Cut and paste just doesn’t cut it
Recently I’ve seen all kinds of people re-posting this as their Facebook status:
Lindsay Lohan, 24, is all over the news because she’s a celebrity drug addict. While Justin Allen 23, Brett Linley 29, Matthew Weikert 29, Justus Bartett 27, Dave Santos 21, Chase Stanley 21, Jesse Reed 26, Matthew Johnson 21, Zachary Fisher 24, Brandon King 23, Christopher Goeke 23, …and Sheldon Tate 27 are all Marines that gave their lives this week with NO MEDIA MENTION. Honor THEM by reposting!
I’ve got no gripe against the need people have to remember their loved ones, but this copy-and-paste notion of honor makes my head throb like my worst hangover. I get that it’s meant to be a blistering smack-down of a perceived media bias for celebrity over those who should matter so much more, but just because we didn’t hear these names on the big cable television news shows doesn’t mean their deaths received “no media mention.” Every one of them was honored by their local newspaper and television media, and that’s what matters anyway.
And how does posting twelve more or less random names on Facebook do these guys an honor? What about the other 5,684 killed since the war began? There’s also something kind of dorked up about equating the honor of soldiers killed in battle with the celebrity of Lindsey Lohan, but I haven’t noodled that out yet.
My biggest problem with Facebooking these guys into eternity, though, is this: These guys are not all Marines. Ordinarily I wouldn’t point out the difference, because civilians just don’t get the many reasons a Marine might want to make the distinction between him and a soldier, and under other circumstances I’m not sure I could explain it. But in this case it’s simple: If you’re going to invoke the names of the fallen as a way of honoring them, then putting them in the correct branch of service is the least you could do. No, wait: spelling their names correctly is the very least you could do.
Facebookers, the next time you feel the need to honor soldiers killed in battle, please resist the urge to copy and paste. If you really want to honor these guys, look up their names and get to know them:
Sergeant Justin Allen was an American Army Ranger.
Staff Sergeant Brett Linley was a British Army soldier in the Royal Logistics Corps.
Sergeant Matthew Weikert was an American Airborne soldier.
Staff Sergeant Justus Bartelt was an American Marine.
Corporal Dave Santos was an American Marine.
Specialist Chase Stanley was an American Army soldier.
Specialist Jesse Reed was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.
Specialist Matthew Johnson was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.
Sergeant Zachary Fisher was a Combat Engineer in the American Army.
Private Brandon King was an Army Airborne soldier.
1st Lieutenant Christopher Goeke was an Army Airborne soldier.
Staff Sergeant Sheldon Tate was an Army Airborne soldier.
When you’re done with them, spend a little time with the other five-thousand plus, too.