Wisconsin Women In Memoriam

Last month Madison native and combat medic Cpl. Rachael L. Hugo, 24, was killed when her unit came under fire in Bayji, Iraq. Yesterday when I read that Wisconsin native Second Lt. Tracy Alger age 30 had been killed by an IED in Iraq I thought my God we have lost so many women from WI to this war.

Thinking my perception may not match reality I searched the Iraq Coalition Casualtysite. I found 6 women from WI have been killed in Iraq. The only state which has lost more is CA with 7. IL and TX have lost 6 as well. Additionally of the9 women who have been killed in Afghanistan, one was 52 year old Meredith Howard who“became the oldest Wisconsin war casualty in at least 50 years.” I have no idea why a state which is so comparatively small to CA, IL or TX has suffered these so many losses. It’s just one of those awful random arbitrary facts of war.

And so very sad…

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Second Lt. Tracy Alger, 30, was killed 11/1/07 in Baghdad. Her passion had been barrel-racing. Her mothersaid of her…”She was such a good daughter, We spent a lot of time
together traveling to barrel races. She was my right-hand person. We
did everything together. […] Serving her country was what she wanted, We had a
conversation before she left that she might not be coming back, so we
spent as much time together as we could.”

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Cpl. Rachael L. Hugo, 24, was killed 10/5/07 in Bayji Iraq. She had hoped to one day become a nurse.“Her father, Kermit Hugo, told the story of how his daughter saved the
life of a comrade during an engagement earlier this year. A sergeant was wounded during the engagement and Rachael Hugo volunteered to go to his aid.
“She told the guys to cover her,” Kermit Hugo said. “From the sounds of
it, there were rounds going off from the Humvee. She stayed with him.
She kept treating him. She just did her job.”

At the cemetary Rachel’s brother Scott released a dozen white doves which “circled overhead before flying off into the clouds.”

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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Jaime S. Jaenke, 29, was killed 6/5/06 in Anah Iraq. She left behind a 9 year old daughter, Kayla.

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Kayla is being raised by her grandparents. Though Jaime, a single mother, left a letter clearly assigning her mother to receive the “death gratuity” should she die, it has been denied. By law it can only go to a spouse or a child. Kayla will receive it when she is 18. Until then Kayla’s grandparents struggle with“emotional, legal and financial difficulties of putting the pieces back together for a grandchild.”

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Specialist Michelle Witmer, 20, was killed 4/9/04 in Baghdad. Michelle had been deeply touched after visiting an orphanage in Iraq for disabled children. Upon her urging“relatives and friends back home sent supplies and treats for the children.” “She wanted to help the women over there, she wanted to help the children,” Pretzel [grandmother] said. “She was very tender-hearted.”

Michelle’ssisters Charity and Rachel, who had also been serving in Iraq at the time of Michelle’s death, brought their sister home.

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Spc. Nichole Frye, 19 was killed 2/16/04 in Ba’qubah Iraq. She had wanted to be a firefighter or police officer and joined the Army after high school“to earn money to realize her dream job.” “She played the flute for eight years, loved animals and cooking, and
was able to change the oil of a car. She named her kitten Angelica
because she loved angels.” Amazing Grace was her favoritehymn. A lone bagpiper played it at her funeral.

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Private 1st Class Rachel Bosveld, 19, was killed 10/26/03–Abu Ghuraib, Iraq. “Bosveld’s friends and loved ones remembered her as a talented musician
who had played the violin since the fourth grade, an oil painter who
created beautiful landscapes on canvas and a student director for the
drama club who gladly painted sets and performed the non-starring but
necessary theater jobs. […] Still, Rachel tried to make sure her family didn’t worry. She began her letters to her mother, saying, “I’m OK. I’m really OK.”
She ended the letters saying, “Don’t worry Mom. Everything is OK. I’ll be OK.”

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Reserve Sgt. 1st Class Merideth L. Howard, 52, was killed 9/8/06 in Kabul Afghanistan. “She was a “loving, affectionate and outgoing” woman who played tennis
in college and later became the first female firefighter in Bryan,
Texas. […] Stevenson said her cousin expected to go to a safer area of Afghanistan. Stevenson also said Howard was given a gun that she did not know how to use, even after trying to train herself. “She was not adequately trained,” Stevenson said. “They just sent her over there.”

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May they all rest in Peace.

 

15 thoughts on “Wisconsin Women In Memoriam

  1. anonymouse69 says:

    “May they all rest in Peace.”
    Amen.
    And may Bushco and the Neocon cabal burn in Hell.

  2. dangerblond says:

    God, they are all so beautiful and such typical examples of American women as we are today – perfectly willing, able and gung-ho to fight for their country. I wonder sometimes if the deaths (and disastrous woundings) of so many young and beautiful women in this war will provoke more sympathy for all those who are fighting and more awareness of the need to keep them safe and get them home quickly.
    I was a child during the Vietnam War, and there were kids around who had lost their fathers in the war, and many parents who lost their sons and wives who lost their husbands. There were a lot of the older generation still around then who lost men fighting in WWII. I completely and whole heartedly support these womens’ right to fight along side men, but it breaks my heart in a new and different place now that we have (and will soon have more) mothers, daughters and wives lost to this carnage.
    Just one more piece of fresh hell to add to this inferno.

  3. pansypoo says:

    i saw that in the paper. it did seem like WI has ;lost a lot of women AND boys. may they haunt georgie’s waking hours. AS IF. cause he doesn’t give a shit.
    and i REALLY want him to FEEL all their pain!

  4. Paul in LA says:

    Yep, we need a whole website with this sort of sympathetic coverage and photos.
    Very powerful. Brava.

  5. drunken hausfrau says:

    We lived in Milwaukee for the past 13 years… this post is heartbreaking. We were recently relocated to London, England. Right now, they are running a Poppy Appeal for Veterans — all over London, people are wearing poppies, taxis have poppies on the hoods, poppy wreaths on doors — ads everywhere reminding people of the children left orphaned, the vets left wounded, the older vets needing care and companionship. On Nov. 11, all the churches are having requiem services for the fallen. It is very uncool NOT to be wearing a poppy — why haven’t you contributed? seems to be the look in people’s eyes.
    Why don’t we have something like this in the US??? I see our vets handing out poppies at home in WI, and people just pass them by… it’s not a NATIONAL thing. Here in London, it IS — it’s everywhere. As horrible and hellish as war is, as unpopular as the Iraq war is — here, they are REMEMBERING the troops.
    I’d like to see this post of yours EVERYWHERE at home — this sort of post, whether about our fallen women or the fallen men and boys — this seems to be what is lacking at home, the real acknowledgement of LOSS and SACRIFICE.
    Instead of stupid MAGNETS — Poppies. And the poem that goes with them… In Flanders field.

  6. ran says:

    I think there’s a lesson here for young men and women alike: stay the hell out of the military or else be prepared to die in bullshit wars of aggression fought to make rich white criminals richer white criminals.

  7. joejoejoe says:

    Nice remembrance Scout.
    You should explore whether it’s truly arbitrary or if women from Wisconsin serve in the military at higher rates than other communities.

  8. scout says:

    joejoejoe…I was wondering about that as a possible explanation

  9. drunken hausfrau says:

    I second joejoejoe’s suggestion…why are there so many National Guard and other military women from WI? Also, I think I read somewhere at home that small towns in WI have a disproportionate share of young men/women in the military in comparison to more populous states with larger urban areas… why? My guess is most went into it to pay for college — and Natl. Guard, before Chimpy, was really about service IN Wisconsin — tornados, floods, etc.

  10. BuggyQ says:

    I wonder who’ll be writing the “A Piece of My Heart” for this war. I read that book in the early 90’s (admittedly because I was hooked on China Beach) and it affected me deeply. I wondered whether I’d have the courage to go, knowing what I knew about how the experience affected the survivors, let alone the chances of not surviving at all.
    By the way, drunken hausfrau, I’ve always loved that poem. Big Head Todd and the Monsters did a song following on that, and one of the lines is, “From Flanders Field, we will rise up, singing. We will rise up.” God, I hope that’s true in this case. Somebody needs to rise up.

  11. scout says:

    I’m finding it to be quite difficult to address what joejoejoe asked. If anyone finds any decent links/info on US military enlistment by gender and state can you let me know?

  12. The Crapture says:

    the anguish of the survivors of these and all those lost to this vanity war should be distilled and endlessly replayed to Pickes when she gets to hell for having the gall to say that “No one suffers more” than she and that goddamned primate husband of hers.

  13. pansypoo says:

    i love that poem as well. but then WE understand the waste. for WORSE than nothing. i think the best punishment for georgie is poverty for him and his family. make the twins work. and not writing a stupid book. she has to get on her knees and scrub something.

  14. mook says:

    God it hurts to see the faces.
    I can’t express my grief…
    May their souls be at peace.
    mook

  15. May they rest in peace. Beautiful women, every one.
    May their loved ones find consolation, comfort, and peace.
    Scout, what a lovely tribute. Thank you.

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