The War Brought Home
Early in the morning on Memorial Day I received a phone call informing me that my cousin - Kim Dozier - had been injured in Baghdad. Listening to my mother's voice it was apparent there was real concern about Kim and the difficult effect her situation would have on her octogenarian parents.
Kim and her camera crew were sent on assignment to do a Memorial Day piece for the CBS Evening News. It seems that an otherwise easy report on how our troops are doing on this holiday, turned into a face-to-face encounter with a fatal car bomb that would kill her crew and leave Kim in serious condition as she underwent surgery in a Green-Zone hospital.
Why would anyone choose this career path?
Her father is a World War II veteran. He was one on Iwo Jima during that struggle. He later became a concrete engineer and traveled and lived all over the globe. It's doubtful Kim ever lived in any one spot more than four or five years. This included, at age 13, being on one of the last planes out of Tehran, Iran, in 1979. The hostages who were held for 444 days leading up to the inauguration of Ronald Reagan had been her compound neighbors.
This exciting life bred a courageous journalist. Kim is a CBS war correspondent and an expert on middle-east politics and all their players. I have seen more pictures of her in bulletproof vests than any other type of attire. She has been embedded for more than three years and has won several journalism awards.
This incident, which has brought such grave concern to our family, has given me pause to think about Memorial Day. We're all glad Kim is alive and all very sorry that her camera crew perished. I don't know her personal feelings about the war, but I do know she is a fearless member of the press.
One of my many recent thoughts has been about the number of soldiers, sailors, and airmen who have died to uphold our freedoms? Certainly our Founding Fathers placed freedom of speech as the first amendment to the Constitution for a reason.
When you gather facts, question and debate authority, then logically and peacefully reach conclusions, you grow. All who wish to pay attention, listen and learn. That learning about others and about self creates a living, changing, thinking society and a great nation.
A veteran friend, who watched his buddies die in war, once shared his thoughts on freedom. We were talking about a flag burning incident. He said it made him sick to see the flag desecrated. He thought society had no respect and that the demonstrators did not understand the symbolism of the flag. However, he finished by saying he'd serve and fight again for their right to burn the flag.
Admittedly, until that time, I only had rage at the flag burnings. After our talk I had a different perception. Freedom is an immeasurable value; all of us have the right to express our freedoms in a multitude of ways because of the sacrifices of our military and the fore thought of those who wrote our Constitution.
I don't know my younger cousin's politics and honestly don't really care. The soldiers she has been embedded with became her "guardian angels." She is a very sharp and observant woman in a dangerous situation. She understands the men and women serving in Iraq and maybe even the politics behind this war.
It's hard to believe anyone would desire to work in a war zone as Kim has. Hopefully she will return stateside to recover and share her experiences with her family and friends. Once recovered, however, odds are she will be back reporting live from Baghdad making her Mom, Dad, brothers and sister very proud.
I am sure she understands the "working" value of the First Amendment of the Constitution better than I do, having been in a war zone. I would bet digging for truths, exposing situations society wants to forget, and have the right to tell us the hard details is one of the reasons for her career choice.
Keep her in your prayers.