Master Sgt. Tara R. Brown taught computer skills to Afghani military forces. She was killed by enemy fire in Kabul, April 27, 2011.
Army Chief Warrant Officer Bryant Nichols, a pilot, died in the recent Chinook crash in Afghanistan.
All three were doing jobs they loved. All three were on the front lines serving a country they were willing to die for. All three left a hole in their families that can never be filled.
Yet, when Brown perished, there was no mention of her on the front page. When Justice died, only his hometown newspaper took note. When Nichols was killed, the whole country stopped in its tracks.
But it was the 17 Navy SEALs who died alongside Nichols that the media and the nation mourned first. The team’s unusual and storied training made them quick to recognize. Tales of SEAL team adventures are the stuff legends, and heroes, are made of.
But Nichols, and the 20 others who also died aboard that helicopter, are heroes too. And his 10-year-old son Braydon wanted to make sure the world remembered that.
This week, Braydon Nichols posted an iReport on the CNN website to honor his father. He had one request – that his father’s photo be posted along with those he saw of the other crash victims.
Braydon’s note was simple and sincere. He didn’t have to expand upon what was lingering in his mind. His father is his hero and his memory should be treated as such.
The little boy’s short note spurred thousands of responses from around the globe and an outpouring of understanding, appreciation and gratitude.
It’s doubtful a movie will ever be made about military members who do routine jobs, often behind the scenes while the battle wages on. But the military would collapse without their dedication and the nation would undoubtedly be at the mercy of her enemies.
The Navy SEALs are heroes. Brown is a hero. Justice is a hero. Nichols is a hero. They all deserve our attention and their picture on the front page.
It took a grieving, little boy to remind us all of that. Let’s not forget again.
(by Allison Perkins)