Advertisement
YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Treatment of Fallen War Heroes' Families

February 15, 2004

My son-in-law, Evan, was killed in action in Iraq in July, having served with the 101st Airborne. He died a hero and so was awarded the Bronze Star. I pray that God lets him rest in peace. What Evan did leave behind, besides his legacy, are his grieving parents, my family and, of course, my daughter, his wife.

For the last six months either my daughter or I have had to contend with the bureaucracy of the Army, the U.S. government and groups, although well-meaning, that continue to bring up memories. Hailing him as a hero, letters of how bravely he served and "what he did for the country" ring hollow compared with the lack of concern, compassion and assistance by the Army and our politicians. Let me tell all who use such words to look within.

The form letters of sorrow are wearing thin, and I wish they would remove my daughter from their lists. Congressmen, senators, the president and even people from other states continue to send a barrage of their guilt toward us by way of a form letter. Letters to the Army by me regarding the mishandling of this entire episode have gone completely unanswered.

Fortunately, my daughter is loved by her family, and we're always there. She will get through this. What I want to know is if this is how our government and its officials always care for the families of those who gave the ultimate sacrifice -- and what has been happening to those families with so little, who have a husband or wife who was killed in Iraq.

Perhaps the ultimate wound was the 17-gun salute Evan was given at his military funeral. Yes, that's one no-show for the honor guard and a misfired weapon. This, to me, was the ultimate disrespect to one of our nation's heroes.

Loren E. Farell

Castaic

Advertisement
Los Angeles Times Articles
|
|
|