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Sunday, November 30. 2008
A sign on the door of wounded SEAL Lieut. Jason Redman at Walter Reid Hospital:
Posted by The Barrister in The Culture, "Culture," Pop Culture and Recreation at 16:17 | Comments (24) | Trackback (1)
A comment from a SEAL in our comments section, on our post about Jason Redman's Sign on the Door last week:For those of you who don't know Jason Redman, he was shot twice in the face and once in the arm while serving in western Iraq. He is making an amazi
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With men like this...how can we be defeated?....look and learn obambi and co.
What a wonderful young warrior! If he were in Houston, I would go see him, with maybe some cookies and some paperbacks, and anything else he might need -- and save my tears 'til afterwards. We may not have great cathedrals, or castles, or even the British Museum, but we have the greatest creation of all, our vast reservoir of marvelous and courageous young people like this young man. God bless him!
Marianne, beautifully expressed as usual, especially your take on our reservoir of marvelous and courageous young people. I believe it myself. But my first reaction was, 'What a jerk.' And it's still my reaction. What the mighty warrior has in courage, he lacks in grace and simple understanding of human nature.
His room, his wounds, his rules. If you want a poet warrior go read a romance novel.
Not an unfair comment, Meta's. He would deny his mother entry if she should suddenly shed a tear in his presence? There's gung-ho and there's blind arrogance. Good to keep in mind the difference.
Poet warrior? Hardly. My reaction is that he's rude. The first part about 'those entering' and feeling sorrow? That is a natural reaction and one he can easily deflect by thanking them for their concern and moving on with the conversation. The second part was gratuitous to me, and I wondered if beyond putting visitors off he wasn't talking to himself. In either case, I think he should have kept it all to himself and been grateful he has caring visitors. Some warriors get spat on and yelled at for their courage.
My guess is that you find him anything but rude if you met him. I believe he would be a most respectful and engaging young man.
I read it as person who did not want pity or to be perceived as a victim.
He is bright, tenacious, goal oriented and 100% determined. He knows he has tremendous obstacles in front of him as he recovers. He just does not want anyone who would bring in what he perceives as negative emotion to be in his way.
I would say he has earned that right.
All good points Barrett. Though I suppose this young man's attitude could be compared to one of the commenters thoughts in Dr. Bliss's post of the other night. Dr. Bob claimed the cancer-stricken are narcissists and indicative of the ruin of society because some called them heroes when all they did was chose to fight against their obstacles instead of giving in to victim-hood and pity. Strong positive attitude is good... no matter the wielder. But a man can still be a jerk... no matter what he has earned.
Luther, I don't have a problem with the sign. I guess my problem would be why is it necessary in the first place? I think its a form of camouflage, most special op guys operate at such a high level of stress and adrenalin that they have a hard time being in a dependant state accepting care, reaching out and asking for help. I think it really scares them to be in a position like that. hopefully after his injuries heal he will know what being humble is all about, and it will make him a stronger man.
Very well said, Jappy. And very perceptive about the 'camouflage'. Look, I don't have a problem with the sign either, per se... that's not my point. My point is that the man may be hurting those around him who do not share the outlook that he does. He wishes them to adopt that outlook no matter their thoughts and need for normal human grieving, sympathy, empathy... his mother for example, must she so strictly conform that she couldn't visit otherwise. I don't know, there's just a sort of false bravado, and as someone else said 'rudeness', about that sign that bothers me.
We read it differently, Barrett. I see nothing noble in it.
I also do not believe that anyone 'earns' the right to be rude. Our best leaders are our most humble and respectful. Look at Petraeus and other great military officers. It is they who 'earn' respect, not the jerks who tell you where to go and how to feel.
That's just how I see it. I think of the other SEALS who may not get visitors and who will never get to 100% + after grievous injury, and I think about them. What might their signs read if they were so given to posting one above their door: Visitors welcome. ?
I've been in their rooms - at Walter Reed, not Bethesda where this guy is, and I know all about how to be a visitor. I joined a group that traveled to Walter Reed once a week to visit the soldiers. We brought homemade goodies and magazines and anything else they asked for from the 'outside'. I was warned before my first visit not to cry and I didn't, but it was hard that first time. After that, I just had fun with the guys and picked up instantly what they wanted/needed to talk about and went with it - be it talking or listening. And I hugged them all and rubbed some feet or arms.... didn't matter as the human touch counted almost more than anything else. I also donate five-thousand dollars a year to Wounded Warriors.
So don't tell me what I ought to do. I already know.
Me still thinks ya need to stay out of this one lads room, sweet mita.
But maybe, justy maybe, he could put up with a rude chicklett, such as yerself, just for giggles.
I agree with Meta, Leag. Do I need stay out of the lad's room, too? Seems to me that if the lad couldn't have a simple two way conversation he might indeed have issues.
I'm hardly averse to being insulted, especially if I'm part of the fray. But in this case, I've not shown any rudeness. Care to back up your claim - "a rude chicklett, such as yerself,..." ? No opinion, please. Just facts, thank you.
You've never been wounded in battle and I daresay the only battle you've ever fought was with your parents over your 'fashion choices'.
The man is entitled to say what he feels.
That is something only a wounded soldier can understand.
He is not entitled to be rude.
He is not entitled to be presumptuous.
Others may not see or feel his wounds as he does, but that does not mean they are uncaring or unfeeling.
They are entitled to their own grief - as is he.
For him to circumscribe their feelings deprives them of their concern. It diminishes it. It reduces it to his own level of coping with his injuries.
If you can't see a tortured soul in his chosen words then you are not only blind - you are woefully lacking in compassion.
He was not being 'optimistic' - he was desperately trying to quantify his own pain.
The very worst thing a human can do is reject the kindness of other humans - for any reason.
I trained with SEALS. I know what spending months in a hospital is.
Every little gracious moment means the world.
No matter the giver's motivation.
It still feels good.
Marianne...what do castles and the British museum have to do with this mans obvious courage?...a nation is not measured by its monuments but by its people...and this warrior is a fine example of what makes America great.
thud ... I've always been an Anglophile -- love the books, the courage, the wonderful ability to govern [now sadly impaired] which has taught the rest of the civilized world more than they will sometimes admit. Only had a chance to visit England once in my life, for a brief time, but was dazzled by London and the British Museum, as well as the V & A. And the courtesy I met from the people almost everywhere during my visit.
You're right. A nation is not measured by its monuments but by its people. And I have had the greatest respect for those since I listened to your radio broadcasts in the Second World War during the long daily terror of the Blitz, and heard Churchill's famous speech ..."never, never, never, never, never give up -- in nothing great or small, large or petty -- never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense." The man who said that was a titan, and the British people who endured were giants too.
But we have our own giants of a different kind. And this young warrior is one. It's the people who build the monuments, the castles, the museums after all, and England is rich in these. I just wanted to point out that although our country is younger than yours, we have a special treasure of courageous young people, who will build just as beautiful monuments as yours... some day when they come back from battle.
Hey! Marianne, I just had a post to go up about your comparison/contrast, and I said for a nation as young as ours to have the greatest military on the planet is a testament to the greatness of our country. Oh well. You were reading my mind! And you wrote it better than I did. :)
For those of you who don't know Jason Redman, he was shot twice in the face and once in the arm while serving in western iraq. he is making an amazing recovery undergoin his 4th surgery for facial reconstruction. his arm is slowly returning to full functionality. My name is Carl Higbie. I am a navy seal aswell having the oppretunity to serve with jason and have him as a close friend for the last 5 years, he is a model of how the teams work, and how we WILL NOT fail the american people. All we ask in return is that you suport what we are doing and spread the support to those around you for that is what makes it worth it for us to hang our ass on the line. so for those of you how love this great nation, thank you
Carl Higbie IV
Thank you, Carl. And thank you, Jason. And thanks to all the men and women out there doing the work that the rest of us sit around pontificating about. You hang whatever signs you want on your hospital room doors, I will honor and respect them.
How could any of you construe those words as rude? This guy knows what he needs and what he doesn't and he is certainly entitled to demand that the people coming to see him honor those wishes. As gutsy as this guy is, I somehow don't see his mother as being the weepy type. He's actually making it easy on the people who come to see him and his optimism is probably contagious to those around him. And Meta, you do come across as a rude know-it-all. Just re-read your post-"Don't tell me what to do??? But you want to be able to tell this guy, who has been through so much with such courage, what he should say and how he should act. He sounds like a great person to me.
I was Jason's roommate at Group 2 while we were waiting to go to BUDS. It is appalling to read such negative comments about a young man who has sacrificed so much on your behalf. Honestly it is amazing to me that you take what you don't like and capitalize on it. He was a young man when I knew him with honor, integrity, and character. It is clear that the values he had as a young man have only flourished with time and experience. I only hope he has not had the opportunity to read your BS! We are all fortunate that he and other men decide to do jobs that most of us can't do. I want to thank you Jason for your service to our country.