Friday, December 30, 2005

An Interesting Series from the NYT:

Happiness, Acceptance, Pride and Loss

I caught this series while reviewing news on the Iraq election and wanted to share it as I was so surprised that it was not laced with "bad Bush war" rhetoric, but were follow ups to previous stories.

Hapiness, Acceptance, Pride and Loss

Juliet Macur of the Times follows up on six soldiers from past articles in the series about the role sports play in the lives of American soldiers deployed to Iraq and of their families.

Dawn Hafker: Staying busy with work, new love

In June 2004, First Lt. Dawn Halfaker, who had played basketball at West Point, was riding in an armored Humvee in Baquba when a rocket-propelled grenade tore through the vehicle. It burst through her upper right arm, shattered her shoulder blade and broke five ribs that bruised her lung. Doctors amputated her right arm.

Danielle Green: From Grand Marshall to Coveted Sports Job

Specialist Danielle Green, a former basketball player at Notre Dame, was sitting atop a police station in Baghdad in May 2004 when a rocket-propelled grenade tore off her left arm below the elbow. For months afterward, she was angry and self-conscious about losing her dominant hand, and she was still struggling to cope last spring. But she said she had come to terms with the injury

Phil Sorenson: Football Not the Same

Phil Sorenson and his best friend, Cody Wentz, joined the North Dakota Army National Guard for college money. In February 2004, they were shipped to Iraq. On Nov. 4, 2004, the two were arguing inside a Humvee about their favorite football teams - the Detroit Lions and the Minnesota Vikings - when a roadside bomb exploded. It killed Mr. Wentz, and tore off Mr. Sorenson's lower left leg.

Partnership Brings Trained Soldiers and Optimism

American and Iraqi soldiers lived together at Camp Normandy, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, and the two battalions competed in sports to strengthen their relationship. Now Lt. Col. Roger Cloutier's First Battalion, 30th Infantry of the Third Infantry Division is about to leave Iraq.

Mother Deals With Son's Death At Home

On Aug. 29, he returned home to Nashville for a 15-day break. He called his parents, Dorothy and Mozell, for directions to their new house but never showed up.

Late that night, Sergeant Rayner, still in his desert camouflage uniform, was stabbed to death in the apartment of his 19-year-old girlfriend. He was 37, and had a 10-year-old son from a previous marriage. William K. Gillum, who had been dating Sergeant Rayner's girlfriend, was charged with first-degree murder and is out on bail. His arraignment is set for Jan. 6.

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