Friday, March 02, 2007

Brian Freeman and the Gift of Life International

Hours before getting killed the way he feared most, Capt. Brian S. Freeman looked up and smiled when Abu Ali dropped by his office.

After nearly six months of overcoming financial and bureaucratic hurdles in a war zone, Freeman told the Iraqi man, there were promising signs that a pair of U.S. visas -- the last big step in getting Abu Ali's 11-year-old son to the United States for lifesaving heart surgery -- would be issued soon.

The Iraqi was speechless. He asked an interpreter to express his gratitude to the tall American soldier who had made saving the child's life an unofficial mission. Then he pulled out his camera, swung his arm around Freeman's broad shoulders and posed for three photographs.

After news of Brian's murder, someone asked, Why did they have to kill one of the good guys?

It occured to me that the good guys are who 'they' have to target because if there was enough good guys speaking out and trying to make a difference ... well, how could the mess continue.

I found the story via the Gift of Life International website.

Marla Ruzicka was another person making a huge difference out in the world - she was killed by a suicide bomber ... fortunately the work she began is being continued by the people at CIVIC .


Mark J said...

I doubt if people who set out to murder others truely have the capacity to love. If there is a heaven for us all, I wonder how many people doing "gods will" would be there?

Peter said...

The brave intervention of this American in Irak is most admirable. Unfortunately, the US did not invade Irak to save children with heart conditions.

While Sadam was a ruthless tyrant, the current daily bloodshed induced by the civil war between Shiite et Soenite Islam factions is claiming an insane daily number of victims.

I dread thinking about the day when the troops will leave and Irak will become an even more horrifying killing ground for ordinary Iraqi citizens.

wandering-woman said...

Thanks for posting this; I read his story a few weeks back - I was going to say New York Times, but I'm not sure it wasn't El PaĆ­s. He was working on bringing over additional children he'd met (or who had contacted him), as I recall.

Maybe I don't understand Mark and Peter's comments; I don't know. I too doubt if people who set out to murder can love; does Mark somehow know (how?) that Brian Freeman set out to murder? Or did I misunderstand?

After reading the full article, I 1) knew what I'd always known; I could never be in the military and 2)felt that Freeman didn't personally have any say in the US invading Iraq, and that he saw all the Peter describes firsthand and was as horrified...and was one man, who never set out to murder, who felt compelled to do the only thing he could do, respond when he met this man (and others) whose children needed help and who he knew could find that help in an American hospital. I suspect Brian Freeman neither planned the invasion nor had the power to end it. What he did have was the power (with incredible perseverance and effort) to help one boy.

Same as Marla, one person doing what one person can. Ij this case, two American people.

Despite their government. Funny how that strikes me as heroic. And a good thing.

woman wandering said...

Your comment stayed in my mind Mark ... 'God's will' is a difficult discussion to have in a comments section.

Hi Peter, the current daily bloodshed in Iraq is cripplingly sad if you follow it daily, isn't it.

woman wandering said...

Hey there w-w :) I like what these guys are going out and doing, Marla is someone I started studying a while ago ... apparently there's a movie in production.

I think Mark's comment was regarding the guys who murdered Brian Freeman.

I watched some of Marla's video clips on the CIVIC site and it was exciting to see how much difference one person can make. I have novel that I write sometimes, between other things, very much based around a Marla type and all that I've gleaned about that life over the last few years ... it's a subject that interests me :)