Tom Sileo from Creators Syndicate https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers Creators Syndicate is an international syndication company that represents cartoonists and columnists of the highest caliber. en Sat, 11 Jul 2020 23:17:25 -0700 https://www.creators.com/ http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Tom Sileo from Creators Syndicate https://cdn.creators.com/features/tom-sileo-thumb.jpg https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers fa7ae5da6700f4799b55d96f45dc2767 Thank You for 10/02/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/09/14/thank-you Thu, 02 Oct 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The sight of a fallen hero's flag-draped casket returning to American soil. The sound of a grieving loved one's anguish. The indelible memory of meeting a young man or woman who lost one or more limbs on the battlefield.</p> <p>Since February 2011, when my first newspaper column was released, these devastating moments have echoed through every facet of my life. The last three and a half years have been difficult and emotional, but what I've endured is nothing compared to what a U.S. service member, veteran or military family sacrifices on a daily basis.</p> <p>The Americans I've met and spoken to while writing this weekly column are some of the most extraordinary people on the planet. They are brave, selfless, and strong. They are husbands, wives, dads, moms, brothers and sisters. They are, without a doubt, the best our nation can offer to a troubled world that is in dire need of America's leadership and compassion.<p>Updated: Thu Oct 02, 2014</p> 9360dab8a7f2ccb03258c61d3c078c58 Acts of Kindness for 09/25/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/09/14/acts-of-kindness- Thu, 25 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It's been two years since Amy Looney's husband, LT (SEAL) Brendan Looney, 29, was killed in Afghanistan. </p> <p>"Before I could blink, life as I knew it had vanished," Amy recently wrote in the San Diego Union-Tribune.</p> <p>It would have been understandable if this grieving Afghanistan war widow, 31, chose to spend the second anniversary of her husband's death in seclusion. Instead, the fallen Navy SEAL's wife woke up at sunrise in San Diego and spent Sept. 21 making others smile.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 25, 2014</p> dcdf43ade393e870321ebee85b4f8248 Blood and Sand for 09/18/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/09/14/blood-and-sand-6b191 Thu, 18 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In June 2011, this column introduced you to Sgt. Jason Cartwright and his military working dog, Isaac. Both warriors had just returned from a year of hunting for improvised explosive devices buried beneath Afghanistan's treacherous sand. </p> <p>"These are real IEDs &#8212; real explosives &#8212; and everything else is out of the picture," the soldier said.</p> <p>Today, Sgt. Cartwright and Isaac are once again searching for enemy bombs.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 18, 2014</p> caf26feb899ede594d339a8f7fa6b58a Landon's Mom and Dad for 09/11/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/09/14/landons-mom-and-dad Thu, 11 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>The first time I spoke to Crissie Carpenter, she had just suffered an unimaginable tragedy. Days earlier, her husband had passed away after being wounded in Afghanistan, all while she was eight months pregnant with their first child.</p> <p>Lance Cpl. Andrew Carpenter wanted nothing more than to get to know his son, Landon, when he returned from Afghanistan. While an enemy sniper robbed Andrew of that chance, the Marine's widow immediately resolved that Landon's father would always be in their son's life.</p> <p>"I want Landon to grow up knowing who his daddy is," Crissie told me in March 2011.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 11, 2014</p> 06219fa8c6ef2a34927d3de3b00458a9 The Porch Light for 09/04/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/09/14/the-porch-light Thu, 04 Sep 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When 6-year-old Darren Baysore looks up into the night sky, he thinks of his dad. </p> <p>"They were all about the stars and 'I love you to the moon and back,'" said Darren's mom, Jamie Baysore, wife of U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Thomas Baysore Jr.</p> <p>Less than a year ago, Darren's father made the ultimate sacrifice while serving in Afghanistan. While the loss of a loved one is crushing for any military family member, the impact on a child is immeasurable.<p>Updated: Thu Sep 04, 2014</p> 4f62b9123781b66f65af5616d58d3234 Guiding Lights for 08/28/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/08/14/guiding-lights Thu, 28 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Veterans deserve the best possible care our nation can offer. There are serious problems facing this community of heroes &#8212; from post-traumatic stress to a broken VA system &#8212; that demand urgent national attention.</p> <p>At the same time, veterans are often portrayed as victims by some politicians and journalists. The war heroes I've met and interviewed are anything but. On the contrary, they are leaders, and represent our country's best and brightest hopes.</p> <p>In May 2012, I met U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Travis Mills, one of the few Americans to ever survive losing all four limbs in combat, at the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 28, 2014</p> 24df88ee05eb50db7d1d083a37f49b0b Many Different People for 08/21/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/08/14/many-different-people Thu, 21 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p></p><p>August 20 marked one year since Michelle Bannar lost the love of her life.</p> <p>"He was many different people to me," Michelle said about her late husband, U.S. Army Master Sgt. George Bannar. "Not only the love of my life, but my best friend, adviser, teacher and hero."<p>Updated: Thu Aug 21, 2014</p> 87752962cf2885e8639805dddfd105b4 The Heroes of Iraq for 08/14/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/08/14/the-heroes-of-iraq Thu, 14 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>At this hour, brave American pilots are once again patrolling Iraq's uncertain skies. Their efforts are the latest in a long line of sacrifices made by the U.S. military in Iraq since 1990.</p> <p>As American fighter jets target the terrorist army known as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the legacies of so many patriots to serve in Iraq should loom large. This column has introduced you to several of these heroes and their loved ones.</p> <p>U.S. Army Master Sgt. Michael McNulty was one of the Delta Force warriors who helped capture Saddam Hussein.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 14, 2014</p> 1422b936838d6a6ce9ce2790531a037d Sights and Sounds for 08/07/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/08/14/sights-and-sounds Thu, 07 Aug 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Three years ago, 31 U.S. troops were killed when a military helicopter was shot down in eastern Afghanistan. </p> <p>The dead included U.S. Navy SEALs, U.S. Army soldiers and a military working dog. Seven Afghans were also killed in the Aug. 6, 2011, attack.</p> <p>Three days after the worst mass casualty event for American troops during the ongoing war, I was part of a USO contingent sent to Dover, Delaware, to assist families of the fallen. I have not written about the specifics of that day, as the families requested privacy while the caskets of their loved ones were returned to American soil. Their request is one that I will continue to honor.<p>Updated: Thu Aug 07, 2014</p> 3bf96018c3621788e1f839660f9ea63e Their Names for 07/31/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/their-names-b5fd1 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I asked the nation's newest Medal of Honor recipient why he enlisted less than two years after 9/11, his answer was unequivocal.</p> <p>"I had always wanted to serve from the time I was very young," former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts said. </p> <p>As a 17-year-old high school student in Nashua, New Hampshire, the future war hero volunteered for the Army as one conflict raged in Afghanistan and another was about to erupt in Iraq.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 31, 2014</p> ffc65e983f9490e53bd8419504a79cf8 Their Names for 07/31/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/their-names-2014-07-31 Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I asked the nation's newest Medal of Honor recipient why he enlisted less than two years after 9/11, his answer was unequivocal.</p> <p>&quot;I had always wanted to serve from the time I was very young,&quot; former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts said. </p> <p>As a 17-year-old high school student in Nashua, New Hampshire, the future war hero volunteered for the Army as one conflict raged in Afghanistan and another was about to erupt in Iraq.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 19, 2015</p> 21a99414b07aed4cdf0e9e5c98285ae0 Their Names for 07/31/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/their-names Thu, 31 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I asked the nation's newest Medal of Honor recipient why he enlisted less than two years after 9/11, his answer was unequivocal.</p> <p>&quot;I had always wanted to serve from the time I was very young,&quot; former U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Ryan Pitts said. </p> <p>As a 17-year-old high school student in Nashua, New Hampshire, the future war hero volunteered for the Army as one conflict raged in Afghanistan and another was about to erupt in Iraq.<p>Updated: Thu Nov 19, 2015</p> 60173596b4f5d004945cdc91e3d19a5e 24 Flags for 07/24/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/24-flags Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Robert and Linda Ollis were on an August 2013 trip to London when they were awoken by a call from back home. Their oldest daughter, Kimberly, needed to relay a neighbor's troubling message.</p> <p>"There were two soldiers at our door," Linda said. "They were looking for us."</p> <p>Despite being thousands of miles from their Staten Island home and Afghanistan, where their only son was serving, the parents could sense that the soldiers carried the worst possible news.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 24, 2014</p> 123b3a24de6efdf1dffc4d9ca34eed02 To Serve for 07/17/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/to-serve Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>It took a long time for Margy Agar to say the word "suicide" after her daughter, U.S. Army Sgt. Kimberly Agar, took her own life. Today, spreading awareness is her greatest passion.</p> <p>"My number one mission is for people to learn that (people) don't commit suicide," Margy told me. "They die from it."</p> <p>While the grieving Texas mother still struggles with unanswered questions about how her "energetic" and "vivacious" daughter's life descended into hopelessness and tragedy, Margy traces Kimberly's death to Oct. 7, 2007: the day she was injured by an improvised explosive device in Iraq. <p>Updated: Thu Jul 17, 2014</p> c12181fa02cd48520948b4f8e726a7d0 Josh's Dog for 07/10/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/joshs-dog Thu, 10 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>Before Sgt. Joshua Ashley left for his first combat deployment, his thoughts weren't centered on his own safety. The Marine K-9 handler was particularly concerned about his military working dog, Sirius.</p> <p>"Josh loved his dog," Sgt. Ashley's mother, Tammie, told me. "He had told his oldest brother that if anything ever happened to Sirius, he didn't think he could deal with it."</p> <p>The affinity Josh had for the German Shepherd became clear shortly before they left for Afghanistan's rugged, war-torn landscape.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 10, 2014</p> 6fa6da795504c11a041c4c3e200aa0be The Heart Still Beats for 07/03/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/07/14/the-heart-still-beats Thu, 03 Jul 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When future U.S. Army Cpl. Ben Kopp was just 8 years old, his heart was set on following in his great-grandfather's footsteps.</p> <p>"He would tell people he was going to grow up and go into the Army," Cpl. Kopp's mother, Jill Stephenson, told me.</p> <p>It took Ben's great-grandpa &#8212; a World War II veteran &#8212; to help the young boy understand the true meaning of service.<p>Updated: Thu Jul 03, 2014</p> d4736089e8d78ad04e35453f53cf0146 This Journey for 06/26/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/06/14/this-journey Thu, 26 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>On April 4, U.S. Marine Cpl. Brandon Garabrant updated his Facebook page as the 2nd Combat Engineer Battalion left North Carolina's Camp Lejeune for Afghanistan.</p> <p>"Going to do what we do best. Fighting for our country, (our) brothers to the left and right, our friends and families back home," the Marine wrote. "So that you can have the right for freedom and to live the American dream without fear of anything."</p> <p>Corporal Garabrant was proud to be a Marine. Less than a year before going to war, the New Hampshire native made headlines when he told his Peterborough high school that he would wear his military uniform to graduation. Brandon eventually agreed to wear the standard cap and gown after the school denied his request, but even so, the young Marine's point had been made.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 26, 2014</p> 2929cfd01fc6ab5564451d72a16977b7 Living and Enjoying for 06/19/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/06/14/living-and-enjoying Thu, 19 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>When I asked Cpl. Kyle Carpenter how possibly receiving the Medal of Honor might change his life, the young Marine responded the same way he did during a hellish battle in Afghanistan. He thought of others before himself.</p> <p>"I will never stop helping people that need to be helped or trying to make a positive impact on people's lives," Cpl. Carpenter told me in March 2013.</p> <p>Sure enough, after the 24-year-old wounded Afghanistan veteran learned that he would receive the nation's highest military honor in a June 19 White House ceremony, Kyle put his selfless plan into action.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 19, 2014</p> 058be50bad130687bde407ef0f0a714f The Longest Year for 06/12/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/06/14/the-longest-year Thu, 12 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>In November 2012, Joelle Ellis watched her son deploy to Afghanistan before he was old enough to buy a beer.</p> <p>"You have to remember that a lot of these young men and women serving were in elementary school on 9/11," the military mom said. "(U.S. troops) have a strong patriotic heart to defend our country, and that's definitely what we instilled in our children."</p> <p>Since he was a young boy playing cops and robbers in his Kennewick, Washington neighborhood, future U.S. Army Spc. Robby Ellis wanted to ensure that good defeated evil.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 12, 2014</p> f3ea74f01971efda3b8fc8bf4395298a Somebody to Love for 06/05/2014 https://www.creators.com/read/the-unknown-soldiers/06/14/somebody-to-love-e6608 Thu, 05 Jun 2014 00:00:00 -0700 <p>U.S. Army Sgt. Devin Snyder could always make her friends laugh, even during long patrols in northeastern Afghanistan. A week into her first overseas deployment, the 20-year-old military police officer was still doing what she loved most.</p> <p>"She was always the first to smile," Sgt. Jonathan Enlow said on June 11, 2011 at Forward Operating Base Mehtar Lam in Afghanistan. "She was someone who was always able to bring a smile out from everybody else, too."</p> <p>In April 2011, the laughter faded when several of Sgt. Snyder's fellow soldiers were wounded in a roadside bomb attack.<p>Updated: Thu Jun 05, 2014</p>