Carrboro family loses son in Iraq

Last night on the national NPR show All Things Considered Jessica Jones of WUNC reported,

A North Carolina family is having a difficult holiday season as it mourns Army Staff Sgt. Misael Martinez, who died in Iraq during his third tour of duty. A bomb exploded near the 24-year-old's vehicle in Ramadi. Martinez joined the military after finishing high school, hoping to attend college later. But even as the family grieves, it is preparing for another son to leave for Iraq on his first tour of duty in January.
- Having Lost a Son, Family Sees Another Go to Iraq

It's especially notable how honorably these sons of immigrant parents are serving the nation, even while the nation does a great disservice to the millions like them who have come here to help build the country.

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I don't know if it was relevant for this family but did the piece mention that military serive is also the fast track for getting your green card? You get to cut years off the waiting list (or your life). Another one of those recruiting "incentives."

The DTH has a story about Army Staff Sgt. Misael Martinez in this mornings edition. It mentions that he was honored before the Carrboro Board of Alderman last night. There appears also to be a Latino Community Credit Union of North Carolina scholarship in Sgt. Martinez's name. Anyone have the details? A link, phone number, or address to contribute to the scholarship?

Carrboro honors soldier slain in Iraq

http://www.newsobserver.com/161/story/518244.html

"The Martinez family asks that memorials and donations to made to the scholarship fund. They should be sent to LCCU, Attn: Misael Martinez Memorial Scholarship Fund, P.O. Box 25360, Durham, NC 27702."

Personally, I find it sad that they couldn't just stick with honoring this hero:

"The board's resolution also calls for other actions, such as immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq and for the Bush administration and Congress 'to pass a just and fair comprehensive immigration reform that meets the economic needs of our country and reflect the ideals and values in which this nation was founded.'"

Honoring heroes is from the same well of love as working for "just and fair comprehensive immigration reform". To suggest otherwise is misleading and divisive. People who work for peace are NOT anti-solider. Despite your hinting otherwise Mr. Black.

I am not hinting at a damn thing, Mr. Russell. I said it clearly - it sad that they couldn't just stick with honoring this hero. Linking his death with their political judgments about when to leave Iraq is something we can all have opinions about and the elected officials of Carrboro have no expertise in this area that gives them any more valid an opinion than anyone else. This is just "feel good politics," plain and simple. Seems like solving all of the problems they were elected to solve would be more appropriate, but that's never stopped them in the past.

Where's the hint?

With the slain soldier's family in attendance, and his brother preparing to leave for Iraq next month, last night's tribute would have been much more elegant without the political attachment.

War is political. Using political tools to end war is not disrespectful to solders. In the example of the Carrboro BOA I think they work to help save lives.

Fred,
Sorry if I jumped to conclusions. I saw your statement,

I find it sad that they couldn't just stick with honoring this hero

as an conservative argument against anti-war politics. I think its easy to see how these words could fit a conservative style of rhetoric that suggests working for peace is somehow anti-solider. It isn't a stretch I think.

I believe the leaders of Carrboro are sincere in their honoring Misael Martinez. I don't believe "Feel good politics" is their motivation. These Alderman are real people with real emotions. They care and work hard for positive change. I'm happy that they lead by example and are unafraid of expressing their opinions about global issues that effect their constituents. There comments impress the hell out of me. I'd say that Carrboro voters elected them for that and many other reasons. Wish i could vote for them. :)

SSG Martinez is not honored by being politicized in this way. Did they study this political issue? Did they examine the ramifications of an instant pullout? (BTW, do they know that an immediate pullout is about a five-month process?) Do the understand what happens to that region if we do pull out? Do they realize that the US would be right back there in short order in a regional conflict? Do they grasp that a regional conflict there would most likely go nuclear?

Those harshest critics of the POTUS and the SECDEF and their advisors (who have studied the issue) have said since day one that if you get in, you're in. Well they did it and walking away makes it worse, not better. Now, the chorus of "stay the course" is being drowned out by the "consider new options" folks. Rest assured that none of those options that will be seriously considered includes immediate withdrawal.

I'm glad that folks like their local officials to take stands on global issues, but their gut emotional reactions should not be the standard for resolutions. Would they stand for that approach on other issues that citizens feel strongly about? Feeling strongly is not the standard, informed decision-making should be. And I remain unconvinced that they are anywhere close to informed on this complex policy issue.

So Brian, label me a conservative if you desire, but calling for an immediate withdrawal is anything but working for peace - it's working toward a worse war. Look at the other wording that they might have selected that might have expressed their political frustrations. What they did was not to honor SSG Martinez; they honored their commitment to their political worldview. That is ANTI-SOLDIER.

Fred, you seem obsessed with arguing against "immediate withdrawal" whereas everyone else is talking about ending the war so no more of our loved ones have to fight and die.

I find it really ridiculous for you call people anti-soldier for disagreeing with your view of political or military strategy. At best, that's a simple-minded view of things. At worst it's reminiscent of the President's attempt to paint his critics as not patriotic.

Ruby, reading is fundamental. Re-read the quote: “The board's resolution also calls for other actions, such as immediately withdrawing troops from Iraq."

Where did it say end the war?

They claim to be honoring a dead soldier. They politicized his death. That does not honor him. I never have nor will waste my time telling you or your husband to agree with my view. If you go back and re-read you will see that I never called people anti-soldier for disagreeing with my views. I'm sorry that you missed this key point. It's simple-minded to do so.

Last night's ceremony was perhaps the most moving I've attended at any local government function. The feeling of loss expressed by the Martinez and their hope that the scholarship would help some young person "stay safe at home" showed so vividly the connection between the personal and the political as it directly impacts so many lives (the Sima Fallahi issue is a similar case). In the many years I've observed and participated in Carrboro politics, I have never seen the Board of Aldermen shy away from speaking out on that connection, and most certainly not when the lives of our citizens are at stake.

Last night, I was particularly proud to be on the board with John Herrera whose deep sensitivity and moral leadership are embodied in the resolution he drafted. The grace with which John welcomed the Martinez family and their friends into Town Hall was impressive.

Were resolution passed in their name that also said go kill the terrorists?

When the fireman and resuce workers who died in the WTC were honored was the observance devoid of reference to the circumstances in which they died or the political repercussions of the event?

Brian:

Thank you for posting this information. I was glad that the Board of Alderman and our community took the time to Honor the life of a 26 year old son of immigrants. I drafted the resolution with extensive consultation with the Martinez family to express all THEIR personal wishes and what they felt will best honored the life of their son, Staff Sgt. Misael Martinez. Out of respect for the loss of the Martinez family I suggest that the Iraq conflict be discuss in a separate post. Dan, thank you for your kind words. I know that this political/philanthropic action on our behalf meant a whole lot to the family.

John Herrera

The BOA is just reflecting the majority view -- 77% of Americans would approve of a US pullout within one year if the Iraqi government requested it. 71% of Iraqis want the US out within one year.

If anyone here is making this political, it's you Fred. I think that it is tragic when *anyone* dies for such an unjust cause, and I am morally compelled to say so in hopes of making the situation better.

I wish someone would show me the words "a US pullout within one year if the Iraqi government requested it" in the resolution.

I guess Ruby that you fail to see the politics in the Carrboro resolution. Catherine DeVine saw it, and I think the author of the resolution intended it.

Now how am I making this political?

More to the local point - it doesn't sound like the bereaved family & friends had a problem with acknowledging the tragic overall situation by calling for troop withdrawal and sensible immigration policies.

It's irrelevant whether the war is unjust or not. Calling for an "immediate withdrawal" sounds hopelessly uninformed.

Wayne

Calling for an “immediate withdrawal” sounds hopelessly uninformed.

Does it really sound less informed than "stay the course" or "give it six more months" or "give it another year" or "give it ten more years"?

This is a local political website. Therefore I decline to engage in a debate about an appropriate timetable for withdrawl from Iraq.

But I must say that as a self-identified Quaker I believe that violence only begets violence. I also remain optimistic that while there are many who are uninformed, no one is hopelessly so.

I also remain optimistic that while there are many in uniform, no one is hopelessly so.

I wish they would have passed a resolution to lower my taxes at the same time, that would have been equally crass, but at least it would not have insulted the family of the slain soldier. Fred is right.

"It's especially notable how honorably these sons of immigrant parents are serving the nation."

I couldn't agree more. NPR ran a story on this family last night. It's a touching story that deserves to stand alone, away from any talk of politics.

This thread is here to honor the service of a young man who died in Iraq. As an editor of the site I will remove any further comments on the war and how it should end. I have also removed Wayne Pein's second post from this site for the same reason.

jmk,

What reaction from the family leads you to state that they were insulted?

Uninformed, not *in uniform*. Cheap play on words.

I remember too vividly the Vietnam era when we protested violently against the war and treated returning soldiers so badly they organized Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

I hope this thread, and OP in general, can be a place where we honor people. That was my main intention in writing this post. I apologize if I fanned the flames of a heated discussion. I did not intend to disrespect anyone. Love and respect.

Does anyone know more about the Latino Community Credit Union of North Carolina scholarship in Sgt. Martinez's name? Such as where to make donations? I would love to promote it here.

Brian,

The heated discussion was not your fault in any way. The context for the death that is being honored was created by others. The heated discussion was a result of respect for intellectual integrity and a healthy effort to understand the context that this tragedy occurred within.

Brian, if you read my first post yesterday it contained the information that you requested. I think that all you did was focus on my sadness comment, and your assumptions about what I meant.

Sorry Mark C, you have it wrong. We do not honor a soldier's sacrifice by tying his death to a political agenda expressed in a resolution that was never thought through. And not trying to insult the members of the BOA, but I have to wonder if they all understood the ramification of their resolution. Your resolution is what linked "how it should end" to this young man. So I say again, that does not honor a fallen hero.

If this gets censored, so be it.

Fred,

You don't seem to understand that as soon as someone puts on a uniform, he or she is inextricably tied to a political agenda. And all the pretzel logic of political correctness displayed by anti-war progressives who oppose criticism of the Iraq War will not de-link the context from the tragedy.

The resolution was drafted in consultation with Sgt. Martinez's family, Fred. I don't think anyone on the BOA would even consider discussing the war if the family had preferred not to have that matter in the resolution.

Your post, Fred, is about the resolution, rather than the war and is therefore not off topic. Even so, you have made your point (a couple of times) and those with different views have made their points (a couple of times). I doubt that any new point could be made now, so let's all move on.

I am certain that we all have a lot of respect for Sgt. Martinez's decisions and service and wish for his brother to remain safe wherever he may be sent.

Mark Chilton doesn't like what I say about what informed people think about the war's end, so decides to censure it. And my whole post was not about the end of the war. Some of it was response to you and Mark M. Saving bandwidth?

Note that other's comments about the war, including Mark's own, are not censured. Mark C, how is your statement on being a Quaker relavent to this thread that is supposed to be about "honor(ing) the service of a young man who died in Iraq?" What does Mark Morcoplos' two recent comments have to do with the alleged thread topic?

Don't be a nanny Mark C.

Wayne
Consistency is Golden

Wayne, that is just the kind of name-calling that we have no room for on OrangePolitics. This isn't the first time you have been asked to keep your comments productive and on-topic.

Mark, I'm confused by your last post: who are the "...anti-war progressives who oppose criticism of the Iraq War...?"

Isn't someone who is against the war stating criticism of it by the very nature of his/her stance against the war?

Please clarify. Thanks.

I apologize to everyone, but this thread has become entirely about a national issue instead of a local one, and I prefer to close it rather than diverting any more of people's time and energy on this non-local issue. I recommend http://BlueNC.com and http://DailyKOS.com for discussion of state and national issues.

 

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