Captain Jason

The latest news on the recover of Jason after his injury in Iraq by an IED.


Pictures

Snail Mail:

Cpt. Jason Scott
WRAMC Building 20
Mologne House Hotel #316
6900 Georgia Ave. NW
Washington DC 20307

Phone: 202 577 0092

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Jason and Dan Do Silver Spring

Jason slept in till about noon. I put up the "Privacy Please" on the door, remembering the hospital episodes of the last week. Dan called and said he was ready to go out as he had returned from a military training junket to exotic places: Danville, Virginia. I do believe that many a year (80's) ago Dow did research at a sewing plant there/near there. Jason and Dan went to Silver Spring to see...Mission Impossible III. Jason said, "It was okay" when I returned about 6 PM from my day on the Mall. I asked if he wanted something for dinner, he asked for a Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Chip milkshake. However when I went to the store, about 30 people were in line. The line was just too long so I went to Whole Foods and got him a Jamba Juice: Peach with protein boost.

Katy's Day:
The day was forecasted to have rain in the afternoon so I packed my raincoat and umbrella. When we reached the Mall the sun was shining in almost a clear blue sky and so it would stay throughout the visit.

Patrice Gilbert who is a professional photographer and Jason's and my friend said she would go with me to the Mall. Allison Snow another friend had said she wanted to attend the events also. At least three events were taking place on the Mall very near the White House and the Washington Monument. I was not able to attend the Military Families Speak Out (MFSO) events as they were held earlier in the day. Patrice and I arrived shortly before 3 PM at the AFSC (Quaker) Memorial Exhibit that travels the country. It is called "Eyes Wide Open" and originated in Chicago where I had attended it and also in Milwaukee. It is a pair of military boots representing every US soldier killed in Iraq, now over 2400 pairs. They are layed out in a grid according to State. Many carry attached personal mementos and letters from family/friends.

Growing ever larger is the portion of the Memorial that includes pairs of shoes of women, men and children from Iraq killed in the war, now estimated to be over 100,000 civilians. These are layed out in a pattern of a meditation called the labyrinth inviting the visitor to follow ever deeper into the circle. Shoes of every size and type from infant to adults are included. Many have an identifier tag attached: age 1, age 6. Some have a picture and a story attached: My father age 69... I walk amongst them and think of my own grandchildren and nieces and nephews and tears come to my eyes.

Many people are walking among the shoes reading quietly, heads bowed down. I walk amongst the shoes of our soldiers knowing there are boots here from soldiers Jason knew. As I walk I feel the pain and suffering of the soldiers who have died. I am caught up in the feelings of combat before death. I say a prayer for peace for them and solace for their families. I found Lt. Ken Ballard's shoes on a table with notes from his Memorial Blog and his mother's blog (Jason and fellow Captains visited his grave in Arlington). The table carried items too large to lay out in the grid. Nearby was the uniform of soldier Lucey who committed suicide after his tour in Iraq. His family gave it to the exhibit and columns of the newspaper reports. As when I saw it for the first time in Milwaukee, my heart clenched for his parents and family and friends. Suicide is so devastating and tears the heart out of the relationships of those who cared.

Later on our way back to the car, Patrice said "I would like to visit the exhibit again." We headed toward it but it was now being taken down as a severe storm was forecasted tonight and tomorrow. Patrice stopped and took photographs while I listed to the "roll call" by state as the boots were being put away to move on to Philadelphia. "Maryland: Sgt Alessandro Carbonaro." I had thought of Gilda and her husband earlier when I saw the boots and wondered if Alex's had been added as Gilda and her husband are now members of a Goldstar Family. Now I felt I had completed my own memorial ritual for Alex. His name called, his boots packed away. Gone on the winds of time and into the history of the wars of humanity. Being present when his name had been called for the very first time as it will be called wherever the exhibit is created, I felt honored and that I had honored Alex, son of a friend. I was present when Gilda could not be. So the Circle of Compassion is open but never broken. I will think of Alex and Ken when I visit the Memorial in the future.

The visit was to Sacred Space and Sacred Time and Peace enters into one's soul if you or I are open.

Here we met Allison, thank goodness for the dreaded cell phones and headed to the Code Pink Vigil kick off. We were on the South(?) side (nearest Mall) of the White House. I didn't know what was planned and surprise it was a picture, using all of us, laying down to spell out "Moms say No War." Codepink is really creative in their actions. I would estimate about 300 folks were present. We were told that the photo would be taken from above. I am thinking "helicopter?" No, ...from the top of the Washington Monument. Photographer intrepid Patrice who I had been teasing about being "in the picture, not taking it" was separated from us as they pointed us to lie down here and there to make a W. The raincoat did come in handy as I layed down on it! All of a sudden my cell rings, it is Patrice. "Patrice, where are you? "Heading to the top of the Washington monument to take a picture!" I think you have to walk up stairs to get to the top. She just had to do it! Of course, Patrice is not part of her/history like we will be. :-) We were told that CNN had it on almost immediately.

I had headed to the "W" and looking at me is a wonderful wise Elder from Chicago! "Katy, I am so glad to see you." We reintroduce ourselves. Marsda is from Oak Park near Chicago and has been keeping up with Jason's progress through Dave Martin a mutual friend who had arranged a bus from Chicago for the September 2005 Peace Rally here in DC. Thirty hours of bus riding for 6 hours in DC, but it was worth it. Of the three moms with soldiers in Iraq that trip, one's son was killed, Jason seriously injured and I do not know the other's outcome. Marsda layed with her feet at my head. After we took pictures with her niece Katy and, I believe, a friend. When ever I see one of my wise Elders, I think "She is my future. I will be attending these events until my health stops me or I can't get up off the ground!" I have a friend in one of the Chicago Peace circles who is 88, comes every Tuesday, rain or freezing.

After being a "living letter" we headed for the Codepink campsite near the White House. There we met another mother from Chicago who is in Military Families Speak Out, Linda Englund. Her son has served I believe 2 tours in Iraq and has been hit by shrapnel. He will not be going to Iraq from Germany this tour because his wife(age 21) is very seriously ill with cancer. My heart breaks for her this Mother's Day. It was good to see Linda and spend time catching up.

Let us pray and hold in good thoughts all mothers this Mother's Day, especially those of soldiers who have died, are injured or in combat. Blessings to each of you on Mother's Day as we remember or are able to spend time with our own mothers.

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