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Facebook Notification – again. What Part of SHUT UP do you not understand?

April 16, 2012

How does this happen again?  HOW?  A while back, we all were shocked that a woman heard of her soldier’s death via e-mail, Facebook and twitter, from another spouse. Now comes news of another “Facebook notification”; but this one is almost worse, if that is possible. This spouse was notified by another soldier in her husband’s unit. I cannot begin to fathom that level of stupidity. I don’t know how many rules, regulations, and proclamations from command that were broken in this incident. How this other soldier in the unit thought this was a good thing to do boggles my mind!

There are rules. There are rules for a reason. Can you imagine how Mrs. Taylor-Brown felt at hearing this news on the phone, in front of her children. How this has scarred her children we may never know. It cannot be healthy for kids to see their mother collapse, with no one there to hold her, comfort her, to take them into another room and explain that mommy is sad in words that a child that young can understand. How dare this idiot in Afghanistan do this to this family that had already lost so much.

I want that soldier to w be ordered to walk up to Mrs. Taylor-Brown, I want her to apologize to her face to face. And I want everyone in the room to turn their backs, and what happens in that room, stays in that room. Of course, any military punishment that can be levied, would be welcome.  There must all manner of regulations that were shattered by that one, unthinking, stupid phonecall/Facebook post.

Hearing this news is terrible, earth shattering, mindnumbing (words I’ve heard from Gold Star wives and mothers). But hearing this news, without having a person there trained to know what follows, to have that shoulder, that arm of a chaplain, a counselor, a friend; that presence that  lets you know you aren’t alone, must be so very much worse. I have been a fan of social media as a way to keep us, a far-flung military community, together and in touch. Right now, I hate it.  I’ve heard others demand we take away private cell phones from soldiers. I’ve heard demands that contact be more strictly supervised. I doubt more regulations would stop this, after all “you can’t fix stupid”, you can’t regulate compassion, or common sense.  Anyone with the common sense of a gnat’s ass would have known better than to post that on Facebook, or make that phone call.

We grieve with the family. And any of our readers who are FRG/FRSA/key volunteers/ombudsman-please please please, remind the families of why notification procedures are in place and to just SHUT  UP.   Tell them to remind their spouses to just SHUT UP. There cannot be another Ariell Taylor-Brown.

LAW

 

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One Comment leave one →
  1. April 19, 2012 11:26 pm

    Jesus. I read about this earlier, and of course, put myself in that spouse’s position. Recalled everything I’d ever heard from every Gold Star family member about how they imploded at the point of notification. Or how they incinerated – literally – when the casualty notification officers delivered the news. Recalled the out-of-body experience of my husband’s two combat deployments. There’s nothing, no way, to pretty this up, to excuse or explain or justify. And the reality is that it likely will happen again, has probably already happened more times than we know. This is the confluence of stupid meets multiple deployments meets lack of draft, which then encounters social media. Plus ego. I used to think people were better than they are. Now I know different. Occassionally, I am surprised by sheer human good ness. And when that happens, it’s like sunshine in the arctic. Come home. All of them, and us, just come home. Jesus, I’m tired.

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