Thursday, November 5, 2009

Blowing San #1


It means different things to different people.

Take Faleh Hassan Almaleki, for instance. This 48 year old Iraqi father ran down his 20 year old daughter with a Jeep. Twenty-year old Noor Faleh Almaleki died in an Arizona hospital after spending two weeks in a coma. Mr. Almaleki ran over his daughter because she had become too “westernized.” His barbarous and cowardly act was an attempt at an “honor killing.”

I’ve been taught that I am supposed to understand and respect cultural differences. People from other cultures view life differently than I do, by a different set of standards. I can’t do it. This man ran down his daughter with his Jeep. That’s not culture. That’s evil. Fox News carried the story.

Let me show you a better example of honor, and a better relationship between a father and a daughter.

If you’ve ever perused my sidebar you may have noticed the first blog that I follow. It is called Blowing San #1. “Blowing San” is a phrase from the submarine fleet. The author of Blowing San #1 is a retired Senior Chief Petty Officer who served the Unites States for 22 years, a career that included tours on the USS Simon Bolivar (SSBN 641), the USS Omaha (SSN 692), the USS Phoenix (SSN 702), the USS Daniel Webster (SSBN 626), the USS Orion (AS-18), and the USS Archerfish (SSN 676).   Along the way he managed to earn a Navy Achievement Medal, no small task. His career spanned from December of 1970, four months after I started kindergarten, to January of 1993, five years after my Navy tour ended. He volunteered to serve his country during the Vietnam War. This man not only spent a great deal of time at sea, but the vast majority of it under water. That’s a lot of sea time.

In his retirement, Senior Chief dedicates much of his time putting a face and a story to the names of the men and women who serve our country in the armed forces and make the ultimate sacrifice for you and for me. I spend much of my blogging time recording the exploits of the coon hound, my children, or hiding Christmas wreaths in pictures. Senior Chief provides the life story to young men and women who die painful deaths far away from home, people who would otherwise be just a name that you might notice on the news if you listened closely. He tells a piece of their life story. It makes their loss much more significant.

That’s honor.

His dedication to our servicemen and women crosses the lines between branches of service, traditionally a source of much rivalry. The young men and women who serve our country? That’s honorable. And their sacrifices need more attention. As a country, we need to be more aware that our countrymen are falling in service to us. They voluntarily swore an oath to serve and defend the Constitution of the United States of America so that each one of us can continue to pursue our own interests, like blogging about coon hounds and children and hiding Christmas wreaths in pictures.

I cannot encourage you enough to stop by Senior Chief’s blog. Look at the pictures and read the stories of the men and women who fight and fall on our behalf. I do not leave comments very often. Honestly, I don’t know what to say. But, every morning I pull up my blog page and see a fresh name underneath the title of Senior Chief’s blog, and I know that another American died. The power of the government comes from the governed. That means that these people didn’t die for an abstract concept of “government.” They died for you. They died for me.

When you visit Senior Chief’s blog, stop by and watch a very short video of a young lady that perfectly captures a wonderful relationship between a father and his daughter, as seen through his daughter’s eyes. (turn off the music player on the lower left corner of his blog before you do) It’s the relationship I suspect Noor never had.  Watch the young lady's face.  I dare you to watch it with a dry eye.


Teacher Mommy said...

I'll have to save the video for another time, but yes, I agree with you. What Almeleki did is not honor. What Senior Chief does is.

Like "truth," too many people think they can play around with the definition.

CrossView said...

We've been talking a lot lately about honeor and integrity. We've been seeing so little of it. And those few who are busy doing the next right thing continue to give me hope.

CrossView said...

And honor, too.

Linda said...

Thank you for writing this.

Michelle said...

What a wonderful thing to dedicate his time too! I will definitely go and check it out.

Have a great coon-less day!

jedijson said...

I, too, try to read Blowing San a lot--mostly because I saw it on your site. It's amazing.

As for the "father"? Let me guess his religion. Is it the one "of peace"? That may be his culture, but... I just don't know what to say. What he did is so wrong on so many levels.

Subvet said...

Wow! Wish I could write like that. Thanks for the shout out, in all honesty the extended obituarites where I try to put a face on the fallen is something new. I grew tired of just listing names, ages and their states of origin. Every one of those who died was as real as anyone of us, this is just a small way of acknowledging that.

Once again, thanks.