From a Mother / Darlene Waggoner (none) Words cannot express how sorry I am for the loss of your son. I am the mother of 5 sons, a pacifist, and a dreamer of peace and the end of violence in our world. I am also an advocate with The Peace Alliance (http://www.thepeacealliance.org/) of which you may already be aware. Please know that other mothers are rising up to end violence for the sakes of our children. We admire and support your struggle as well. Please let me know if I can assist your efforts in any way. Thank you. Sincerely, Darlene Waggoner Indiana
At Ease Soldier McCaffrey / Terri Jones (Military Mom ) May you rest now Sgt McCaffrey. Watch over your loved ones and guide them on their journey.
I am so sorry for your loss. I too know the pain of losing a child. My heart goes out to you and your family. My son also served in Iraq for a year and was suffering from severe PTSD once returning home and took his life 4 months later. Thank you so much for reaching out to returning vets. I live in Iowa and we do not have many services for our veterans which is becoming common across the country, so what you are doing is so greatly needed. I wish I would of been able to help my son with a special place to go, because the military refused to acknowledge the problem we had no idea what to do or where to go for help. God Bless you!
An Angel Named Jason Once Called Me Mom
Terri Jones Russell, IA
Patrick's Memory / Mike (None) May God Bless Patrick and his entire family. We are sorry for your loss, but want you to know that you will be in our prayers.
Patrick Still Lives! / Eliot Rosen (Friend of Patrick's mother ) I never had the honor of meeting Patrick, but I know of him through Patrick's mother, Nadia, whom I consider a "human angel." As someone who knows life continues after death, dear Patrick, wherever you are right now, we thank you for your sacrifice and pray that your loved ones are taken care of down here on earth. Also, say hello to God for us!!
In Rememberance of YOU / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom) WWW.VETERANSVILLAGE.ORG With all my love. In rememberance of YOU sweet Heart. Your Mom, always. Nadia
Your son Patrick / Al Ceraulo (None) Memory of your son Patrick I lost my life partner several months ago. I hope and pray I will see her again. Your testamony moved me deeply. I am also a believer in love and peace. I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful boy. Blessings. Al
I AM PATRICK.... / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)
“One Of Many Voices”…
I am PATRICK, One Of Many Voices Unhappy with your choices Asking why you fail us You’ve let your war derail us- This has never been our fight What you’re doing isn’t right Nine Eleven’s your excuse For not bringing back our troops- But what started as defense Has become our worst offense- We can’t ignore this any longer Our spirit’s getting stronger But will our right to free speech Be one more promise you will breach?... You’re fighting them, you’re fighting us Too many lies to cover up All your family’s dirty secrets Your own words, our greatest weakness- How many have to die How long until they’re in our sky Coming back to us again You’re the means to our end- I am Unhappy with your choices You should not have so much power You may be our final hour…
PATRICK, One Of Many Voices
Copyright 2006 by Teresa M. McCarthy 07/25/06
The date is June 22, 2006. / Chris Murphy (Friend)
The date is June 22, 2006. Exactly two years after the death of Lt. Andre Tyson and Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey, who lost their lives while fighting the war in Iraq. Currently I am listening to the one of the greatest rock stars of all time, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Where am I? Who am I? I know who I was. This much is true. I am desperately trying to find the person who I once was before the events of 9/11. War is Hell. It changes you. It makes you find out who you really are. But much more, who am I now? I heard a quote once, I can’t remember from exactly where or who it was from, or how it goes, but it goes something like this, “The only men who see war to the end are the men who die in battle, the rest of us survive, keep fighting the battle, and struggle with our own war inside ourselves, if we survive.” Take it as you will; there has always been a war somewhere. Men who see actual combat and live through it, (time and time again) are forever scared by the visions and dreams that haunt them in the present. Time and time again I try to relate to people who have never been “there.” The brotherhood between soldiers is unfathomably strong. This is why so many veterans from all wars can relate to each other! We can never express in words the relationship we’ve had with the fellow brethren we fought with to the common person. The masses will never understand this, no matter how much it’s put it in front of your faces.
To most, the death toll in Iraq is a number for the American public to talk about. You still go to Starbucks, get McDonalds, and drive around in your SUV’s. You may have known someone that went over “there” or a relative of yours that went. Maybe you talk about it around the dinner table or in a social gathering. But on the whole, you don’t know what’s really going on. “But the media tells us what’s going on.” You say. If you believe this, you probably: have an unearthly amount of canned goods and water stockpiled from the Y2K bug; plastic sheets, gas masks, and a spool of duct tape for the anthrax attack; paid any attention to what color the terror threat level was at; would believe the media if they told you to keep buying gas for the low price of twenty dollars a gallon, otherwise the terrorists will have won! Let me be a little more specific; the US population will only know what “they” want you to know. Let’s give a round of applause to our government! (Silence) Exactly!
There was a time when I was young and naïve and I thought that everyone should at least go through the initial Army boot camp. I thought it was great. I was seventeen, fresh out of high school. I knew neither one of my parents could foot the bill for my college education. The Army National Guard seemed like the obvious way to go. “One weekend a month, two weeks a year!” is their catch phrase. Ridiculous! I actually received a coin from a battalion commander that read, “One weekend a month my ass.” Sadly, they forgot to include, “And only two weeks a year at home!” This seems a lot more plausible to me. You’ve heard the saying, “I wish I know now what I knew then?” Bingo! I probably would have graduated college already and been on my way to a successful career. But I was not this fortunate. (On a side note, how many “well-off” people or even worse, politicians, have their kids ever been in the military? Don’t bother looking, it just doesn’t happen.) The Army seemed great to me at first! I met so many different kinds of people from all over the US during my initial training. Together, we learned what our youth is seriously lacking, discipline. Go to a grocery store and I guarantee you, you will see some over privileged brat kicking and screaming at his poor mother for a box of his/her favorite cereal with a toy in it that will probably choke them! If only we were so lucky! Ha! I say, the kid that swallows the most marbles doesn’t get to grow up and have children of their own! Discipline, our youth needs it. Let’s get back to our roots folks, start beating your kids again. They’ll thank you for it later in life. Trust me. I can’t tell you how many household appliances and kitchenware were used to keep me in line. I’m just surprised my parents could afford to keep replacing it! Ha! Seriously though, smack the shit out of your children. It works!
I learned teamwork. One of the most essential skills a person needs to make it though life. If we can’t rely on one another than what do we have? Teamwork has played a crucial role in everything I have ever done. I’ve been in theater, soccer, academic decathlon, numerous rock bands, living with various roommates, being the wingman (Ha), and of course, the military. Oh how the military breaks you down and totally rebuilds you. Good for some, not for me. Remember, I am in no way bad mouthing the military; I wouldn’t be the man I am today without it. Rest assured that I am 100% under the belief that everything happens for a reason. But, many of the things I learned in my 12 weeks of boot camp made me a better person. And I still believe that everyone should undergo some of the training I received during boot camp. Probably from somewhere closer to home…………..(refer to the previous paragraph, think about it, and if you have young ones acting a fool, find something that will sting but hopefully not break! Wooden spoons WILL break! Love ya Mom!)
I also learned another thing in the military and about our government during my six year stint in the Army National Guard. The US Military has the best salespeople that I have ever seen. I have never been lied to so many times in my entire life. My mother and I heard these kinds of things from my recruiter:
“The Montgomery GI Bill lasts ten years after your enlistment is up.”
“Your son is safe, it’s the year 2000, and we’re not going to war anytime soon.”
“College students are the last ones who get called up to active duty.”
“You’ll be able to go to college and pursue your Computer Science degree, and for one weekend a month and two weeks a year, you get to go play soldier and blow stuff up!”
“You should pick Combat Engineer as your job in the military. It’s the jack of all trades.”
“I looked over your file, now, when you go to Military Entrance Processing, (MEPS) Don’t tell them that you had an [illness] when you were a child, because you won’t be able to get in.”
And the worst of them all, “Trust me.”
I took the ASVAB when I was a junior in high school; I remember because some backwater military recruiter with not one ribbon of overseas duty came and administered the test to my class. I scored a 98 out of 99. Damn near perfect. What can I say? Did the spankings really take their toll and hence, got some smarts knocked in to me? Probably, and I could have had any job the entire US military had to offer. Sadly, it didn’t work out this way and I had a government salesman sell me on a job that the first word, which foreshadowed events to come, is “COMBAT!” So I became a Combat Engineer. Oh yeah, to be a Combat Engineer in the US Army, you only need to score a 31 out of 99 to get this job. Even more upsetting is because #1: A 31 score is one above failing. It still amazes me how people fail this test! And #2. My chain of command was primarily combat engineers; kind of like the blind leading the blind. (More on the lack of intellect when I get to Iraq.)Doesn’t the saying go “An Army of One?” Really? But when one wants to voice their opinion or go against an order of a superior who is undoubtedly far less intelligent, and give an order that is beyond common sense seem contradictory? Which “One” are we talking about? It’s not that of your everyday soldier. It really just is “One.” And I didn’t vote for him either!
I lost one of the closest friends I have ever had in Iraq. He was like a big brother to me. I watched him die. But more importantly, I saw him live. I cherish those memories fondly. When we lost him, it was the worst day of my life. And, as I’m writing this my eyes are getting quite teary. Sgt. Patrick McCaffrey was a born leader and I looked up to him. I was also Lt. Andre Tyson’s’ driver; who also died on this day. I spent countless hours with him patrolling Iraq. These men will live in my hearts forever. These men, along with countless others pledged their lives to uphold freedom and democracy.They fought and died for their country. I was almost given an Article 15 from the Army for having an article published about the events I witnessed that day. Even though I got the ok from my superiors before I had it published. What angers me more, is that earlier this evening I saw Sgt. Patrick McCaffreys’ mother on the news saying how the government neglected to tell her the details of her son’s death. Even now, two years after the fact. I know what happened, I was there. The military likes to do all kinds of reports and investigations on things that go wrong. Then, they put some desk jockey of an officer in front of the camera to tell you what happened or what “didn’t” happen, even though he was probably safe inside some building miles away, sending an email back home saying how rough he has it. “Ahh, they didn’t have anymore ice cream left at the chow hall at dinner because you were to busy typing up reports?” You laugh, but it is so true. We have a word for these folk, “Pogue.” Ask a combat vet, he’ll tell you what it means. At least on the news report that I saw, they actually questioned a real soldier about the events; Sgt. Steve Edwards, who was in my platoon. If not the best soldier, one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. I can’t put into words how much all of these people meant to me. We went through something that at best can only be portrayed to civilians as a story. The common person will never feel the emotions, smells, tastes, laughter, disaster, heartache, weariness, adrenaline, fear, excitement, anger, loneliness, togetherness, and the brotherhood of being a soldier. It amazes me how a military so deceitful can bring so many people together to a level which most will never comprehend.
Everything happens for a reason. I live. You live. We all live. Then, we die, that’s the one thing that is certain in life. Without the lows there would be no highs. Low only goes so far. There is no limit to how high one can go. How high will I go? Well, I don’t comprehend the word “No.” It’s just yes. I guess I was too smart for Uncle Sam. They don’t comprehend “No” to well either! I’ve gotten to know myself very well. These words you have just read are “me”, coming from the lowest I’ve ever been in my life. War is hell. And I’m still battling my own personal war inside myself. At times, it seems more dangerous than the war I faced in Iraq. I’m not crazy or anything……. “A crazy person doesn’t really lose his mind. It just becomes something more entertaining.”Those that know me well have many entertaining stories to tell about me; I love that I’ve left a lasting impression on them because I could have not come back. I had a number of close calls. But, even before I left for Iraq, I knew deep down inside that I would make it back. It didn’t make sense to me. Why would a loving God put me on this earth with so many talents let me die before my time? I don’t know how to explain it. I just knew I would not die. Maybe I willed it not to happen because my belief was so strong. The mind is a powerful force. I get scared of it sometimes! Crazy you say? Maybe. But crazy is sometimes looked upon as genius. If it weren’t for people with their crazy ideas and philosophies we would never look back and say how ingenious they really were. Just imagine that if it wasn’t for my genius of an idea to join the military I would not be so crazy. And it doesn’t take a genius to know how crazy an idea of joining the military is. And that’s all I have to say about that.
I thought I would end this with an excerpt of some lyrics I’m currently working on. I think it sums up my feelings quite nicely J
“Everyday we get up and look ourselves in the mirror.
What will the day bring?
What will I do?
Should I bring it or throw it all away?
I will live. Live on.
Nothing can stand in my way.”
Christopher Tyler Murphy
June 22, 2006
“How Could They Do That”… / Teresa McCarthy (Friend)
“How Could They Do That”…
Dedicated to Patrick Ryan McCaffrey
You train them and they shoot you in the back
You’ve even warned you think they will attack
But our country leaves you out there anyway
And with your life, you pay-
I knew you more than sixteen years ago
I was at the shop, during the earthquake
While you were on the road
We worked together ‘til I had a wreck
You were always protective, kind and showed respect-
I am so sorry / Beverly Daugherty I hope you all get this because i was surfeing through the net and come by this site here and I want to tell you that , I know how you feel , my 3 year old daughter passed away this year from a bad bad bad accident , and when I saw the picture of you son holding and hugging that little gal ...sobs.. i cried and said , i bet he is holding my little girl up in heaven it touched me so much and , i am so sorry about your son , would love to here from you ..
Thank You For Your Sacrifice / Daymon LaPoint (none) I just wanted to give thanks to you and your family for the sacrifice that you have made. I am so very proud of all our troops that continue to fight the good fight daily. Your son served proudly and protected my family from the enemy. I owe you and my prayers are with you all every day. My son Dakota who is 8 years old wants nothing more than to be an "Army Man". Nothing scares me more but when the time comes for him to go I'll be looking back on your loss and your strength.
Many Thanks and God Bless Your Family, Kind Regards,
Daymon C. LaPoint
Life Reflections of a Gold Star Mom on Mothers Day 2006 / Nadia McCaffrey (Mom)