More On Real Bravery
Children of the Fallen
Over 1,000 American kids have lost a parent in the Iraq war. Who they are, and how they're coping
March 21 issue - They were prepared to die, even the truck drivers and supply clerks; any American who sets foot in Iraq must be. They made out wills, as the military requires, and left behind letters and videos for their families. The families in turn prepared for the day when they might open the door to find a chaplain on the other side. In military families the notion of duty is not confined to the battlefield. On the morning that 14-year-old Rohan Osbourne learned that his mother, Pamela, had been killed in a mortar attack on her Army base, his father dropped him off as usual at Robert M. Shoemaker High School, where three quarters of the students are the children of soldiers from nearby Fort Hood, Texas. "I might not get a lot of work done today, ma'am," Rohan politely explained to his teacher. "My mommy died yesterday in Iraq."
There is a Marine Corps Reserve unit that my BN shares a building with in Austin. They have lost 5-6 Marines since they've been called up for duty in Iraq. So right now, there are probably kids like this here in town.
The great tragedy of this is that the reserves and guard does not have the same support network that the active force does. The kid in school near Fort Hood who told his teacher that he might not get much done because his mom got killed probably had a pretty robust support network. His teachers and peers understood exactly what he was going through. I doubt its the same in the regular world. In fact, I know its not.
I wonder how a teacher here in Austin would deal with a statement like that? I'd like to believe that the teacher would handle it wonderfully, but after being in and around the public school system my entire life (almost everyone in my family is or was a teacher), I have my doubts. I'm wondering if there has been any formal training for teachers on how to deal with this stuff. Does anyone know? Email me if you do, and I'll post what you found out.