This is a friend of ours. We work together in the Military Moms Organization in our area. She lost her son who had just returned from Iraq. Please pass this on to people you know in the military. This is not a chain letter, this is real.
(With permission from Gail Tipp)
Tipps' message can save our bravest
By Michael Morris - The Facts News
Published June 14, 2005
Army Spc. Robert Tipp Jr. spent a year in Iraq, working to keep the citizens of that country safe as they yearned to enjoy the benefits of their newfound freedom. Tipp’s family now is working to do the same for American soldiers when they return home. Their mission is no less important in protecting the lives of our heroes.
The family is being featured in a public service message and has been making the rounds of local and national media to warn other families of the dangers returning soldiers pose to themselves. It is a painful story they share, but one that can help prevent others from experiencing similar pain themselves.
Twenty-year-old Robert Tipp Jr. returned to Lake Jackson in March, having dodged snipers, roadside explosives and suicide bombings in Iraq. The absence of fear required to survive physically and mentally in the combat zone wasn’t something he could turn off when he tasted newfound freedom of his own. After a year of living on the edge, it’s the only way you remember how to live.
Three days after his return home, Tipp tore down the road on his all-terrain vehicle, foregoing the protection of a helmet. He was going too fast for the ATV to negotiate a curve, and he was thrown head-first into the pavement. He died a few hours later, on Easter morning.
His parents, Gail and Robert Tipp Sr., believe the sense of invincibility he brought with him from Iraq is what led to his deadly behavior. “He thought that nothing could hurt him now,” his father told USA Today of the couple’s only son. The mindset appears to be far from unusual. In Killeen, home of Fort Hood, the world’s largest military base, streets are filled with sports cars and high-speed motorcycles. Races along outlying streets are not uncommon, USA Today reported. The soldiers are living fast and hard — and recklessly.
In the past seven months, USA Today reported, there has been a 23 percent increase in the number of Army soldiers killed in stateside vehicle accidents, with the majority involving veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Army has taken notice and is implementing programs to try to reduce the risks soldiers are taking.
The Tipps are part of the military’s efforts. They hope their message gets through, keeping alive not only the memory of their son, but their brothers in arms who might be predisposed to suffer the same fate as Robert Jr. “If you’ve got a feeling that they’re living too fast a lifestyle, even if it makes them mad, pisses them off, slow ’em down,” Tipp Sr. told USA Today. He said he is tormented by not following that advice with his own son.
The Tipps’ story could save the lives of our country’s bravest, who after war fail to recognize when their bravery can be deadly. It is an important story to tell, and a tribute to Robert Jr. for his family to speak through their pain to tell it.
[b]Other stories about Robert and other soldiers
Post Edited (06-14-05 11:07)