Monday, January 01, 2007

Bad News from Iraq

My nephew's friend, Dillon Cannon, was shot by a sniper in Iraq on December 30. The latest news is that he made it through surgery alive, but that he will be paralyzed from the waist down, probably for the rest of his life.

Dillon is just 20 years old.

His mom, Patti, has long been one of my sister's best friends in Houston, a kind and wonderful woman. She lost her husband just last year, and now she has to deal with this horrible event with her young son. If you're of a religious bent, please pray for Dillon and his family. If you're not, then send some positive thoughts out there for the men and women who will be helping them cope with his loss, and who helped keep him alive after the shooting.

December 31 marked the sad occasion of the 3,000th American soldier lost in Iraq, along with untold thousands of Iraqi civilians. The casualties -- those living through the violence with wounds ranging from minor to severe, like Dillon -- are much much higher.

I think it's easy, when you're just writing on a blog or in a newspaper, or chatting around the water cooler, to lose sight of the fact that policies have consequences. Politics is more than just flapping your gums at each other, what you choose to either do or not do has real life repercussions on people all over the world, from Baghdad to Washington to Richmond, Texas.

The next time you hear a report on the news about some poor man or woman injured in Iraq, regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on, please take a moment to remember that the report is about a real person, with family and friends who love them. Make sure that whichever position on the war you support, you understand the cost young men and women are paying every day to serve in the armed forces, and honor them whenever you get the chance.

Annie and I will be keeping Dillon in our thoughts, and we're both thankful he made it through alive. We've been lucky, our cousin Mario got through his tour of duty in Afghanistan with no serious injuries, but sadly a lot of folks are not so fortunate.

It seems pitifully, painfully inadequate, but thank you for serving your country, Dillon, and I am so sorry for what you've had to go through. I hope once you get back we're able to somehow help repay you for your sacrifice.


Adam H said...

terrible news. and this is going to keep happening until enough people get so sick and tired that we take to the streets to protest, like during vietnam. with military defense contracting rolling in more money than they imagined, why would their buddies in congress stop a war that had nothing to do with 9-11? i hope the new congress starts to pull out troops, but i believe this war machine might be bigger than just red guys vs. blue guys.

Why We Fight

Geopoet said...

Amen and well said, Jeff.

Dillon, thank you for putting your life on the line for people (us) you don't even know. "No greater love.."

You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Godspeed home.

annie'sbuddie said...

Each time I read or hear about another person being killed or maimed in this fiasco I get madder. I've been lucky enough not to have a personal connection to any soldier or civilian who suffered these misfortunes of war since my high school prom date was shot down in his helicopter over Cambodia. That came to an end last Friday when my co-worker's son was shot dead in Iraq.

"December 31 marked the sad occasion of the 3,000th American soldier lost in Iraq, along with untold thousands of Iraqi civilians. The casualties -- those living through the violence with wounds ranging from minor to severe, like Dillon -- are much much higher."

Then we learned that Dustin R. Donica,22, of Spring TX was that 3,000th American soldier to fall. How can they tell? And what difference does that make? Are they going to give him some special award? He'll still be dead. His parents, family and friends will still have huge holes in their hearts. One was too many as is one more.

Thank you Dillon and thank you Dustin and thank you to all the others making the sacrifices as great as these two have made and as small as just being away from family and loved ones for your tour of duty. Come home safe.

Anonymous said...

As I watch Dillon's mother cry her eyes out and wonder what kind of world we live in and I watch my boss chew his nails because his son is headed to the Persian Gulf this week in a surprise ship out, I wonder what in the world is going on with politicians who think they can manage the world from an office? Do they not realize that from the beginning, young men, and now women, are sent to the battle fields and that some of them will die, come home maimed, blind, crippled and most will be mentally scarred for the rest of their lives. The more I think of Dillon and these other young people, the more I want the United States to pull up stakes, come home and guard our own borders. Spend that defense money on creating an engine that gets 80 miles to the gallon, only deal with countries who aren't going to bomb us and reinforce our borders and defense capabilities to the max. Then spread the humanitarian aid we Americans are blessed with to help those in need -- the starving and dying in Africa who need technology, medicine and water. Let's help educate the children in the Appalacians (sp?) and the colonias around the southern Texas borders. Let's finally give Native Americans the educational tools and benefits they so rightly deserve. Let's pull those soldiers home to rebuild cities devasatated by natural disasters and bolster the disappearing Louisiana coastline. Let's send those soldiers into the inner cities to help the young people turn their lives around and show them that education and the cause of helping people get on their feet is the mark of a true hero. And those countries who do not wish to respect the sanctity of life and liberty are on their own. And I want the money the French, Europe and all other countries owe us as well -- with interest. Where our soldiers in Iraq are personally helping teach, rebuild schools and hospitals, that's where the true change comes. I remember interviewing evacuees from Hurricane Katrina. One little boy told me that not all the white people are mean. They were nice to him. That builds bridges. Get our soldiers home, bolster our borders and spend our war money where it will do good -- preventing and curing disease, helping those who are truly desperate and keeping our defenses the best they can be. Okay, that's my rant. If I think about changing my mind, I picture Dillon in a hospital bed, hooked to a ventilator. That's all the convincing I need. -- Denise

terese said...

I know Dillon, and I know his Mother and sister, Kelsey (10). Kelsey is a friend of my daughters at school. The Cannons have had a very tragic year - and no, it is not fair. All we can do is keep Dillon in our prayers. But especially keep Patti in our prayers - she just lost her husband as well. All we can pray now is that Patti knows that God never gives more than you can handle and keeps her faith. and don't forget about Kelsey - sometimes the forgotten one - she has suffered great losses too. we need to pray that she will rebound from these and that she will be with a mother who is strong. War is sad. However, instead of all the people talking about it, people need to do something about it. Little people sit around and talk about how bad things are, great people do something about it.