Sunday, November 8, 2009

Forget him, what about the victims?

If I see one more smiling photograph of the man who went on a murderous rampage in Fort Hood, killing 13 people and wounding 30 more, I may throw up. Article after article talks about this man, interviews his family, talks about his background, his profession, his religion, how the FBI was deciding whether he was a person of interest.

He is irrelevant. He is nothing. He is dust. May his name be blotted out.

However, may the following names be remembered for a blessing. These are the victims, the ones killed by the murderous man. The ones we are not hearing about. The ones the media chooses not to focus on. I am focusing on them. May their families find strength in their memories.

Pfc Michael Pearson, 22. A musician, he wanted to study musical theory. The military was to be his way into college. Pearson was scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan or Iraq in january.

Pfc Aaron Thomas Nemelka, 19. Nemelka was the youngest of 4 children from Utah, and was set to deploy to Afghanistan in January. He enlisted after he graduated from high school.

Spc Jason Dean Hunt, 22. Hunt spent his 21st birthday in Iraq, and re-inlisted. He was scheduled to be deployed to Iraq. Hunt was recently married.

Sgt Amy Krueger, 29. A high school athlete, Krueger joined the military after the September 11 attacks.

Michael Grant Cahill, 62. Previously a registered nurse, Cahill served in the Army Reserve. He was assisting with deployment physicals when he was murdered.

Pfc Khm Xiong, 23. Xiong enlisted last year, and was preparing for his first deployment to Afghanistan.

Capt John Gaffaney, 56. A psychiatric nurse in California, Gaffaney assisted elderly victims of abuse and neglect. He had traveled to Fort Hood for an overseas deployment.

Staff Sgt Justin DeCrow, 32. Husband, and father to a 13-year-old daughter, DeCrow was in Fort Hood preparing for his deployment to Iraq. He had recently returned from a tour in South Korea.

Lt Col Juanita L. Warman, 55. A physician's assistant, Warman had spent most of her career in the military. Warman was mother to two daughters, and had six grandchildren.

Maj Libardo Eduardo Caraveo, 52. An immigrant from Mexico as a teenager, he was the first in his family to attend college, earning a PhD in psychology. Serving in the Army National Guard, Caraveo was preparing to deploy to Afghanistan with a combat-stress-control unit.

Capt Russell Seager, 51. Seager was a nurse with the VA Medical Center in Milwaukee, and had signed up for the Army Reserve. He was preparing to deploy to Iraq, and would have been working with troops to help prevent mental health problems.

spc Frederick Greene, 29. Greene, from Tennessee, had been married two years, and was raised by his twin sister after his mother's death. Greene was set to to deploy to Afghanistan.

Pvt Francheska Velez, 21. Velez enlisted three years ago. She had recently returned from Iraq, and had been transferred to Ft Hood. She was three months pregnant.

The other person we've hardly heard anything about is civilian officer Kimberly Munley. She ended the murder spree by shooting the killer. She sustained 3 gunshot wounds in the process, but never lost her nerve or her cool. Her herioc actions prevented more deaths and more wounded. Let's remember her name.

We wish a speedy and complete recovery to all the innocent wounded.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Eating Jerusalem

If you're headed to Jerusalem soon and planning on visiting the Mahane Yehuda shuk, you might want to pick up this month's issue of Saveur Magazine. It features a pretty good review of some of the better known restaurants (and a few holes-in-the wall), some recipes (of course) and a short piece on some popular Israeli condiments.

You can also read the article entitled 'Jerusalem Mix' here, but then you'll miss the pretty pictures.