[act-ma] Wake on Tues., 12/27 - Never-ending War: R.I.P. Brian Arredondo. By Cindy Sheehan.
ralphlopez2008 at gmail.com
Sat Dec 24 13:42:06 PST 2011
Never-ending War: R.I.P. Brian Arredondo. By Cindy
*Posted on behalf of my hero Cindy Sheehan.*
"He Suffered So Much"
Brian Arredondo, R.I.P.
May 10, 1987 to 12/19/2011
Brian Arredondo was 17 when his 20 year-old brother, Alex, a U.S. Marine,
was killed in Iraq on 25 August, 2004—he was 24 this past Monday, 19
December, when he took his own life.
Recall that Carlos Arredondo, the father of Alex and Brian, his only
children, was so distraught when the Marines came to tell him that his
oldest son was killed, he caught their van and himself on fire, burning
over 26% of his body. His recovery from his physical wounds was long and
difficult, but his emotional wounds from having his son killed by the U.S.
government in its illegal and immoral war in Iraq will never completely
heal. However, I know since my son, Casey, was killed in Iraq only four
months before Alex, that Carlos was beginning to be able to get through his
days without overwhelming pain before his other son committed suicide.
Carlos, and his wife, Melida (stepmother to the boys) are part of our Camp
Casey family and the wider peace movement. Carlos credits Camp Casey with
giving him his “voice” to be able to speak for Alex and against the war
that took his life. When we held our Camp Casey gatherings, Carlos would
always be there with his rolling monument to his son, Alex, and he would
often be the first one to get up in the morning and the last one to go to
bed—he was always working and there for me when I needed a bottle of water,
a plate of food, or a hug. However, Carlos could always take a break to
talk to a visitor to make him/her feel welcome, and share his son’s story.
Carlos and Melida are wonderful people who have sacrificed much for
peace—and even though I wouldn’t wish this kind of pain on anybody—they did
not deserve to bury even one son, let alone two. Of course, my love also
goes out to Brian's mom, whom I have never met, but I wish her healing,
When I spoke to the Arredondos on the phone today, Carlos told me that
Brian, “suffered so much,” from the death of his brother, and it’s so sad
that siblings are often forgotten in the heartache of loss. Brian’s
suffering has now ended, but his family’s and other loved ones has just
begun. It’s often said that what doesn’t kill a person makes him/her
“stronger,” and although that saying is annoying, it’s true. I know Carlos
and Melida have incredible strength and I have found depths of strength
that I never knew I had since I have a daily survival struggle from the
tragic death of my son. Sadly, Brian could never fully recover and was
recently told by mental health professionals that "nothing was wrong" with
him—he tragically fell through the cracks as so many in our dispassionate
society often do.
Besides the fact that I adore the Arredondos and know about the struggle
they have had with Brian over the years, this terrible news highlights the
glaring truth that, even though wars may end (and I dispute that the war on
Iraq has even ended), for some people, the tragedy and pain never will be
I am profoundly sorry for the pain of our losses, but war does terrible
things to people. It doesn’t matter if a person supports war, or doesn’t,
it’s undeniable that war causes everlasting pain and irreparable damage.
The President and Vice President of the U.S. may be celebrating the “end”
of the Iraq War, but on Monday, December 19, 2011, that war of choice for
profit claimed another innocent victim: handsome, sensitive, and
compassionate, beautiful soul, Brian Arredondo.
How many more will suffer? The country of Iraq is spoiled with depleted
uranium and babies are being born with birth defects and children are dying
from leukemia and other war-related illnesses every day, still. How many
years will it take the Iraqi people to recover from the decades’ long
devastation the U.S. has caused?
How many of our veterans will commit suicide, or die from long, painful
deaths from DU poisoning, emotional scars, or other wounds?
Wars never truly end, so the best thing to do is never allow them to begin
in the first place.
If the reader is in a position to do so, please send a donation to Brian’s
memorial fund to help cover the funeral expenses.
Send donations to:
Brian Arredondo Memorial Fund, at
The Cooperative Bank
40 Belgrade Avenue
Roslindale, MA 02131
Tuesday, December 27, 2011
Time: 4:00pm until 9:00pm
Mann and Rodgers Funeral Home
44 Perkins Street, Jamaica Plain,
Brian’s Funeral Mass
Weds, December 28th
Time: 12noon to 2pm
St Thomas Aquinas Parish
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO SEND A CARD DIRECTLY TO THE ARREDONDOS, THEIR ADDRESS
11 Seymour Street Roslindale, MA 02131
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