The Death of Private Sam Huff, Cutie Pie

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IMMEDIATE RELEASE April 19, 2005

DoD Identifies Army Casualty

The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Pfc. Sam W. Huff, 18, of Tucson, Ariz., died April 18 in Baghdad, Iraq, of injuries sustained on April 17 in Baghdad, Iraq, when an improvised explosive device detonated near her HMMWV. Huff was assigned to the 170th Military Police Company, 504th Military Police Battalion, 42nd Military Police Brigade, Fort Lewis, Wash.

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Sam Huff was, says her grieving father, a “cutie pie.”

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Sam Huff

High School Graduation

Paul Hogue at My Dogs Are Smarter draws our attention to the story of Sam’s recent death in Iraq . . . and her father’s comments about women in combat.

Paul comments that “subjecting women to the vagaries of combat” is not just an issue of military readiness, but is also inherently immoral. He also adds movingly that this issue is “about how civilized societies treat their wives and daughters, their moms and sisters.”

I agree. But Barbara Eakins does not. She recently wrote, in response to the post I wrote about the draft, to ask:

Why is it unacceptable to draft my daughter

but not my son? I am opposed to war and have

no desire for either of them to go to die. But why

is it fair to send my son to his death and not my

daughter?

Sam Huff’s dad said much the same thing, arguing that any child’s death is a great sorrow: “It doesn’t make a difference whether their kids are male or female, young or old.”

Of course, he’s right about that.

As the mother of three daughters, and two sons, I’ve thought a lot about why we send our sons, and not our daughters to war. There’s no easy answer to this question: it’s like Sophie’s Choice.

Let me respond in this way. At Sam’s funeral, they played the song “Butterfly Kisses” a song Bob Carlisle wrote, he says as a “private love letter” to his daughter Brooke.

The song is about “daddy’s little girl,” and they played it at the funeral of an 18-year-old 110 pound cutie-pie, KIA. USA Today quoted Martha Kleder, formerly an Air Force enlisted, and a policy analyst for Concerned Women for America, who observed: “You don’t play Butterfly Kisses at the funeral of a warrior.”

Why our sons, and not our daughters? It’s hard to express why, but it is unutterably sad to hear “Butterfly Kisses” lingering in the air, along with the sharp crack of a military rifle salute, and the mournful notes of Taps. . .

God bless the Huff family in their loss.

Butterfly Kisses(Listen here.)

There’s two things I know for sure

She was sent here from Heaven

And she’s daddys little girl

As I drop to my knees by her bed at night

She talks to Jesus and I close my eyes

And I thank God for all of the joy in my life

Oh but most of all

For butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer

Stickin little white flowers all up in her hair

Walk beside the pony daddy

It’s my first ride

I know the cake looks funny daddy

But I sure tried

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong

I must have done something right

TO deseve a hug every mornin

And butterfly kisses at night

Sweet 16 today

She’s lookin like her mama

A little more every day

One part woman

The other part girl

To perfume and make up

From ribbons and curls

Trying her wings out in a great big world

But I remember

Butterfly kisses after bedtime prayer

Stickin little white flowers all up in her hair

You know how much I love you daddy

But if you don’t mind

I’m only gonna kiss you on the cheek this time

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong

I must have done something right

To deserve her love every morning

And butterfly kisses at night

All the precious time

Like the wind the years go by

Precious Butterfly

Spread your wings and fly

She’ll change her name today

She’ll make a promise and I’ll give her away

Standing in the bride room just starin’ at her

She asked me what I’m thinkin’

And I said I’m not sure

I just feel like I’m loosin’ my baby girl

And she leaned over

And gave me butterfly kisses with her mama there

Stickin’ little white flowers all up in her hair

Walk me down the aisle daddy

It’s just about time

Does my wedding gown look pretty daddy?

Daddys don’t cry

Oh with all that I’ve done wrong

I must have done something right

To deserve her love every mornin’ and butterfly kisses

I couldn’t ask God for more than this is what love is

I know I’ve got to let her go but I’ll always remember

Every hug in the mornin’ and butterly kisses

~ Bob Carlisle, “Butterfly Kisses” (Bob Carlisle at Amazon.)

Intel Dump has opposing viewpoint

Tip of the beret to Mudville Gazette open post

And to Outside the Beltway Traffic Jam . . .

A thank you to Shakespeare’s Sister for public debate on Monday Blogwhoring

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3 Responses

  1. Michael J. Beisch says:

    ON PFC. SAM HUFF

    (Buried Arlington National Cemetary

    April 28, 2005)

    The color guard is in state array,

    And the muffled sound of martial feet

    In our sorrows did meet

    As quietly in demise you lay–

    That you could not wait

    In time too late

    Your appointment with duty, kept you,

    To the last heartbeat true;

    And we knew, that you could not stay.

    –Michael John Beisch

  2. Tony Stout says:

    Many prayers to the family of Sam Huff. I to lost my daughter in Afghanistan on April 6, 05. Her name; Chrystal G. Stout. I know the pain and the memories that bring both laughter and sorrow. May God bless you and our Country. As I was told one day, so say I to you… Thank you for your daughters sacrifice for my freedom.

    Kind rgaurds..Tony Stout

  3. S.M. Stirling says:

    “about how civilized societies treat their wives and daughters, their moms and sisters.”

    — assuming, apparently that the societies are male? And that women “belong” to the men?

    Women are citizens, who can own property, vote and hold office. With rights come duties and obligations; military service being among the first of them.

    Furthermore, Ms. Huff was a professional soldier. Soldiers kill; soldiers die. That goes with the job.

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