Patterico's Pontifications


What Happens There Doesn’t Stay There

Filed under: General — Dana @ 10:43 am

[guest post by Dana]


Yesterday I posted the president’s statement commemorating the 10th annual International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. I waited until this morning to see if the White House was going to perhaps later in the evening release a statement commemorating Armed Forces Day. As of this morning, I am unable to find anything on the White House Statements and Release page. Perhaps they forgot. I am not going to waste my time on this oversight, because we already know what we know about their priorities, and I would rather give those who deserve the attention their due.

With that being said, for the record, I will note that I did find a brief mention of it over at the U.S. Department Defense page, with the neat graphic above.

President Harry S. Truman led the effort to establish a single holiday for citizens to come together and thank our military members for their patriotic service in support of our country.

On August 31, 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force Days.

The single day celebration stemmed from the unification of the Armed Forces under the Department of Defense.

And that’s it.

As the grand-daughter of a Merchant Marine, the daughter of a Marine who served in Korea, the sister of a Navy veteran, and the mother of a recently enlisted Marine, I believe military service is simply the highest calling there is.

There are so many heroes that can be showcased in a simple post recognizing our military men and women – those who have been returned home to their loved ones after making the ultimate sacrifice; those who have returned home with loss of limb, permanently scarred on the outside as well as on the inside; those who served their time in relative safety here at home, putting their heads down and doing their jobs. All serving their country, no matter the cost.


This lovely young woman is Sarah Rothschild, age 27. She is a former Marine who spent one year stationed in Iraq and seven months in Afghanistan. She was a part of the Female Engagement team, a group that would patrol the villages of Afghanistan’s south Helmand province and connect with the Afghan women.

Sarah attended Oklahoma State University for several years studying art. In the middle of that time, she spent five years in the Marine Corps. Recently, Sarah was awarded the prestigious 2014 Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr. Award for her moving charcoal work entitled “What happens there doesn’t stay there.”


Sarah gives the back story to her emotional work,

I had only been out of the Marine Corps and in Oklahoma four months and just struggling. I always struggle with all of it.

I made many good friends out there, and also lost many good friends and great Marines. All of which incorporates and greatly led to the emotions which were transformed into this drawing.

Sarah explains her tears in the rendering,

I was at home one day sitting on the step of the deck outside, and I was thinking about stuff and crying. I went outside to see the makeup, and I don’t know, it’s kind of like when all of it came together.

This piece in particular ended up being pretty therapeutic.

After I drew it, it just sort of sat in the closet forever, and I didn’t take it out. I look at it, it just makes me sad. But I had known while working on it that I felt like it belonged in the National Museum of the Marine Corps. That needed to be its home.

About it being helpful to other veterans, Sarah is thankful and recognizes its healing power,

It’s a good thing, it’s a very good thing, because its very hard to heal from these things. You don’t forget them. People try to put it in a box, but it never stays in its box.

Other veterans, upon seeing the artwork, have commented,

‘That’s it, that’s the conflict. We’re out, but we’re not out. We’re holding on.’ Just trying to move on — but the struggle of moving on.

Sarah’s winning art is now housed at the museum where she hoped it would be. Both Sarah Rothschild and her moving art have come home. What an amazing gift it is to give voice and be salve to the wound of other struggling young men and women still trying to find their own way back home.

Sarah Rothschild’s art page can be found here.


21 Responses to “What Happens There Doesn’t Stay There”

  1. Dana – Great part about Sarah and her artwork. Very moving.

    Unfortunately that DOD graphic is missing “gay and transgendered” in the side bar categories. The PC police need to correct that.

    daleyrocks (bf33e9)

  2. This is no doubt because the Armed Forces don’t allow the transgendered to serve. This is a big issue to some.

    Kevin M (b357ee)

  3. military service is only possible cause of the ever-declining percentage of americans what eschew the glamorous foodstamp lifestyle, get up every day, and add value

    that and like a ton of idiot chinesers what buy our debt

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  4. That was very inspirational. Thank you. I used to frequent the Vietnam Veterans Art Museum and never left with a dry eye. I think it’s closed now, or merged with the Veterans art museum up on Milwaukee Avenue.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  5. Well Done, Marine – Semper Fi!

    askeptic (8ecc78)

  6. i have an armed services day story it’s on the internet i’m a go find it

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  7. here is the story

    Hunter Alan Scott (born June 9, 1985) is best known for the research he did on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis (CA-35) as a sixth-grade student, which led to a United States Congressional investigation.[1] and exoneration for her captain.

    Scott lived in Pensacola, Florida. At twelve years old, he created a National History Day project on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. Scott became interested in the subject after seeing it discussed in the film Jaws. (Many of the deaths on the ship were due to shark attacks.) Scott interviewed nearly 150 survivors of the Indianapolis sinking and reviewed 800 documents. The young man concluded that the ship’s Captain Charles Butler McVay III who had been blamed for the tragedy, was innocent. Scott appeared before the US Congress with survivors of the USS Indianapolis to argue that McVay should be exonerated.

    In his testimony, Scott said: “This is Captain McVay’s dog tag from when he was a cadet at the Naval Academy. As you can see, it has his thumbprint on the back. I carry this as a reminder of my mission in the memory of a man who ended his own life in 1968. I carry this dog tag to remind me that only in the United States can one person make a difference no matter what the age. I carry this dog tag to remind me of the privilege and responsibility that I have to carry forward the torch of honor passed to me by the men of the USS Indianapolis.”

    he later became an airplane driver for the navy I think

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  8. Even worse: our embassies around the world did not acknowledge Armed Forces Day as they have in the past, either.

    Estragon (ada867)

  9. They probably didn’t acknowledge Norwegian Constitution either:

    Norwegian Constitution Day is the National Day of Norway and is an official national holiday observed on May 17 each year. Among Norwegians, the day is referred to simply as syttende mai (meaning May Seventeenth), Nasjonaldagen (The National Day) or Grunnlovsdagen (The Constitution Day), although the latter is less frequent.

    Sammy Finkelman (3bb3ae)

  10. hell, Bam-Bam doesn’t recognize the US Constitution, so why would he care about Norway’s?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  11. Google did, Sammy. But no doodle for Armed Forces Day.

    Dana (40616f)

  12. Google is evil. Also, wikipedia can’t be trusted, even if you follow the footnotes.

    carlitos (e7c734)

  13. google makes me uncomfortable

    but on the scale of one to fetid whore where one is free ice cream and fetid whore is facebook, it’s still at just about an 8 or so

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  14. Thank you, Dana.

    0 and google … sigh.

    htom (412a17)

  15. I was at the Museum two days ago. Did not see that artwork but there is so much there it is easy to miss things you do not know are there. I almost missed the Iwo Jima flag and I was looking for it.Anyone with any sort of interest in the Corps should visit if they can. On the grounds is a fairly extensive memorial park laced with a Walk of Honor, each brick dedicated by individuals to honor individual Marines ($300 a brick if you are interested). The whole Museum was built and is maintained by private funding.

    kishnevi (725309)

  16. “This is no doubt because the Armed Forces don’t allow the transgendered to serve.”

    This is actually a disqualification for military service. No doubt, Hagel will get right to work on changing that.

    Mike K (cd7278)

  17. Thanx. Seriously, thank you.

    gary gulrud (46ca75)

  18. No one is the daughter or son of a “Merchant Marine,” or any permutation of great, thereof. The merchant marine is all the civilian ships of a nation. Those that crew those ships are merchant marine sailors. They are not marines, merchant or otherwise.

    Mark L (da8bb9)

  19. Thank you for the correction, Mark L.

    Dana (6bdb6f)

  20. Mr. feets, it may interest you to know that the skipper of the I-58, the boat that sank the Indianapolis, was disgusted by the idea that a country would dragoon a former enemy to testify against one of its own Captains.

    Hashimoto Mochitsura testified that it would have made no difference if, as the USN contended, McVay had been zig-zagging. He would have succeeded regardless.

    The real fault lied with the Navy. It had no system in place to keep track of what ships were overdue for arrival. And no plan, consequently, what to do when they didn’t show up.

    Most of the crew made it off the Indy. Quint in Jaws is accurate to the degree that they didn’t survive the sharks while awaiting rescue.

    I could cite many similar failures. One that sticks out is the failure to rescue the crews that fought off the Japanese center force at Leyte. The Battle Off Samar. The order went out, “Small boys, attack.” And attack they did. And the Hoel, the Johnston, and the Sammy B went down. Shot to pieces. And then, nothing. For days. The retiring Japanese at least saluted. I have never been able to figure out why the USN didn’t show up to pluck those guys out of the water.

    If you can’t tell, I have sort of a love-hate relationship with the armed forces. But not with the country. As the son of an immigrant I tell you if this place doesn’t work then nothing does.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

  21. Except maybe Poland.

    Steve57 (c8cb20)

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