentality.

Grateful for a second chance at a normal life for the little girl.

Grateful for the nurses who gave her sustenance, and

and healing (and painkillers, man the painkillers, morphine, vicodin, roxcet, dilaudin, oxycotin and a gazillion others) but mostly for treating her like she was their own daughter. There is no word that expresses the thanks for the comfort that gave.

Grateful for the doctors, technology, and researchers that paved the way for today’s doctors.

“Bear in mind that the wonderful things you learn in school are the works of many generations. All this is put in your hands as your inheritance in order that you may receive it, honor it, add to it and one day faithfully hand it on to your children.”  -Albert Einstein

Grateful for the doctors who pioneer these life-enabling surgeries and perform them every day – even at the risk of being sued out of business. One mistake equals paralysis and a life gone awry.

Grateful for all the people I have never met, nor probably will, that took time out of their busy lives to say a prayer for a little girl they had never met, nor probably will.

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Ghandi

Grateful yes. That’s the word. But also changed. “Instauratio Magna.”

And Now … Introducing Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center logo America’s best children’s hospitals by US News.

HEARTBEATS OF HEALING

Healers. Miracle–workers. Professional experts that daily perform life-saving and enabling surgeries. Unless you see them in action, it’s hard to believe.

If you are ever in Cincinnati and want to meet some world-class heroes – doctors, nurses and administrators – or need their specialized healing services …

Here they are.


TO ALL THE NURSES OF CINCINNATI CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL A6-N!

So many wonderful nurses I’m afraid if I named all 70 of them I would miss one. Each and every one was courteous, caring, wonderfully responsive and empathetic. Special thanks to Janelle for bringing in her own shampoo, and Nita for laughing so much, and Kelly for being so patient, loving, caring and responsive even when she had 2,000 things going wrong at the same time. I suspect Kelly could have been an Olympic sprinter based upon what I saw. And, Lauren, for understanding a dazed and confused look for what it was. An Ophthalmologist described in complex detail the nerves that may have been damaged to cause Stephie’s eye to lock up. Lauren went back out and asked the doctor to come back and translate what she said into English for me. Explain in simple laymen’s terms. And, a heartfelt

A Super-Duper-Califragilisticexpialidocious Thanks

to each and every A6-N nurse. Each one, bar none, was spectacular. A real-life MASH teamwork and high-tech professionalism that’s almost too amazing for words.

And also to …

Peggy W. Beavin, RN, CNS

The Head Nurse. Peggy always smiled. Even when she probably wanted to smack me upside the head. So polite. So courteous. So strong when she needed to be.

Darlene A. Brooks, RN, BS

A real sweetie. Children flock to her. I know Stephie did. (No picture available. But I would like to ask her what the BS stands for.)

And NURSE CINDY!

Darlene and Cindy were Stephie’s special spinal nurses. Always answered our concerns and calls (still do). They made the unintelligible understandable. Allayed the fears. Comforted the heart. Could you ask for any more?

The Doctors:

Junichi Tamai, MD

Dr. Junici Tamai, Assistant Professor Clinical Affiliated of Pediatric Orthopaedics, University of Cincinnati Medical and the lead surgeon on Stephie. He was tireless in his efforts. Truly spectacular in his work. The results of the X-rays are unbelievable. Can you imagine what it is like to cut open a child from neck to butt, and work on her spine for hours on end, knowing the slightest mistake could lead to paralysis?

Needs work on his sense of humor though. When Stephie’s brace was taken off the first time to be checked, she had an unusual anomaly. If you touched her on the lower back or got within an inch of it, she started giggling, jumping, or laughing. When I suggested he may have “wired something wrong, perhaps the ‘giggle reflextor-rectus nerve’ in Stephie’s back,” it took him a little while to see the humor in it.

That’s okay. He can wire the giggle reflextor-rectus nerve wrong anytime he wants. Just keep on healing, Dr. Tamai.  But, if you have a spare guide to “humor and understanding the giggle reflextor-rectus nerve response,” feel free to send it to him. E-mail: Junichi.tamai@cchmc.org

Alvin H. Crawford, MD, FACS

Dr. Alvin Crawford, world-renowned Professor of Pediatric Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Cincinnati Medical Center. Supervised and assisted Dr. Tamai. Dr. Crawford, is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery and neurofibromatosis, and is the director of pediatric orthopaedics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center.  E-mail: alvin.crawford@cchmc.org

Eric J. Wall, MD

Dr. Eric Wall, Director of Outpatient Services,  assisted and worked with Dr. Tamai during the operation(s). Warm, friendly, concise, kids love him.  E-mail: eric.wall@cchmc.org

ALMOST THE END

This article was originally written in 2004. It’s being updated now because of the remarkable progress Stephanie made. She was in a body cast for 6 months. Her prognosis for ever playing sports again was poor – too dangerous. But, she kept working at it, her body kept healing, and in her freshman year she made the high school soccer team.

It’s also being updated because Stephanie doesn’t remember much of what happened. And that’s good. But this article will remain here – in this ethereal, eternal digital world –  if she ever wants to know what really happened.

And who to really thank.

An Affair Shakes the Presidency … In Scandal or Crisis, Character is the Still the Coin of the Realm

An Affair Shakes the Presidency … In Scandal or Crisis, Character is the Still the Coin of the Realm

These are tough times. Unstable times. Uncertain times that will test the vision, spirit and mettle of everyone – in life and in business.

These are times when things could go radically and drastically wrong, or … a person or persons, will step up, and by force of one character trait – mold the future direction of our world in a positive way. It’s a test really.

Do we have what it takes to pass?

Do you?

Sometimes you’re confronted with a scandal or crisis not of your own making and that becomes yourtrue test of character … especially when everyone in the world is looking.

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

 – Abraham Lincoln

FLUNKING THE TEST

When the test of character is flunked …

  • families and friendships can be ruined,
  • businesses destroyed, and
  • governments brought down.

The story and interview that follows is not about avoiding a scandal or crisis, but how one American President through strength of character dealt with a situation that threatened his presidency, his reputation, his place in history and America’s credibility.

AN AFFAIR SHAKES THE PRESIDENCY

In the mid 1980’s, President Ronald Reagan’s presidency was threatened by a looming scandal – The Iran-Contra affair. His reputation and the ability to lead the United States forward in hopes of ending the Cold War were in imminent danger.

At that critical moment, President Reagan decided to call the Ambassador to NATO, Dr. David M. Abshire, back to serve in the cabinet as Special Counselor.

TRANSPARENCY EXPEDITIOUS (not a disease)

Dr. Abshire’s mission?

Ensure a full investigation of the sale of arms to Iran in exchange for freeing American hostages and the subsequent funneling of those funds to Nicaraguan rebels. And (here’s the tough part) do it expeditiously and transparently, to restore the confidence of the nation in the shaken Reagan presidency.

That phrase sound familiar? To restore the confidence of a nation?

WHY DR. ABSHIRE?

Character. Competence. Commitment. Objectivity. Experience.

“The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it.” – Theodore Roosevelt

Dr. Abshire co-founded the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C. His extensive experience, including service as Assistant Secretary of State and later as NATO Ambassador, gives him a perspective both unique and insightful.

He is currently the president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency and also president of the Richard Lounsbery Foundation.Dr. Abshire was Ambassador to NATO where, in reaction to the threat posed by Soviet SS-20 missiles, he was the United States point man in Europe for deployment of Pershing and Cruise missiles. It was this NATO success that convinced the Soviets to sign the historic INP Treaty and withdraw their missiles. Ambassador Abshire initiated a new conventional defense improvement effort so that NATO would not have to rely heavily on nuclear weapons. For this, he was given the highest Defense Department civilian award – its Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Dr Abshire has received the John Carroll Award for outstanding service by a Georgetown University alumnus; the Distinguished Graduate Award of the United States Military Academy; the 1994 U.S. Military Academy’s Castle Award; the Gold Medal of the Sons of the American Revolution; the Baylor Distinguished Alumni Award; the Order of the Crown (Belgium); Commander de l’Ordre de Leopold (Belgium); the Medal of the President of the Italian Republic, Senate, Parliament and Government; Grand Official of the Order of the Republic of Italy; Order of Diplomatic Service Merit Heung-In Medal (Korea); the insignia of the Commander, First Class, Order of the Lion of Finland; in 1999, the Order of the Liberator (Argentina); and in May 2001, the Order of the Sacred Treasure Gold and Silver Star (Japan). In addition to the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, he was awarded the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Dr. Abshire received his bachelor’s degree from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

In the Korean War, he served as a platoon leader, company commander, and a division assistant intelligence officer. He received The Bronze Star with Oak Leaf Cluster with V for Valor, Commendation Ribbon with medal pendant, and Combat Infantry Badge. He was awarded his Ph.D. in History from Georgetown University with honors (Gold Key Society). He received a Doctor of Humane Letters from Virginia Theological Seminary in 1992 and a Doctor of Civil Law, honoris causa, from the University of the South in 1994.

SAVING THE REAGAN PRESIDENCY

In 1987, Dr. Abshire served as a Special Counselor to President Reagan with Cabinet rank, to coordinate the Iran-Contra investigation, and had authority to meet with the President alone.

THE INTERVIEW

Steve: What was your most memorable moment in the crisis with President Reagan that best showcased his strength of character and determination?

Dr. Abshire: I would say that my most memorable moment with President Reagan was the initial phone conversation that I had with him in December 1986. At the time, I was at Truman Hall, my NATO Ambassadorial residence, and I had read all about the trouble the President was in regarding the sale of arms to Iran for hostages. The President requested I come back to Washington to be his special counselor – with cabinet rank – during this crisis and that I would report directly to him.

There are two very important things about this phone call that show Reagan’s strengths and character as a leader:

The fact that he called me personally and did not leave it to one of his staffers shows just how serious of a situation he was in, and just how important it was to him personally to climb out of this dilemma.

Other leaders in his position – who did not care about setting things right – would have left this job to somebody else. The fact that he didn’t says volumes about his determination to get ahead of this crisis.

The fact that he even requested a Special Counselor to help facilitate the crisis from the White House – with the job of getting everything out with no executive privilege – shows that he was concerned with setting things right.

President Reagan was concerned with his reputation as a leader and didn’t want to offer an opportunity for anybody to impugn his integrity and character saying that there was a cover-up.

 Steve: What was the most important thing you learned from this experience?

Dr. Abshire: The most important thing I learned is that when you get in a hole, do not dig it deeper; come clean, get outside help, and climb out of it.

 If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything. 

– Mark Twain

Steve: Examples?

Dr. Abshire: There are many instances of presidents – take Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton for example – that dug their hole deeper until they couldn’t get out.

Nixon did not know about the initial Watergate break in, but he covered up the investigation.

Clinton, instead of admitting to his infidelity at the onset – which is not a crime, made the mistake of lying to a grand jury to hide it from his wife and family and came very close to impeachment.

Reagan, on the other hand, took the necessary steps to save his presidency, which leads me to my second point: the creation of the Tower Board.

Reagan empowered a bipartisan committee to investigate his involvement in the Iran-Contra scandal. This step was essential to show the public and Congress that he was serious about investigating any wrong doing that may have happened on his watch. The President could not get out of his hole or create the Tower Board without “reaching out” – both to myself and to other Members of Congress.

By reaching out and involving Congress in the progress of the investigation, the President gave them a stake in its outcome and also a feeling that they were intimately involved in the process as a whole.

Steve: What surprised you most about this experience with President Reagan?

Dr. Abshire: I was most surprised by the practical nature of the President.

For all talk of a Reagan and Conservative Revolution in the early 1980s with its anti-Communist sentiments, I was pleasantly surprised by Reagan’s philosophy – he was not an ideologue. I was impressed with his ability to shift America’s strategy to face the shifting currents of the times and not to strictly adhere to any ideological plank.

Steve: Example?

Dr. Abshire: A fine example of this characteristic was when – after he had referred to the Soviet Union as the “Evil Empire” – he came to an agreement with Mikhail Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland to reduce nuclear weapon stockpiles and to limit production of entirely new types of nuclear weapons.

“Sow a thought; reap an action.
Sow an act; reap a habit.
Sow a habit; reap a character.
Sow a character; reap a destiny.”
– Charles Reader

Steve:   So, in the end – for pauper, prince, president or pope …

Dr. Abshire:  In scandal or crisis, character is always the coin of the realm.

###

Non Vi Sed Arte – Not by Strength, by Guile

killingrommelThis was originally going to be an interview with the international best-selling author Steven Pressfield about his historical thriller, Killing Rommel. Steven is a master storyteller. His works, such as The Virtues of War: A Novel of Alexander the Great, and The Afghan Campaign, and many others are legendary among military aficionados. His book, Gates of Fire: An Epic Novel of the Battle of Thermopylae, is required reading at West Point.

While talking with Steven about Killing Rommel, we wandered off the beaten path a bit to discuss the power of story – in business and life – to move people to higher grounds. The kind of power that can inspire people to perform great feats of selflessness and humanity. But, we didn’t stop there – we derailed onto troublesome questions of morality, character and ethics.

Great Stories are Questions

Really great historical stories make you a part of the past. You’re there. You smell the smells. Hear the sounds. Taste the foods. Trod the paths. But most importantly, they make you think – force you to question the very tenets and precepts of life you may have previously taken for granted … or not even thought of at all.

Questions that allow you to commune with the past, in the present, about the future. But, much as Heraclitus says …

You can not step twice into the same river; for other waters are ever flowing on to you. – Heraclitus

You may also feel great loss when the story ends. Killing Rommel does that. It raises questions that transcend the story itself.

The Setting

Autumn, 1942. Hitler’s legions have swept across Europe. France has fallen. Churchill and the English are isolated on their island. In North Africa, Rommel and his Panzers have routed the British Eighth Army and stand poised to overrun Egypt, the Suez, and the oilfields of the Middle East. With the outcome of the war hanging in the balance, the British hatch a desperate plan – send a small, highly mobile, and heavily armed force behind German lines to strike a blow that will stop the Afrika Korps in its tracks.

Killing Rommel – 10 Minute Mini-Docu

Narrated from the point-of-view of a young lieutenant, Killing Rommel brings to life the flair, agility, and daring of this extraordinary secret unit – the Long Range Desert Group.

Non Vi Sed Arte

Stealthy and lethal as the scorpion that serves as their insignia, they live by the motto — Non Vi Sed Arte (Not by Strength, by Guile) – as they gather intelligence, set up ambushes, and execute raids.

KILLING ROMMEL: A splendid tour de force, one that brings to life the heroism, sacrifice, tragedy, frustration, fear and — yes — thrill of war. It should not be missed by anyone who wants a moving reminder of the bravery, ingenuity and sacrifice that ordinary men are capable of when given a cause they believe in.” – Washington Post

Enter Steven Pressfield

Steve Kayser: What led you to this story, Killing Rommel, this man, this time, this war?

Steven Pressfield: I was researching Alexander the Great’s cavalry tactics for a couple of earlier books. That led me to Frederick the Great, to Napoleon, and to other more contemporary cavalry commanders. Then, I came across Rommel. He used tanks with the same dash and aggressiveness as Alexander used cavalry. Even though I thought of writing a story strictly about Rommel nothing was clicking. Finally I stumbled upon the British Long Range Desert Group. Something about them grabbed me. I just had to tell the story of these guys – and Rommel.

Steve Kayser: Grabbed you?

Steven Pressfield: Yes. They were a bunch of ordinary, (but special) guys, out in the desert, no roads, no GPS, no CNN or Fox News, no ammo, just some old Chevrolet trucks, and a couple of machine guns … 500 miles behind enemy lines.

Steve Kayser: No Jeeps?

Steven Pressfield: Just Chevrolet trucks. They bought them at a civilian dealership in Cairo.

Steve Kayser: Those are not ordinary guys. I know. I read the posting for the job.

“Only men who do not mind a hard life, with scanty food, little water and lots of discomfort, men who possess stamina and initiative, need apply.”

Steven Pressfield: Ordinary guys in extraordinary circumstances. That posting you refer to was a quote was from the initial British Army Circular, summer 1940, seeking volunteers for what would become the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG).

Steve Kayser: They teamed up with an exceptional unit, the SAS?

Steven Pressfield: Yes. The SAS is the British equivalent of our American Special Forces. SAS stands for Special Air Service. Full of some amazing swashbuckling characters –Paddy Mayne, the most decorated British soldier of WWII, Jock Lewes, George Jellicoe, Sandy Scratchley; Randolph Churchill, son of Prime Minister Winston Churchill and others.

The original conception of the SAS was that they would be a parachute-borne commando outfit. But after one debacle in which men were dropped into a sandstorm and many were lost, the whole concept looked like it would flop horribly. It so happened though that David Stirling (founder of the SAS) was talking with a young LRDG officer who suggested that the SAS forget parachuting (too dangerous) and let the Long Range Desert Group deliver them like a taxi service to their raids. Thus was born a partnership that gave Rommel more headaches than anyone could have imagined.

Steve Kayser: Their mission?

Steven Pressfield: In the darkest hour of the North African war (summer 1942) – when Rommel’s panzers were poised 60 miles from Alexandria and the British in Cairo were burning their code books waiting to be overrun at any moment – the LRDG and the SAS are dispatched on a desperate mission. Their instructions are to use the deep desert routes known only to them, get in the rear of the Afrika Korps and penetrate its formations in the field. From there, they are to locate Rommel and go in after him.

The peril of the hour moved the British to tremendous exertions, just as always in a moment of extreme danger things can be done which had previously been thought impossible. Mortal danger is an effective antidote for fixed ideas.” – Field Marshal Erwin Rommel
Steve Kayser: Why was Rommel so important? He was just one man.

We have a very daring and skillful opponent against us, and,may I say across the havoc of war, a great general.” – Winston Churchill

Steven Pressfield: Rommel had gained the world’s respect for his military genius. He was a legend.

“There exists a real danger that our friend Rommel is becoming a kind of magical or bogey-man to our troops, who are talking far too much about him. He is by no means a superman, although he is undoubtedly very energetic and able. Even if he were a superman, it would still be highly undesirable that our men should credit him with supernatural powers.” – British General Claude Auchinleck

Steven Pressfield: At the same time, Rommel was reminiscent of the more romantic, chivalrous days of old – and was a genuinely humane military officer. Rommel was Germany’s best General. You have to remember all of Europe was in Nazi hands at the time. The Americans hadn’t entered the war yet. Russia was being attacked by 166 Nazi divisions. Things were grim. And Rommel, the greatest desert fighting general of all time, and his Africa Korps, were kicking the British’s butt, pushing them back to Cairo. It became a case where the war might have been lost right there.

Steve Kayser: Chivalrous in war? Can you give an example?

Steven Pressfield: When Rommel’s panzers overran a British field hospital where the staff had elected not to flee but to stay with their patients (who were German and Italian as well as British and Commonwealth), Rommel visited the site at once, shook the hand of every doctor and nurse and thanked them personally. He asked them to stay on until he could bring up his own Afrika Korps medical personnel (the British readily agreed), then made it a point of honor not to make them prisoners of war but to have them repatriated through neutral Switzerland. Can you imagine something like that happening today?

Steve Kayser: No. Today they’d be sent back without their heads. If they were sent back at all. You mentioned that the battle in North Africa was marked by an astonishing amount of self-restraint among combatants.

Steven Pressfield: Yes. Rommel himself wrote an account of his experiences in North Africa. He titled it Krieg Ohne Hass,War Without Hate.” Deliberate self-restraint was a fact on the ground in the North Africa campaign of ’40 to ’43. Machine gunners on both sides routinely held their fire when crewmen bailed out of shot-up tanks, stretcher-bearers were permitted to dash into the open to collect the wounded. In dressing stations and field hospitals, it was not uncommon for soldiers of the Axis and Allies to be treated side-by-side – often by German and British doctors working shoulder to shoulder.

Steve Kayser: War without hate. Deliberate self-restraint. Allowed enemy soldiers to be treated by his doctors. That took a lot of courage on his part.

Steven Pressfield: More than you know. He was ordered several times by Hitler to “Stand and Die.” To fight to the last bullet, the last man. To execute and torture prisoners. He defied those orders.

Steve Kayser: You tell the story through a young lieutenant who was not a professional soldier. In fact, far from it. He was an average guy in college then … the war came.

Steven Pressfield: Yes. I wanted to examine the actions of ordinary men under extraordinary circumstances. To ask the question if, in the end, their very ordinariness wasn’t what saved them and brought them ultimately to victory.

Steve Kayser: Was there actually a real mission to kill Rommel?

Steven Pressfield: Yes. It was on one of Rommel’s camps called Beda Litoria, which was an Italian town. The Brits thought Rommel was there and they attacked at night with special forces. But he wasn’t there. They killed a bunch of Afrika Korps soldiers, then they were killed themselves. The interesting part was that Rommel had the British soldiers buried with honor, alongside his defenders.

Steve Kayser: To me, Killing Rommel is a story layered with morals, courage and questions. Lots of questions. What question or issue were you trying to shine the most light on?

Steven Pressfield: The issue of morality in warfare. Not just in theoretical terms but from the point-of-view of the individual soldier on the ground. Today, in the era of suicide bombers and global terrorism and the response to terrorism, (which is a moral question equally as important), I wanted to shine a light on another time and a different way of fighting a war. And not a wimpy war, but the most devastating, all-out conflict in the history of humankind.

Is it possible for men to retain their humanity while fighting for the very survival of civilization? What part do ethics, chivalry and self-restraint play in modern armed conflict? Are these some quaint holdovers from a vanished past? Or, can the honorable actions of officers and men actually help produce victory?

LAST QUESTION:

Steve Kayser: Could people like General Rommel or General Patton make it today, or even exist – with all the constraints of Western political correctness? Realistically? Take General Patton, for example. Charming, yet mean as a snake. Dyslexic, yet brilliant. His temper and rash acts made people question his intelligence. He could be vicious and violent, yet a gentleman. He was a history buff that seemed to live life outside his own time – almost as if he had lived before. Kind-hearted and callous, he prayed on his knees but cussed like a sailor. He was stone-faced in battle, but cried like a baby for his fallen soldiers. His men called him “Old Blood and Guts.” If you ever read his poem “Through a Glass Darkly,” you will be touched, astounded or shocked at the depth of his vision and intelligence. But could Patton make it today? I say no.

Steven Pressfield: Good question. They were very different – yet very much alike. Noble warriors. But it is men and women of moral strength and character like them that have to surface when you’re facing an implacable foe. Especially when you’re fighting for the very survival of your civilization.

Leaders with Character, Chivalry and Courage – Relics of the Past?

What do you think?

And what about yourself?

Have you faced difficult moments in your life where you chose the tough road, the politically incorrect but right path, and paid the price – by way of money, job, relationships or self-respect? What did you learn?

Would you do anything different?

Let me know.

Please keep answers to 100 words. Email me with the subject line GREAT LEADERS at Skayser@cincom.com.

Best 10 reponses will win a copy of KILLING ROMMEL.

End

About Steve Pressfield:

Since this is a different kind of story, I decided to to do an Animotorized bio-pictorial “About Steven Pressfield.” Why is it different? Because it is. It’s the world’s first.

Additional Resources:

Long Range Desert Group Preservation Society

Killing Rommel Reviews:

Washington Post

USA Today

LA Times

The Full Monty Story Behind the “Killing Rommel” YouTube Videos

The Last Post

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

At the going down of the sun and in the morning.

We will remember them.”

“For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon

A Memory Bouquet 2008

At the end of each year, major media outlets run feature stories listing notables and celebrities that have passed away during the year; stories that recount highlights of the person’s life.

Through the Dark Recesses

Sometimes memories connect through space and time linked to your own remembrances of the person. Memories of what you were doing at a certain time in your life, at a certain place.

Special memories randomly emerge from the dark recesses of time. You feel heaviness, a sense of loss, not only for the “notable person” or “celebrity” that you probably never met, but also for yourself. For the loss of time.

That time.

Your time.

The List

Well, here’s my feature story.

My list.

It’s a little bit longer than the major media outlets would publish. Names of people like Troy, Coleman, Ben, Joshua, John, Christopher, Thomas, Stephen, Solomon, Miguel, Christian, Aaron, Armondo, Adam, Stacy, Daniel, Randy, Tavarus, David, Michael, Janelle, Jordan, Jorge, Michael, Brian, Jorge, Andre, Mark,  Joshua.

The Loved and Lost

… and on … and on … and horribly on.

Fathers, mothers, daughters, sons, wives, husbands, cousins, nephews, nieces, all.

Not by Accident

They passed on not by accident, not by bodily deterioration brought on by the mean ravages of time, but because they had a special job.

A job that ended a too-brief sojourn on this blue-green magical wonder called earth.

A job they chose.

So Costly a Sacrifice

They were American soldiers.

mfuneral-full

A step ahead.

A step behind.

A look left, instead of right.

Right, instead of left.

Up instead of down.

Down instead of up.

A blink of the eye at the wrong time.

And … it was over.

What is Life?

“It is the flash of a firefly in the night.  It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.

It is the little shadow that runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.”

– Crowfoot, Native American Blackfoot warrior and orator

The fleeting flash of a firefly in the night … gone.

But not.

Their Undiminishable Light

… echoes eternally throughout the music of the spheres like heavenly bagpipes playing Amazing Grace … across the unfathomable unknowable on their way to The Last Post.

Who Were These Fireflies in the Night?

Who were these shadows that ran across the grass riding a Sonata of Moonlight on an Ode to Joy – to living, giving and life?

Who Were These Fireflies in the Night?

Who were these shadows that ran across the grass into the arms of an …

Angel

On the way to their  …

Last Post

3

Here’s who.

Look.

We Will Remember Them.

12/31/08 Tollefson, Benjamin B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – mortar attack
12/28/08 Gonzales, Tony J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (Sadr City)
12/25/08 Seitz, Joshua D. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Manama
12/25/08 Pryor, John P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – mortar attack Mosul (near)
12/24/08 Smith, Christopher G. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover southern Iraq (died in Baghdad)
12/24/08 Okray, Stephen M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover
12/24/08 Zapasnik, Stephen G. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover southern Iraq (died in Baghdad)
12/21/08 Reilly Jr., Thomas DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Baharia
12/20/08 Johnson, Robert L. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Al Anbar Province
12/20/08 Hinkefent, Coleman W. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – illness Hamburg, Germany
12/20/08 Dean, Jonathan W. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Tikrit
12/04/08 Sam, Solomon T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide car bomb Mosul
12/04/08 Savage, John J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide car bomb Mosul
11/25/08 Frank, Warren A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baiji
11/24/08 Davis, Anthony DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baiji
11/24/08 Jernigan, William K. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Ba’qubah
11/21/08 Wilson, Miguel A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – during rescue attempt Mosul
11/20/08 Barnett, Charles Yi DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Tallil
11/19/08 Velasco, Marcelo R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Falluja
11/15/08 Humphreys, Christian P. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Mosul
11/15/08 Clark, Donald V. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Mosul
11/14/08 Allen, Aaron M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Ferris (near Fallujah)
11/13/08 Clay, James M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Al Anbar Province
11/13/08 De La Paz, Armando A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Baghdad
11/12/08 Regalado, Jose DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Mosul
11/12/08 Shea, Corey M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Mosul
11/08/08 Walker, Timothy H. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED Baghdad (northern part)
11/06/08 Hobbs, Theron V. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Kirkuk
11/05/08 Wenger, Adam McKamey DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Tunnis
10/29/08 Coleman, Bradley S. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Qayyarah Airfield
10/29/08 Metcalf, Scott J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Mosul (died in Balad)
10/24/08 Eggleston, Cody J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda
10/23/08 Hause, Brian P. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – medical Balad Air Base
10/20/08 Dryden, Stacy A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Al Asad
10/16/08 Pickard, Heath K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Ba’qubah
10/15/08 Saint, Justin A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
10/14/08 McCraw, Christopher A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad (Nasar Wa Salam)
10/12/08 Johnson, Geoffrey G. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
10/11/08 Fernandez III, Reuben M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Majar Al Kabir (Amara)
10/07/08 Clark, Michael K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Mosul
10/05/08 Stahlman, Michael R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Anbar Province
10/05/08 Rudd, William P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Mosul
10/03/08 Setzler, Tavarus D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Majar al-Kabir
09/30/08 Bartkiewicz, Christopher A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad (northern part)
09/29/08 Fox, Christopher T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Adhamiyah
09/27/08 Bryant, Jamel A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover Baghdad (Southeast of)
09/25/08 Phillips Jr., Ronald DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Bahbahani
09/24/08 Medders, Michael J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Jisr Naft
09/23/08 Brown, Thomas J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Salman Pak
09/21/08 Taylor, Matthew J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad
09/18/08 Edwards, Corry A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Eshbaugh, Daniel M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Mason, Anthony L. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Ordonez, Julio C. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Rudolf, Brady J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Thompson, Michael E. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/18/08 Vallejo II, Robert DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Tallil
09/17/08 Wright, Darrick D. DoD Confirmation Non-Hostile – Illness – Heart Attack Baghdad
09/17/08 Gulczynski I, Leonard J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Baghdad
09/14/08 Marceaux Jr., Sidney J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – illness Walter Reed Army Medical Center
09/14/08 Marino, Ralph J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – illness Camp Buehring
09/14/08 Durbin, Wesley R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – shooting incident Tunnis
09/14/08 Dawson, Darris J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – shooting incident Tunnis
09/10/08 Sexton, Daniel R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Balad (Joint Base Balad)
09/05/08 Thibeault, Jordan P. P. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Balad (FOB Hammer)
09/04/08 Thomas, Bryan R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (eastern part)
09/04/08 Mayne, Kenneth W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (eastern part)
09/02/08 May, Patrick W. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
08/28/08 Nieve, Jorge L. Feliz DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Mosul
08/28/08 Gonzalez, Michael L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
08/27/08 Cooper, David K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Qadasiyah
08/26/08 Alfonso, Carlo E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (Sadr City)
08/25/08 Fitzmorris, Steven J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Adhamiyah
08/19/08 Stanciel, George DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – mortar attack Amarah
08/17/08 Stottlemyer, Travis M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Manama
08/14/08 King, Janelle F. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
08/14/08 McGuire, Daniel A. C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Falluja
08/13/08 Hale, James M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northwestern part)
08/10/08 Ferschke Jr., Michael H. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Tikrit (southwest of)
08/10/08 Gibson, Kenneth B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Tarmiya
08/09/08 Ulloa, Jose E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (Sadr City)
08/07/08 Maybin, Danny E. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Camp Arifjan
08/07/08 Trejo, Stewart S. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Karma
08/07/08 McKiski, Adam T. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Karma
08/04/08 Hutton, Timothy J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
08/04/08 Menke, Jonathan D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED Baghdad
08/04/08 Henry, Gary M DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED Baghdad
08/03/08 Schmidt, Ronald Andrew DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Baghdad
08/02/08 Miller, Brian K. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Abd Allah
08/02/08 Cole, Jennifer L. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – gunshot wound Baiji
08/02/08 Dickson, Kevin R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Balad
07/31/08 Mitchell, Andre Darnell DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover Mosul
07/30/08 McHale, James A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda,
07/17/08 Larsen, Jackie L. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Balad (Balad Air Base)
07/15/08 Textor, David W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Mosul
07/15/08 Vrooman, Jeremy D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Knan (died in Baghdad)
07/14/08 Verbeke, Daniel R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – accident (on flight deck) Paoli, Pennsylvania
07/14/08 Dupre, Danny DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Ramadi
07/13/08 Stevenson, Jeffery S. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Falluja
07/09/08 Jimenez, Alex R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – body found Jurf al-Sakhar
07/09/08 Fouty, Byron J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – body found Jurf al-Sakhar
07/09/08 Chevalier, Steven J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – grenade Samarra (died in Balad)
07/08/08 McMillan III, William L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (west of)
07/05/08 Woodham, Anthony Lynn DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – electrocution Tallil (Camp Adder)
06/26/08 Preudhomme, Marcus W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Al Anbar Province
06/26/08 Dykeman, Philip J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Al Anbar Province
06/26/08 Galeai, Max A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Al Anbar Province
06/25/08 Plocica, Joshua L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (EFP) Baghdad (eastern part)
06/25/08 Dominguez, Alejandro A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
06/25/08 Taylor, Joel A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
06/25/08 Yohn, James M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
06/24/08 Hammett, Robert C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – Explosion Baghdad (Sadr City)
06/24/08 Kelley, Dwayne M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – bomb Baghdad (Sadr City)
06/23/08 Dalessio, Gregory T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Madain
06/23/08 Thomas, Bryan M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Madain (died in Baghdad)
06/20/08 Tran, Du Hai DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Ba’qubah
06/16/08 Cox, Jason N. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Hillah
06/12/08 Aragon, John D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Kadamiyah
06/11/08 Kanakaole, Eugene D. M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – Shot in head Balad
06/11/08 Watters, Kelly E. C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Al Anbar Province
06/11/08 Perales Jr., Javier DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Fallujah
06/11/08 Reed, Gerard M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Baghdad
06/10/08 McCoy, Steve A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Brooke Army Medical Center, San Antonio,
06/09/08 Duncan III, Thomas F. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Sinjar
06/08/08 Pickett, Tyler E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (VBIED) Kirkuk
06/07/08 Hurst, David R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (eastern part)
06/04/08 Legg, Cody R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Al Hawijah
06/04/08 Emard, Jonathan D. A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Al Hawijah
06/04/08 Duffy, Shane P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Al Hawijah
06/03/08 Waltenbaugh, Joshua E. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Taji
06/03/08 Green, Quincy J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Tikrit
06/01/08 McCarthy, Christopher D. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile FOB Ramadi
06/01/08 Mixon, Justin R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (EFP) Baghdad (northeastern part)
05/30/08 Cotner, Christian S. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Al Asad
05/25/08 Gasper, Frank J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Najaf
05/25/08 Evans, Blake W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Jazeera Desert
05/25/08 Dene, Jason F. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – injury Baghdad
05/22/08 Norris, Kyle Phillip DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Iskandariyah (died in Balad)
05/18/08 Haunert, Branden P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Tikrit
05/15/08 Daggett, John K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Halifax, Canada
05/14/08 Cota, Victor M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (Kadamiyah)
05/11/08 Ellis, Jessica A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northwest of)
05/10/08 Ford, Joseph A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Al Asad
05/09/08 Jaenichen, Mary J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – injury Iskandariyah
05/06/08 Ward, Aaron J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Anbar Province
05/06/08 Gonzalez, Alex D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire, RPG Mosul
05/02/08 Hicks, Corey L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (eastern part)
05/01/08 Casanova, Casey L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
05/01/08 Guzman, Miguel A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
05/01/08 Kimple, James F. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
05/01/08 Martinez, Glen E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
05/01/08 Nichols, Jeffrey F. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (VBIED) Baghdad (central)
04/30/08 Caldwell, Chad A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
04/30/08 Pearson, Andrew. R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
04/30/08 Tucker, Ronald J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
04/30/08 Ezell, Lawrence D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northern part)
04/29/08 Craig, Clay A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad (northeastern part)
04/29/08 Bolander, Bryan E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/28/08 McCormick, David P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – Rocket fire Baghdad (western part)
04/28/08 Marion, Adam L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Baghdad
04/28/08 Mathes, Marcus C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Baghdad
04/28/08 Stone, Mark A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Baghdad
04/27/08 Dix, William T. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Camp Buehring
04/24/08 Whitehead, Shaun J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED, small arms fire Iskandariyah
04/23/08 Ramirez, Guadalupe Cervantes DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Camp Arifjan
04/23/08 Bishop, John T. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover Golden Hills
04/23/08 Cunningham, Timothy W. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover Golden Hills
04/23/08 Blystone, Ronald C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad (eastern part)
04/22/08 Harrison, Ronald R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – injury FOB Falcon (nr. Baghdad)
04/22/08 Haerter, Jordan C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (VBIED) Ramadi (near)
04/22/08 Yale, Jonathan T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (VBIED) Ramadi (near)
04/21/08 Campos, Adrian M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Dubai
04/21/08 Vandergrift, Matthew R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Basra
04/21/08 Christofferson, Steven J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baiji
04/21/08 Kohlhaas, Adam J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baiji
04/20/08 Morton, Cherie L. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Galali, Muharraq
04/18/08 Brosh, Benjamin K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (VBIED) Balad
04/18/08 Eakes, Lance O. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (north of)
04/17/08 Brown, Jason L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire, grenade Sama Village
04/14/08 Huerta-Cruz, Arturo DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Tuz
04/14/08 Richard III, Joseph A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northeastern part)
04/14/08 Nelson, Richard J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
04/14/08 Opicka, Dean D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
04/12/08 Allmon, William E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/11/08 German, Merlin DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Brooke Army Med Center, TX
04/09/08 Capra, Anthony L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/09/08 Hughes, Jeremiah C. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – injury Baghdad
04/09/08 Ault, Jesse A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Tunis (died in Baghdad)
04/09/08 Tousha, Shaun P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/09/08 Fairbanks, Jacob J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – suicide Baghdad
04/08/08 Hartley, Jeffery L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Kharguliah
04/08/08 Rosenberg, Mark E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/07/08 Smith, Timothy M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/07/08 Lilly, Michael T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Baghdad
04/07/08 Kazarick, Jason C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Baghdad
04/07/08 Vaughn, Richard A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad (eastern part)
04/06/08 McNeal, Jeremiah E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/06/08 Pickett, Emanuel DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
04/06/08 Penley, Shane D. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Rustamiyah
04/06/08 Scott, Stephen K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – rocket attack Baghdad (Green Zone)
04/06/08 Wolfer, Stuart A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – rocket attack Baghdad (Green Zone)
04/06/08 Burgos-Cruz, Ulises DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Diyala Province (Died in Balad)
04/06/08 Morris, Matthew T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Diyala Province (Died in Balad)
04/03/08 Griffin, Travis L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (near)
03/31/08 Dhanoolal, Dayne D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northeastern part)
03/30/08 Gilmore, Terrell W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
03/29/08 Jordan, Jevon K. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Landstuhl Reg. Med. Ctr. (Abu Jassim)
03/30/08 Hall, William G. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Al Anbar Province
03/29/08 Bennett, Durrell L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
03/29/08 Miller, Patrick J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
03/28/08 Jankowski, Charles A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Arab Jabour
03/27/08 Molina, Joshua A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
03/26/08 Candelo, Steven I. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Baghdad
03/26/08 Rundell, Gregory B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Taji
03/25/08 Gamboa, Joseph D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Baghdad
03/23/08 Delgado, George DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
03/23/08 Hake, Christopher M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
03/23/08 Hernandez, Jose A. Rubio DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
03/23/08 Habsieger, Andrew J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
03/22/08 Ray, II, Thomas C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northwest of)
03/22/08 Williams, David B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northwest of)
03/22/08 Stelmat, David S. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northwest of)
03/21/08 Smith, Tyler J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Baghdad
03/21/08 Maupin, Keith M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Abu Ghuraib (north of)
03/19/08 Unruh, Gregory D. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle rollover Mandali
03/17/08 Elledge, Michael D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (north of)
03/17/08 Simpson, Christopher C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (north of)
03/15/08 Brown, Lerando J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Balad
03/15/08 O’Brien, William D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad
03/12/08 Bradley, Juantrea T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – rocket attack Tallil
03/12/08 Jackson, Dustin C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – rocket attack Tallil
03/12/08 Samten, Tenzin L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – rocket attack Tallil
03/11/08 West, Laurent J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Kishkishkia
03/10/08 Anderson, Phillip R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Balad Ruz
03/10/08 Burkett, Donald A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Balad Ruz
03/10/08 Mallard, Torre R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Balad Ruz
03/10/08 Suzch, Shawn M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Baghdad
03/10/08 Cimarrusti, Ernesto G. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Baghdad
03/10/08 Julian, David D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Baghdad
03/10/08 McDavid, Robert T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Baghdad
03/10/08 McIntosh, Scott A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – suicide bomber Baghdad
03/07/08 Paniagua-Morales, Jose A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – explosion Samarra (died in Balad)
03/04/08 Frost, Christopher S. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – helicopter crash Bayji
02/25/08 Mowl, Kevin S. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Bethesda Naval Hosp., MD
02/24/08 Perez, Orlando A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Baghdad
02/24/08 Phillips, Micheal E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
02/22/08 Morgan, Keisha M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – illness Baghdad
02/21/08 Weaver, Drew W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Anbar Province
02/20/08 Raudenbush, Nathan R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Busayefi
02/20/08 Mackey, Bryant W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Mosul
02/20/08 Alvarez, Conrad DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
02/20/08 Bitton, Albert DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
02/20/08 Matlock, Jr., Micheal B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
02/17/08 Runyan, Luke S. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Diyala Province
02/17/08 Groepper, Chad D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Diyala Province
02/14/08 Washington, Javares J. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Kuwait City (Camp Buehring)
02/10/08 Spates, Corey E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Diyala Province
02/08/08 Sweet, Jack T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – explosion Jalawlah
02/08/08 Manibog, Michael T. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Taji
02/08/08 Martin, Timothy P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Taji
02/08/08 Whisenhunt, Jerald A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Taji
02/08/08 Willett, Gary D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Taji
02/07/08 Souffront, Luis A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Iraq
02/06/08 Skelton, Bradley J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (western part)
02/05/08 Van Orman, Timothy R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Muqdadiyah (died in Balad)
02/05/08 Osmolski, John C. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Muqdadiyah (died in Balad)
02/05/08 Baez, Miguel A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Muqdadiyah (died in Balad)
02/05/08 Alicearivera, Rafael DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – drowning Tallil
02/04/08 West, Christopher J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Muqdadiyah (Died in Balad)
02/04/08 Hardy, Nathan H. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Not reported yet
02/04/08 Koch, Michael E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Not reported yet
02/02/08 Barrett, Chad A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Mosul
01/31/08 Straughter, Matthew F. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – RPG attack Baghdad
01/31/08 Schultz, David E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – indirect fire Scania
01/31/08 Norman, Michael A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
01/28/08 Craig, James E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/28/08 Jeffries, Gary W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/28/08 Marshall, Evan A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/28/08 Meyer, Brandon A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/28/08 Young, Joshua A. R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/27/08 Miller, Mikeal W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack National Naval Medical Center, Bethesda
01/27/08 Rogers, Alan G. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (northeastern part)
01/26/08 Wilson, Robert J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad
01/25/08 Crookston, Duncan Charles DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Brooke Army Med Center, TX
01/25/08 Birkman, Tracy Renee DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – injury Owaset
01/22/08 Sturdivant, Michael R. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – vehicle accident Kirkuk
01/19/08 Whiting, Justin R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Mosul
01/19/08 Gluff, James M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire Al Anbar Province
01/19/08 Burress, Richard B. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Arab Jabour
01/19/08 Schoolcraft III, Jon M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Taji
01/16/08 Kimme, Danny L. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire, grenade Balad
01/16/08 Sharrett II, David H. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire, grenade Balad
01/16/08 Sigsbee, John P. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire, grenade Balad (died in Pallouata)
01/12/08 Lloyd, Keith E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED Tall Afar
01/11/08 Christensen Jr., Curtis A. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile Al Anbar Province
01/09/08 Davis, Todd E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/09/08 Gaul, Sean M. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/09/08 Sanders, Christopher A. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/09/08 Pionk, Matthew I. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/09/08 Dozier, Jonathan Kilian DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/09/08 McBride, Zachary W. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack (house borne) Sinsil
01/08/08 Hart, David J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Samarra (died in Balad)
01/08/08 Merlo, Ivan E. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Samarra
01/08/08 Pannier, Phillip J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Samarra
01/07/08 Hanson, Timothy R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Salman Pak
01/06/08 Gudridge, James D. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Baghdad (southern part)
01/05/08 Lemke, Jason F. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Ibrahim Al Adham
01/04/08 Brown, Menelek M. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – drowning Arabian Gulf
01/03/08 Olmsted, Andrew J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Sadiyah
01/03/08 Casey, Thomas J. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – small arms fire Sadiyah
01/02/08 Maseth, Ryan D. DoD Confirmation Non-hostile – electrocution Baghdad
01/02/08 Anderson, Joshua R. DoD Confirmation Hostile – hostile fire – IED attack Kamasia