Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Steve Brodner: Person of the Day

My friend, the prolific award winning illustrator Steve Brodner does a daily blog titled Person of the Day, which I subscribe to. Every day you get a fresh image and some fresh thoughts from Steve.

Today it was 4000 Persons of the Day, with a drawing of a few of the soldiers who have died during the war. This originally ran in the NY Times.

It was simple: a Steve Brodner drawing of the soldier, their name, date they were killed, and then, their own words.

One of the most moving pieces to commemorate and humanize that number "4,000."

From today's New York Times article:

Specialist Daniel E. Gomez, Army medic, killed July 18, 2007:

“A few days ago I realized why I am here in Baghdad dealing with all the gunfire, the rocket attacks, the IEDs, the car bombs, the death. I have only been here going on a month and a half. Already I have seen what war really is... but officially its called “full spectrum operations.” No I don’t down Bush, he is my CinC, and I think he is doing an good job with what Clinton left him. I don’t debate why we are involved in Iraq. I just know why I am here. It is not for the smiling Iraqi kids, or the even the feeling of wearing the uniform ( it feels damn good though :) . I am here for the soldier on patrol with me.

But why are you there in the states. Why are you having that nice dinner, watching TV, going out on dates..”

Here is his letter to his girlfriend, to be read in the event of his death:

“Hey baby. If you’re reading this, then something has happen to me and I am sorry. I promised you I would come back to you, but I guess it was a promise I could not keep. You know I never believe in writing “death letters.” I knew if I left one for my folks it would scare them. Then I met you. We were supposed to meet, darling. I needed someone to make me smile, someone that was an old romantic like I was. I was going through a very rough time in Iraq and I was startin to doubt my mental state. Then one day after a patrol, I go to my facebook and there you were...

"I can’t stop crying while I writing this letter, but I have to talk to you one last time, because maybe the last time I heard your voice I did not know it would be the last time I heard your voice....

"I Love You. Go be happy, go raise a family. Teach your kids right from wrong, and have faith, darling. I think I knew I loved you even before I met. I love you, Katy. * Kiss * Goodbye”

Link to the handwritten letter here (PDF).

1 comment:

Guy Gilchrist said...

Thank you very much for posting this, Mike. Thank you very much.
Tears of sadness. Tears of pride.