Saturday, January 24, 2009


Dooget! It means nothing and everything. It's a made up word my son and his best friend made up in high school to mess with teachers heads. They thought it had some big bad secret meaning. When in fact it meant nothing at all. It was basically their battle cry.

I remember running into another mom at the store and her having a fit cause her youngest son had picked up this new word and was using it constantly. Drove her nuts cause she didn't know what it meant. When she said dooget I busted up laughing. Once I explained it meant nothing at all it was just a word that my son had made up she laughed too.

This spring my son's best friend and partner in chaos is getting married. I have the honor of making the grooms cake ( that's a southern tradition) It will be in the shape of a military name tape with the word Dooget on it.

I suppose the point of me writing about a word is to tell you all my son laughed all the time. He was quite creative in messing with people in ways that really did no harm. Dooget was one of those ways. It is a word we now use to express emotions of all types. A little way of remembering and honoring my son. I suppose Dooget is part his legacy. So the next time you stub your toe or get really happy.. try dooget on for size. And think about the young man who always smiled and made the word up.. to drive the adults in his life just a little more nuts. ;)

Friday, January 9, 2009

" Dear John Doe"

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Army apologized on Wednesday for sending 7,000 letters addressed to "Dear John Doe" to the relatives of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The letters, printed by a contractor and mailed in December, were intended to inform family members about private organizations that offer assistance to those who have lost relatives in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom.

Ok I got one of these letters. And I was amused and actually giggled when I opened it. I knew right away it was a typo. Oops shit happens. The fact of the matter is there was a ton of resources made available to my family in this letter. It was one more thing the Army has gone out of their way to do for my family. Since the very beginning of this ordeal the Army has gone above and beyond for us.

My gripe is: How come the media has to jump on this issue? Where are they to tell about all the wonderful supportive things the Army has done for the families of the fallen? Once again their bias is showing. Once again they don't dwell on the fact the Army is gathering resources for families of the fallen but only that the letter that provided those resources had a typo. They beat a path to find that one family member who wants to be a victim and get attention for themselves. Why didn't the media ask me what I thought of it? Or what I thought of the Army calling my home to apologize and then realize I didn't need or want and apology. I wanted to instead thank them for going above and beyond once more in providing me with information. That turned into an hour call with a commanding officer who I am very much looking forward to hugging in a few weeks.

Too anyone listening. I LOVE THE ARMY! And they are my family now. The Army has never been anything but respectful to me. Of all the things for a person to get their undies in a bunch about a typo is just not it. If you people think "Dear John Doe" is bad you should read the letters addressed from the Anti-war types some families of the fallen have gotten.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Moments

Most days I put on a pretty strong front when it comes to Pokey. I talk about him and share who he was as much as I can. I miss him ever second of every day but there are moments when the emptiness overwhelms me. Usually it's just a moment. I will come across a picture and am reminded that no he is not still in Iraq doing the job he so loved or that he won't laugh again like he is in another picture. Today the moment hit me. Maybe it was dusting his things that tittered me over the edge maybe it is the constant harassment and allegations a certain group of people have bombarded me with lately. Maybe it's letting down the guard I have had up through the holidays. Not sure why but here I sat on the phone with a dear friend and all I wanted to do was go hide so I could have a good cry and miss my son. So I got off the phone and had my moment.

Why am I sharing this with you? Simple.. many people have gotten the idea I have no emotions about my son. That I am simply cold and unfeeling. They mistake private with cold. When it comes to my tears those are mine and mine alone. I do not display them publicly. In all honesty I don't even call my dearest friends to share my tears. Never once have I nor will I. I also want others to know that even though some people think I am this incredibly strong person. As I said it's just a front. I am just as human as anyone else and the pain and hurt is just as real to me. I was once told I was handling this all so well... I am not handling this well. I just chose not to behave badly.

So I am now back to being Knottie and helping with homework, researching the guest for tonight's show, planning an article that has to be written for tomorrow, preparing to put content up on another website and cooking dinner.

If I keep busy enough the walls stay in place longer and I have fewer moments.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Waiting for Pokey

I don't think about the day Pokey came home much. But tonight something has triggered the memory and emotions. There is a movie out called "Taking Chance" I read the story years ago and it was emotional then. Years after reading "Taking Chance" I would find comfort in the memory of those words. I knew my son was not coming home alone. He would have one of his brother's with him, looking out, caring for and honoring him. I knew this because I had read LT Col Strobl's words.

On Feb. 24th, 2008 my son, David, was home alone. My husband was at work. My daughter had gone to church and my youngest and I were at walmart doing the weekly shopping. When my son David called I thought he was going to ask for flaming hot cheetos. I answered the call with "I have your cheetos in the cart already" and laughed. He was so serious and scared. " Mom two guys from the army are here' No not recruiters. I knew then. Oh I tried to convince myself they came when they were hurt but I knew better. I called my husband to met me at the house.

"On behalf of the United States Army, We regret to inform you, Your son Micheal E Phillips was killed this morning when the vehicle he was driving encountered an IED." For some reason I remember their words exactly. I turned and hugged my son and he for the first time in a long time hugged me back. A few minutes later my husband arrived and they repeated the words. After the paperwork was signed and offers help and comfort were made and we were told what the next step would be they left. A short time later my daughter came home. I will never rid my memory of her wail begging for it to be a mistake.

Then the waiting began. People came. They brought food and flower. The family arrived and we all waited together. We planned the funeral. Cried with his friends. Answered phone calls from his brothers in Iraq. But still time seemed to have stopped. We waited for Micheal to come home to us and hoped with every fiber that the wait meant they made the mistake my daughter begged for. The waiting is the hardest part they say and they are right. The numb of shock slow starts to wear off while you wait. You have far too much time to dwell on the memories, the lost dreams. All you can do is sit and wait and hope that someday you remember the words people are speaking in those day because in those moments you comprehend so very little. You just wait...

7 days we waited before we loaded into a limousine and drove to the airport. We were escorted by PGR and sheriff dept. I have no idea how many but the line was at least a mile of just the motorcycles. We stood in the hangar and wait the final few minutes for the plane to land. The honor guard took it's place and the door opened on the plane. A flag draped casket emerged and my son was home. No mistake. We closed ranks and breathed in deep to get through the moment. It was in my mind the hardest moment we have faced so far. The hope was gone but he was home. I will never forget the look of anger on David's face. Pure hot anger. He too realized it was time to face the truth... he had lost his brother and best friend. Our Pokey would not come home to parties and hugs. But to a funeral and tears.

The waiting was over....