Sunday, October 10, 2010

Army botches "The Message"

I choked back tears watching The Messenger last night as my husband recounted his real life experience with the Army’s Messenger. We were only a couple of scenes into the movie when my husband said, “The army sure botched my brother’s message.”

He doesn’t remember where he was that day; only that the scene he faced when he walked into his family’s home changed his life forever:

His mother was in hysterics. His dad was cradling the phone in his hands repeating over and over, "Richie’s dead," "Richie’s dead." His aunt had heard of his brother’s accidental drowning death in Corpus Christi, Texas on TV and had called to offer her condolences. He remembers prying the phone's receiver from his dad’s hands and hanging it on the wall. He remembers walking to the bus stop two blocks away (the longest walk of his life), to meet his sister as she came home from school. He doesn’t remember their conversation, but he remembers how quiet she was when they walked home. He remembers the army representative and the family's priest finally arriving at their home. He remembers he was the one to answer the door. He remembers saying:

"You're too late we all ready know."


  1. That breaks my heart. It is totally inexcusable that they would release a name to anyone prior to notifying the family in person. Imagine how many times that must have happened in the past nine years.

  2. So sad. It breaks my heart to think even one other family heard about their loved one via the media.