News of death by members of military personnel are handled with proper procedure for good reason. A military messenger personally goes to the house of the family, usually the spouse, to deliver the news face to face and give out documents relevant to the process of observing military protocol in such situation.
But this protocol was not followed in a recent case. Ariell Taylor-Brown, wife of Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown, learned of her husband's death though the social networking site, Facebook. Staff Sgt. Christopher Brown was killed April 3 by an insurgent bomb in Afganistan. A woman, who heard about the death from another soldier in her husband's platoon, notified Ariell on Facebook to "call her immediately". Ariell obliged and learned about her husbands death in that manner.
"She told me over the phone, right in front of my kids, and I completely had a meltdown. She wasn’t supposed to, but I guess she took it on her own power to do it.”
It was more hurtful to her given that merely hours before the incident she was on Skype talking to her husband. She is also pregnant. Later that day, the military messenger came to her house to relay the "news". The military is presently conducting an investigation on the breach of military protocol.
Was the woman at fault? I understand that the protocol serves a practical purpose in controlling things especially in this sensitive times, but I think wives and families should also be briefed of this protocol. Moreover, it is difficult to keep things like they are especially now that internet is so omnipresent and some people are in the habit of posting on the internet about their lives, other people's livesm without the proper code of conduct.
She might have been insensitive and stupid, but I don't know how much punishment should actually be levied. Nothing serious of life-altering I don't think at least. I mean it was a stupid mistake that shouldn't screw up her life, I'm sure she already feels super guilty after finding out about the meltdown it caused the now widow...
Stupid mistake from the woman. Hopefully societal censure and the anger of family and friends will be enough to have her reform her behavior (as unlikely as it is to happen again). Other than that, I doubt any administrative action is necessary.
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Am I the only one who would like to hear that kind of news ASAP? I would even expect people who care about me to do that kind of thing for me, even in the phone if it's not possible to get to me like RIGHT now.
On April 23 2012 14:54 Lemonerer wrote: Am I the only one who would like to hear that kind of news ASAP? I would even expect people who care about me to do that kind of thing for me, even in the phone if it's not possible to get to me like RIGHT now.
Same here. While I understand that doing it over the phone may not have been the most sensitive thing to do, is a face-to-face meeting really any better? You'll still breakdown, just not in the comfort of your own home...
Ooshmagoosh United States. April 23 2012 15:04. Posts 435
Do you think she would have felt any better if the President rolled up to the curb to deliver the news?
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Belisarius Australia. April 23 2012 15:05. Posts 1859
The woman can't be punished, nor should she, but it's possible they'll discipline the soldier who told her. I'm not really sure how it works or what the limitations are on soldiers sharing news of losses with otherwise unrelated people, but there's no way the woman herself can be hauled before a military court.
Also title is misleading and sensationalist. She found out over the phone, not via a status update or whatever you'd normally associate with facebook.