Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Dose of Reality

Sometime's you're just clicking along in your sports-induced coma / haze / parallel universe, when all-of-the-sudden you get whacked in the back of the head harder than a Kristi Miller forehand.

I have various tools to easily stay updated on GT sports. Searches sent as RSS feeds is one of ways to keep on top of things. As it turns out Paul Johnson is a very popular name. In fact there's a Facebook group just for people with the name "Paul Johnson". There's PJ the photographer, PJ the musician, PJ the historian, PJ the professor, PJ the other professor, PJ the Geophysicist & artist, PJ the director of resoures at Life.com, PJ the consultant, PJ the musician again.................... it goes on and on. He's had churches named after him, schools, badminton teams, etc, etc.

There are two more Paul Johnson's that I want you to know about.


#1 - This Paul Johnson who was born in Township NJ. This Paul Johnson moved to Florida in the 1980's to work at Lockheed Martin as an engineer. This Paul Johnson worked as a government contractor in Saudi Arabia for 10 years.

This Paul Johnson was was captured by Al Qaeda Saudi Arabia in 2004 and was threatened to be killed if Saudi Arabia did not release al Qaeda prisoners and the US did not leave the country.

This Paul Johnson was beheaded 6 days later, with pictures of his corpse posted on the internet. This Paul Johnson made headline news at the time for reasons that go beyond heart-breaking.

This Paul Johnson left behind a son, daughter and wife.


#2 - This Paul Johnson is a security contractor from Minnesota. His full name is Paul-Johnson Reuben. This Paul Johnson is a former Marine. This Paul Johnson was kidnapped, along with 4 other contractors, in Iraq about 16 months ago. This Paul Johnson had his severed fingers sent to the US government officials in Baghdad last month, who later confirmed that they were his. The remains of this Paul Johnson were recently found in a grave, along with the other contractors. This Paul Johnson is being put to rest in Minnesota with a full military funeral.

This Paul Johnson leaves behind twins and and ex-wife.

I don't share these with you to gore things out. I just wanted to share how I was snapped back into reality in a very unexpected way and how we all should never forget that while we sit at our computers slamming which coach isn't getting the job done, people are dying. They are dying serving this country. That includes those in the military, but also contractors putting their lives on the line in dangerous places.

As a society we seem more interested in what Brittainy Spears is doing than what is going on in Iraq. If that were false, then the news would reflect it. It doesn't. We learn more about Brittainy, Paris and Jessica than we do about people who lose their lives fighting for our freedom to watch crap like that.

It's not Memorial Day, or July 4th or Armed Services day. But here on my Blog, today is officially "Paul Johnson Day"......... and it's got nothing to do with the Triple Option.

Rest in peace Paul Johnsons..........