Monday, October 30, 2006

Thoughts about Dad

This year I turned 17. I'm one of the lucky ones who got to do this twice. When I turned 17 the first time, I was not even 24 hours in a foster-care shelter. My future was uncertain, but somehow I knew I would land on my feet.

That was exactly half my life ago.

This year as I turned 17 again, my foster father- no, I can't even call him my foster father, my Dad- sits in a hospital room awaiting a second round of chemotherapy for Adult Acute Myeloid Leukemia. They had hoped it was only going to be one round, a month in the hospital, done deal. No such luck there. Second round, as well as a stem cell transplant. Instead of one month, now it will be three months more. He will be hospitalized for all of the holidays.

His future is uncertain, and I try to be as positive as possible that he will land on his feet.

I try not to be stressed, to play it off stoically, but inside I keep thinking, this is a man who made me believe that all fathers weren't assholes. He gave me away at my wedding, not three years after becoming my father. He introduced me to broccoli ice cream... ;-)

Really, he is the man who saved my life.

How can I save his?

Any man can be a father. It takes someone special to be a dad. ~Author Unknown

I love my father as the stars - he's a a bright shining example and a happy twinkling in my heart. ~Adabella Radici

Old as she was, she still missed her daddy sometimes. ~Gloria Naylor

Blessed is the influence of one true, loving human soul on another. ~George Eliot

Local News Segments

I was just thinking, you locals on the AZ blog roll, here is a LINK to the radio segments that I put in the podcast feed. I cover alot of local news, and give my opinions every now and then too. So you may enjoy it- you may not. :-)

A Tillman Speaks

I had this over on my podcast site, because I referred to it in one of my radio segments that I put in the feed. I realize I haven't been over here in quite some time. Alot of personal stuff with the family has been going on, and the radio thing is really sucking my time, so I just haven't had the energy to keep things up here.
I'll try to catch up soon. My husband wants to know what's going on in my life... ;-)

Until then, pass this on, it's almost two weeks old, but still worth passing.

After Pat's Birthday

Posted on Oct 19, 2006
Pat and Kevin Tillman
Courtesy the Tillman Family

By Kevin Tillman


It is Pat's birthday on November 6, and elections are the day after. It gets me thinking about a conversation I had with Pat before we joined the military. He spoke about the risks with signing the papers. How once we committed, we were at the mercy of the American leadership and the American people. How we could be thrown in a direction not of our volition. How fighting as a soldier would leave us without a voice├»¿½ until we get out.

Much has happened since we handed over our voice:

Somehow we were sent to invade a nation because it was a direct threat to the American people, or to the world, or harbored terrorists, or was involved in the September 11 attacks, or received weapons-grade uranium from Niger, or had mobile weapons labs, or WMD, or had a need to be liberated, or we needed to establish a democracy, or stop an insurgency, or stop a civil war we created that can't be called a civil war even though it is. Something like that.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow our elected leaders were subverting international law and humanity by setting up secret prisons around the world, secretly kidnapping people, secretly holding them indefinitely, secretly not charging them with anything, secretly torturing them. Somehow that overt policy of torture became the fault of a few bad apples in the military.

Somehow back at home, support for the soldiers meant having a five-year-old kindergartener scribble a picture with crayons and send it overseas, or slapping stickers on cars, or lobbying Congress for an extra pad in a helmet. It's interesting that a soldier on his third or fourth tour should care about a drawing from a five-year-old; or a faded sticker on a car as his friends die around him; or an extra pad in a helmet, as if it will protect him when an IED throws his vehicle 50 feet into the air as his body comes apart and his skin melts to the seat.

Somehow the more soldiers that die, the more legitimate the illegal invasion becomes.

Somehow American leadership, whose only credit is lying to its people and illegally invading a nation, has been allowed to steal the courage, virtue and honor of its soldiers on the ground.

Somehow those afraid to fight an illegal invasion decades ago are allowed to send soldiers to die for an illegal invasion they started.

Somehow faking character, virtue and strength is tolerated.

Somehow profiting from tragedy and horror is tolerated.

Somehow the death of tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people is tolerated.

Somehow subversion of the Bill of Rights and The Constitution is tolerated.

Somehow suspension of Habeas Corpus is supposed to keep this country safe.

Somehow torture is tolerated.

Somehow lying is tolerated.

Somehow reason is being discarded for faith, dogma, and nonsense.

Somehow American leadership managed to create a more dangerous world.

Somehow a narrative is more important than reality.

Somehow America has become a country that projects everything that it is not and condemns everything that it is.

Somehow the most reasonable, trusted and respected country in the world has become one of the most irrational, belligerent, feared, and distrusted countries in the world.

Somehow being politically informed, diligent, and skeptical has been replaced by apathy through active ignorance.

Somehow the same incompetent, narcissistic, virtueless, vacuous, malicious criminals are still in charge of this country.

Somehow this is tolerated.

Somehow nobody is accountable for this.

In a democracy, the policy of the leaders is the policy of the people. So don't be shocked when our grandkids bury much of this generation as traitors to the nation, to the world and to humanity. Most likely, they will come to know that somehow was nurtured by fear, insecurity and indifference, leaving the country vulnerable to unchecked, unchallenged parasites.

Luckily this country is still a democracy. People still have a voice. People still can take action. It can start after Pat's birthday.

Brother and Friend of Pat Tillman,

Kevin Tillman

*Truthdig.org