They went ahead with the news anyway. Standing in front of the Champaign Police Department, the breaking news at 6:00 was that an officer's son had fallen. Details to come, they announced. When they knew something.
I wonder how many officers at CPD have kids serving in Iraq. I know of 2 more. Jeff's phone rang off the hook: fearful friends and family wanting to know: Is it your son?
And e-mails came to me, today:
" I saw the News last night and I must tell you when they said a Champaign Police Officer Son my heart stopped."I don't know if you can understand how difficult it is, to say, "No. It was not." It is buckling to tag up to phone calls and condolences and concerns that aren't yours, and that you never, ever want to own. To get a taste of what will happen if. To know, even though you already know, who will be right by your side.
The fallen soldier's name, Danny Kimme, was announced 4 hours later, on the 10:00 news—along with Brian's military stats. Did they need the story so badly that any facts would do?
I know it's the reporters job, to get the story. But what is this "somebody died, and we have no idea who it is" crap? Yes. Somebody did die. Get his name. Get his wife's name, and his father's name, and his mother's name, and cry a million tears for him. Let the world know who just did what, while serving this country.
And in the meantime, don't refer to him anonymously. Have a little respect, and hold out for freakin' 4 hours, and encourage people to memorize one more: Danny Kimme, age 27. He leaves behind a wife, and a daughter, due in 3 months.
My son was deployed 10 months ago. This is the 4th soldier this community has lost, in that time.
It is too much.
It is too much.