January 20, 2005


ABC wanted to know if there were any military funerals that they could contrast to their coverage of the inauguration. I send a hundred mental middle fingers their way, for today I attended the memorial service for PFC Gunnar Becker.

The soldiers of Becker's company had their own service:

As they approached the memorial to render a final salute, many of his comrades felt compelled to leave a memento. While many leaders left unit coins, the popping of stitches was heard as nametapes and patches were torn from uniforms throughout the chapel, and left on the memorial alongside a toy tank, paper flowers, packs of Camel cigarettes and other personal items.

Today we who stand and wait had ours.

PFC Becker seems like an upstanding guy. He gave away his R&R slot to another soldier whose grandfather was ill. He joined in Army in August 2003, at which point he would have known he'd be heading to a long deployment in the Middle East. He joined anyway. His platoon sergeant said that when he asked Becker why he joined the Army, instead of answering "for the college money" like most do, he said, "I came in to make a difference."

And he did make a difference. One of his friends, in DCUs and crutches, went to the podium and choked back sobs as he spoke of his friend. We all wept. My heart ached as they fired the volleys. PFC Becker will be buried on Saturday at 1530 in South Dakota, on his 20th birthday.

Screw you, ABC, for wanting to politicize our pain.

Posted by Sarah at January 20, 2005 02:25 PM

Oh Sarah, I am so sorry. And I send my middle finger salute right along with you.....

Thank you for sharing this insite into the memorial. I don't know what to say other than, even not knowing him, I hurt. I hurt for his family and loved ones, and I hurt for you.

Posted by: Tammi at January 20, 2005 03:42 PM

I too have been sending mental finger salutes to the creeps. I read on another blog that they were ONLY looking for a funeral for a servicemember from OIF - like one of our guys who gave his all in Afghanistan, or any where else around the world, doesn't bleeding count!

Sarah, I'm sorry for your pain, and for the terrible loss of PFC Becker's family and friends.

Posted by: Barb at January 21, 2005 02:57 AM

I have to agree with you about ABC. The shame of the MSM is the saddest commentary on our nation.
Our military should be our national pride and every attempt should be made to support them and sustain them in the time of their losses. Thank you for representing those of us who do not have a chance to memorialize and honor those who have fallen in the service of our nation. May those of you who serve and the families at home know that many of us have the utmost pride in them and mourn the losses and severe injuries of our troops. Take care and may God watch over you.

Posted by: Pat in NC at January 21, 2005 04:03 PM


Read Arthur Chrenkoff today. He helps put this in it's proper perspective.


Posted by: Sean at January 21, 2005 07:15 PM


Posted by: CPTHAM at January 21, 2005 08:02 PM

Shame on them. I was horrified that they would stoop to that level but then the MSM never ceases to amaze me in their lack of shame or respect for our military people and their families. My heart goes out to PFC Becker's family and friends.

Posted by: Toni at January 21, 2005 11:38 PM

Here's an email I sent to ABC News today. For what it's worth, I hope they are getting a bunch more!

I am writing in regard to the recent solicitation on your website for inaugeration day funerals, and the subsequent broadcast of one for Matthew Holloway.

You guys are a bunch of goddamn whores. The only reason you guys put this excrement on the air is to make the President look bad on inaugeration day. How dare you politicize the death of PFC Holloway! I guess since Dan Rather is gone from CBS you guys feel you have to pick up his slack. Shame on all of you at ABC News!

I'm glad you guys weren't around during WWII. You would be showing nothing but negative reports about the allied offensive and how the war is going bad. Heck, we would all be walking lockstep by now!

This type of journalism (if you want to call it that, propoganda is more appropriate!) gives aid and comfort to the terrorist enemy we are trying to erradicate in Iraq. This type of reporting EMBOLDENS our enemy and will RESULT IN THE DEATHS OF MORE AMERICANS! SHAME ON YOU! I don't know how you guys live with yourselves.

Posted by: Biker at January 22, 2005 10:05 PM

At Gunnar Becker's funeral today the media was everywhere. While looking for a place to sit I realized there was a whole area reserved for MEDIA. What's that. I always seemed to think that this was a time for friends and family to say good bye to their loved ones and to recognize their acomplishments and stuff like that. Its not suppose to be a public event. Yes Gunnar served for our country, but that doesn't mean everybody who doesn't feel our pain needs to see our painful expierence.

Posted by: Michelle at January 23, 2005 02:09 AM

I would like to say thank you to a couple of you gals on here!! Sarah thank you, first and foremost from PFC Gunnar Becker's biological FATHER, Aunts, uncles, and us numerous cousins. We have been told many stories of how this has happened and had as of yet to find out. Thank you for the link up to the story that gives us our answers. And to Michelle you are right, a funeral is not the time nor the place for the media, and to have special setting, when his fathers family didn't even get the respect of the others in attendance to be seated while they were standing. But with the news media there also, we were put in a tough situation! I have to give huge snaps to the military personal in handleing this split family situation wonderfully. My Uncle (gunnars father) was included with every certificate, medal and the presenting of the flag! Thank you also to Govenor Rounds, and Senetor John Thune for taking the time to talk with Gunnars Dad.

Posted by: Cindi at January 23, 2005 09:54 PM

I agree with you Sarah... Gunnar should be a person remembered by all of us. The media can seriously go fuck themselves. Gunnar was a great guy and the president should have come and said goodbye to him with the rest of us. He was serving bush's country. the asshole. how dare abc be conserned that it would interfere. we all had to mourn that day and the rest of the world shouldve mourned with us. i cant believe he was going to be twenty allready. anyways thanks to all of you who supported sarah. gunnar will forever be remembered by all of us.

Posted by: sailorsgirl at January 24, 2005 05:53 AM

Thursday at Fort Hood, we had a memorial service for the six soldiers killed together by an IED. There were no cameras allowed or needed, and I don't think ABC could have gotten within a mile of the place without suffering grievous bodily harm.

Memorials are for our Army family. The MSM can't possibly understand - they do not know or acknowledge the value and satisfaction of serving something larger than themselves.

Posted by: Peyton at January 24, 2005 07:10 PM

when my son, PFC Gunnar Becker.,traded R&R, he gave up being home for his sister's high school graduation.....she graduated valadictorian, class of 2003

Posted by: debey at January 27, 2005 12:11 AM

correction...his sister graduated class of 2004....as for the press @ Gunnar's funeral, when you use a public building, built BY the tax payers, it's pretty hard to keep the press out...

Posted by: debey at January 27, 2005 12:16 AM