Tuesday, June 14, 2005

We should feel sorry for Kathy Trant?

She lost her husband, Dan, when he and many of his Cantor Fitzgerald co-workers were killed in the terrorist attack on the WTC towers on 9/11. I can sympathize with the loss and suffering this caused, and continues to cause.

However, she received around $5 million in financial compensation and donations. While this obviously did not bring back her husband, it should have provided her with the means to live comfortably for a long time, and to ensure the comfort and education of their children.

Instead, in less than 4 years, she has managed to blow through nearly all of that money, and has only about $500,000 left, according to this article. She spent it on travel, house renovations and a variety of other pursuits. Much was spent of expensive clothes, shoes and handbags.

... Sorry, I can't find it in myself to feel sorry for her. She took a tragedy and made a farce of it - I'm not wasting my time.

Instead, my sorrow is reserved for Brigit Smith, who would rather have her husband, SFC Paul R. Smith, back instead of the Medal of Honor that was awarded to him posthumously for his valor on the battlefield.

My concern is for the future and welfare of the family of every soldier who has lost his or her life in Iraq and Afghanistan, and who did not receive millions of dollars in compensation.

I worry about the families of the men and women who are recovering at Walter Reed and other military hospitals, and the quality of life for every soldier who has faced the elephant, and must deal with the effects daily.

Here are just a few of the troops we lost in the past week :

Army Soldiers

Sgt. 1st Class Neil A. Prince
Spc. Casey Byers
Sgt. Larry R. Arnold Sr.
Spc. Terrance D. Lee Sr.
1st Lt. Michael J. Fasnacht
Lt. Col. Terrence K. Crowe
Sgt. Roberto Arizola
Sgt. Michael J. Kelley
Pfc. Emmanuel Hernandez
Staff Sgt. Mark O. Edwards
Pfc. Douglas E. Kashmer
Capt. Phillip T. Esposito
1st Lt. Louis E. Allen

Lance Cpl. Mario A. Castillo
Lance Cpl. Andrew J. Kilpela
Lance Cpl. John J. Mattek Jr.
Lance Cpl. Dustin V. Birch
Lance Cpl. Daniel Chavez
Lance Cpl. Thomas O. Keeling
Lance Cpl. Devon P. Seymour
Cpl. Brad D. Squires
Lance Cpl. Marc L. Tucker

There is nothing we can do to bring them back to their families. But we can honor their sacrifice, and help the families as they pick up the pieces.

Then we have the troops who have been wounded and are struggling to regain health and strength, or cope with the loss of a limb. They and their families need our help and concern.

Here are a few of the groups which focus on providing support for families of fallen soldiers (all services), as well as helping to care for the wounded and their families.

Children of Fallen Soldiers Relief Fund
Freedom Alliance
Wounded Warrior Project
Fisher House Foundation
Homes for our Troops
Operation Hero Miles
Soldiers' Angels

For a growing list of groups that provide support for the troops and their families, you can visit the DoD site America Supports You.

Do something good for a soldier or the family of a soldier today. They deserve it!


Sarah of Trying to Grok weighs in on this, and shares a link to a story that helped restore her faith in humanity.