Sunday, 29 October 2006

Winning hearts and minds

From Jack on the World_SIG list, who said, “You’ll never see this in the MSM.”

Winning hearts and minds The text accompanying the photo reads:

“Air Force Chief Master Sgt. John Gebhardt, of the 332nd Expeditionary Medical Group at Balad, Iraq, cradles a young girl as they both sleep in the hospital. The girl’s entire family was executed by insurgents; the killers shot her in the head as well. The girl received treatment at the U.S. military hospital in Balad, but cries and moans often. According to nurses at the facility, Gebhardt is the only one who can calm down the girl, so he has spent the last several nights holding her while they both sleep in a chair.”

CMS Gebhardt will never be singled out by the American or Arabic press for his compassion. He will not receive an award for the love and affection he has shown a little girl in such desperate need of both. His action may not resonate with anyone on this blue marble except the little one on the receiving end.

A couple of nights ago, I caught a M.A.S.H. re-run. It was the one where a Korean-American baby is left outside The Swamp, with a note attached telling the camp the baby’s father was an American GI. Like Japan, Korea is a very homogenous culture, and children of mixed heritage were (are?) looked down upon. This little girl would not have a happy childhood, and would likely even be killed before she reached adulthood. The staff of the 4077 try in vain to get her transferred to the U.S., and finally resort to leaving her at a nearby monastery, where the monks will keep her cloistered and safe from those would harm her.

As they’re saying their goodbyes outside the monastery, Hawkeye tells the baby, and forgive me for my paraphrasing, “You brought a little light in to a world filled with darkness.”

Thank you, CMS Gebhardt, for bringing light in to a little one’s world of darkness. I know you are likely not concerned with receiving it, but I pray she is able to thank you some day, too.

posted on October 29, 2006 1:00 AM




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