Theodore's World: A Life of Worth, Overlooked

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July 07, 2009

A Life of Worth, Overlooked


Brian Bradshaw, KIA/Afghanistan
Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

A Life of Worth, Overlooked

The Washington Post

by Martha Gillis

My nephew, Brian Bradshaw, was killed by an explosive device in Afghanistan on June 25, the same day that Michael Jackson died. Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media. Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week? There were several of them, and our family crossed paths with the family of another fallen soldier at Dover Air Force Base, where the bodies come "home." Only the media in Brian's hometown and where he was stationed before his deployment covered his death.

I remember Brian as a toddler wandering around in cowboy boots and hat, not seeing the need for any other clothing. He grew into a thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor. He loved wolves and history. Most Christmases, I gave him a biography or some analysis of the Civil War. He read such things for pleasure.

He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk. He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow.

He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor. He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial "shrines," while this soldier's death goes unheralded?

It makes me want to scream.



Relatives of Soldier Killed in Afghanistan Decry Lack of Coverage Amid Jackson Spectacle

FOX News

A day before New York Rep. Peter King called Michael Jackson a “pervert” unworthy of nonstop media coverage, the aunt of a U.S. soldier killed in Afghanistan on the same day Jackson died asked why her nephew's death went virtually unnoticed while the King of Pop got memorial shrines across the country.

"Mr. Jackson received days of wall-to-wall coverage in the media," Martha Gillis wrote to the Washington Post. "Where was the coverage of my nephew or the other soldiers who died that week?"

Gillis' nephew, Lt. Brian Bradshaw, 24, died in Kheyl, Afganistan, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle. Bradshaw, of Steilacoom, Wash., was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 501st Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division in Fort Richardson, Alaska. He was one of at least 13 U.S. soldiers to die in Afghanistan since Jackson's death on June 25.

Bradshaw's mother, Mary, said she agreed with Gillis, saying the nonstop coverage of Jackson's death has become "totally ridiculous" and laughable.
"I can watch the news many nights and there's no mention of what's going on in Afghanistan or Iraq and there's boys dying over there," Bradshaw told "Oh God, I can't talk."
Gillis, of Springfield, Va., could not be reached for comment. In her letter to the Washington Post, she described Bradshaw as a "thoroughly decent person with a wry sense of humor" who loved history, particularly the Civil War.
"He had old-fashioned values and believed that military service was patriotic and that actions counted more than talk," Gillis wrote. "He wasn't much for talking, although he could communicate volumes with a raised eyebrow."

Bradshaw, who graduated from Pacific Lutheran University, was the product of a military family. His father, Paul, is a retired National Guard helicopter pilot, and his mother is a retired Army nurse. Bradshaw was buried Monday following a service at St. John's Bosco Church in Lakewood, Wash.

"He was a search-and-rescue volunteer, an altar boy, a camp counselor," Gillis' letter continued. "He carried the hopes and dreams of his parents willingly on his shoulders. What more than that did Michael Jackson do or represent that earned him memorial 'shrines,' while this soldier's death goes unheralded?"

Gillis said the only media outlets that covered Bradshaw's death were in his hometown of Steilacoom, Wash., and those where he was stationed before his deployment in March.

Gillis' sentiment echoes that of King, the Long Island, N.Y., congressman who called on society to stop "glorifying" Jackson in a YouTube video posted on Monday.

King said Jackson had been excessively praised in the days after his death while society ignored the efforts of teachers, police officers and veterans. In the two-minute video, King called the "day in and day out" coverage of Jackson's death "too politically correct."

"Let's knock out the psychobabble," he said in the video, which was taped outside an American Legion Hall in his district. "He was a pervert, a child molester; he was a pedophile. And to be giving this much coverage to him, day in and day out, what does it say about us as a country? I just think we're too politically correct."

King, who is among the possible Republican contenders to run against Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, acknowledged that Jackson "may have been a good singer" and "did some dancing," but he blasted the King of Pop as someone who could not be trusted around children.

"There's nothing good to say about this guy," King continued. "But the bottom line is, would you let your child or grandchild be in the same room as Michael Jackson?"

The deaths of seven U.S. soldiers killed in Afghanistan on Monday received just 1/20th of the network television news coverage devoted to Jackson, according to an analysis by the Media Research Center, a Virginia-based news analysis organization.

The seven deaths garnered less than one minute of coverage on ABC, CBS and NBC evening newscasts combined, including just 13 seconds on CBS, compared to more than 13 minutes of Jackson-related news. That's a 60-to-1 disparity, the analysis found.

“This is a prime example of why network television news audiences are disappearing before our eyes," Media Research Center President Brent Bozell said. "There is no justification for determining that the death of a celebrity over a week ago merits 20 times more news coverage than the tragic deaths of American soldiers in Afghanistan."

Wild Thing's comment.........

Millions of Americans have their priorities all messed up. And I agree with Martha Gillis 100%.

I have to add that it is not just now with Michael Jackson. Our media should be telling the wonderful stories of
our troops and the tremendous things they have been doing. Too many civilians don't even know how our troops build schools, get water systems put in, build airports, hospitals, so many things. Then there are the stories of family members meeting up in the war where a father and son get to meet up in Baghdad or Kabul, or other places. Brothes both serving and other stories of how entire families are serving at the same time.

I know of one that the Dad is Coast Guard, the Mom is Army, the son is Navy and the daughter is Army. There entire family is serving our country.

And this from Mark:

These American military members died in Iraq this month:

Sergeant Justin J. Duffy
Specialist Christopher M. Kurth
Specialist Charles D. Parrish
Lance Corporal Robert D. Ulmer
Staff Sergeant Edmond L. Lo
Sergeant Joshua W. Soto
Captain Kafele H. Sims
Specialist Chancellor A. Keesling

And these members of our U.S. Armed Forces died in Afghanistan this month:

Sergeant Jones, Ricky D.
Specialist Munguia Rivas, Rodrigo A.
Command Master Chief Petty Officer Garber, Jeffrey J.
1st Sergeant Blair, John D.
Sergeant Smith, Paul G.
Staff Sergeant Melton, Joshua
Sergeant 1st Class Dupont, Kevin A.
Specialist O'Neill, Jonathan C.
Chief Warrant Officer Richardson Jr., Ricky L.
Specialist Silva, Eduardo S.
Lance Corporal Whittle, Joshua R.
Major Barnes, Rocco M.
Major Jenrette, Kevin M.
Staff Sergeant Beale, John C.
Specialist Jordan, Jeffrey W.
Specialist Griemel, Jarrett P. Specialist Hernandez I, Roberto A.
Sergeant Obakrairur, Jasper K.
Staff Sergeant Hall, Jeffrey A.
Private 1st Class Ogden, Matthew D.
Private 1st Class Wilson, Matthew W.

Let's remember and honor this day those whose deaths are truly impacting.


....Thank you Mark for sending this to me.

3rd Mar.Div. 1st Battalion 9th Marine Regiment
1/9 Marines aka The Walking Dead
VN 66-67

Posted by Wild Thing at July 7, 2009 05:55 PM


I 100% agree. Jackson was never, is not and never will be worthy of the recognition that our slain military deserve. If it's about ratings, which it is a great many in our country have their priorities screwed up.

Posted by: Bob A at July 7, 2009 07:41 PM

This does strike a nerve.
When Senator Paul Wellstone died in 2002 and the Democrat 'mourners' who attended his memorial service turned it into a political rally of hate and vehemence toward all the rest of the nation I lost any and all respect for them and it has been downhill ever since.

That same theme has been the undercurrent throughout the Michael Jackson death, investigation and memorial. It has been an opportunity to push the envelop on the loose morals of Jackson, his followers and those of the media. Then we have the "clergy" involved, two of them most prominent on the national scene, touting raves and praises for the pop icon, never once asking for God's forgiveness of his sins, no conciliation for any other than Michael.
Strange isn't it?
Absent from the scene too were the Westboro Baptists, I thought sinners were to be persecuted even in death, Fred Phelps.
Those hypocrites save their vitriol for the fallen soldier, not the fallen pedophile. Maybe it's because the anti-homosexual propagandist Fred Phelps doesn't recognize pedophilia as a homosexual event.

Millions of Americans have their priorities all messed up. And I agree with Martha Gillis 100%.

I concur WT, in stronger terms dear lady, but that's one of the reasons I don't go to the church for inspiration by the reverands, only to go wenching and drinking all week, then come in on Sunday for absolution.

Maybe that is because all the 'reverands' I love and respect were doing the dirty work of God just like I was, come Sunday there was no pretense we both knew at any second we could be called before the old man himself. I have no use for liars and hypocrites.

Lt. Brian Bradshaw, like all soldiers before him.

“Our God and soldiers we alike adore
ev'n at the brink of danger; not before:
After deliverance, both alike requited,
Our God's forgotten, and our soldiers slighted” ~ Francis Quarles

Amazing Grace

God rest his soul.

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2009 08:02 PM

Typical media, the same media running cover for congress who are trying to pass the Pedofile protection act, now blatantly promotes one in death. I wonder how many Reporters flaunting this pervert, would've let their Children spend a weekend with this despicable human being.

Sharpton's trying to relate this to some cockeyed civil rights struggle. When what it is, the glorification of a pervert.

While the real heroes go un-noticed and ignored. Not only are our values messed up but morals as well.

All the people at the TEA parties, 912 projects are only the ones paying attention.

It seems it will take a huge punitive TAX and extensive loss of freedoms to wake up the rest of the nation.

Posted by: Mark at July 7, 2009 09:24 PM

Yeah Mark, all this week has been a slobber over Jackson or kill Palin newsfest. What the hell happened to those combat troops withdrawn from Iraq, those poor fighters got less fanfare than we did. I guess on the brighter side the monkeys in the street aren't flinging there poo at them...yet!!!

Posted by: Jack at July 7, 2009 09:59 PM

Thank you all so much for your comments
about this.

I hope after today it will be the end of
all this in the media.

It feels like Never ending Land

Posted by: Wild Thing at July 7, 2009 11:43 PM

Just an example of what is wrong with this country and the "pop" culture of the youth and their skulls full of mush. They have been bombarded with this crap for so long they don't have a clue about what life is really about and why they are even here. It is really sad too because this is just what the liberals want a barely educated youth that can be manipulated in any way they want. My daughter had some of her classmates in school tell her that she should tell her cousin who is serving in Iraq to lay down his weapons and to go awol!!!! how sad is that!!! I really feel sad about our youth and what they are being taught these days!!

Posted by: Richard at July 8, 2009 09:30 AM

Thank you for speaking up! The day after MJ's death, I had to resort to International sources for news; I also sent this missive to the 'Big Three' networks the day after his death:
""...He is Dead", W.H. Auden
PLEASE return to your excellent coverage of REAL news! While people are dying for freedom in Iran, starving elsewhere, our culture fritters away OUR freedom with obsession over 'celebrity'...
"Bring out the coffin, let the mourners come.", W.H. Auden
Why does the death of one mean so much to so many, while the deaths of many mean so little to most?"

Blessings to you and only son deploys in January...

Posted by: Karen at July 8, 2009 05:28 PM

My heart goes out to you and your family. It always does when I read about a fallen soldier - partly because it is too close to home. I am a Proud Marine Mom with 2 sons in the Corp. Both of whom have already been told they will be going to Afghanistan early next year (my youngest is currently in Iraq). Partly, because I feel our military personnel get so little - respect from our government, respect from citizens that do not understand what my sons and others are giving up, nor what their families are giving up, and the list continues. Since this is not the first time someone with more notoriety gets more press than our soldiers, I guess we should NOT be surprised, but it is a sad commentary on our society.

Posted by: jada at July 9, 2009 02:00 AM

I just want to thank this young man (and his family, friends, loved ones, etc.) for his service to our country. He paid the ultimate price so that most of us will never have to.

I saw his aunt on the news this morning and she explained how much this man desired to serve others, and how he always knew he wanted to, and eventually did so.

I also agree that the media circus surrounding the Jackson death was overblown. I offer condolences to the Jackson family as well, but the passing of an entertainer, regardless of how "big" or talented he or she may have been should not overshadow the deaths of our fighting men and women.

I feel very sorry for Michale Jackson's kids; losing their father at such a young age, but at least he lived long enough to actually BE a father and provide his children a very good future.

But sadly, these fallen soldiers are just becoming names to most of us. Since so much time has elapsed since 911, Americans are just going about their business and very often forgetting that there are still thousands of Americans on the front lines, and in the sights of the enemies of freedom.

This is common, and we all can't stop and go into mourning every time a US soldier is wounded or killed, but it wouldn't hurt to get our priorities in better order. Our fighting men and women deserve it. These people are someone's child, brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, grandkids, aunts, uncles, etc. We need to remember that these are REAL people standing up against those who wish to do us harm, and we need to be very grateful for their sacrifice.

I believe that all of us should go out of our way to personally thank any soldier in uniform that we happen to run across. I have found that they really, REALLY appreciate it whenever I have had the opportunity, and the privilege to do so.

Thank You Lt. Bradshaw, and deep condolences to all who knew and loved him.

Posted by: RJ at July 9, 2009 06:42 AM