Letters: Wednesday, August 30, 2006
What It’s Like

To the editor: Thank you so much for Don Jones’ article (“Call Sign: Havoc,” July 19, 2006) and insight into what the Marines in Iraq are really going through. My son-in-law serves in 3/5 Lima Co. As parents, we only have the information the news gives and a small bit from the men. As this deployment has progressed, we have been able to tell from what he told me and my daughter that, emotionally, things are deteriorating for the guys. He was there last year for the push through Fallujah, and this time is so much worse in so many ways. And your article answered many of the whys. Possibly your reporter met my son-in-law — Lance Cpl. Mike Johnson. He was in Weapons Platoon, but was moved to another platoon in the spring because they needed more warm bodies.

I need some advice on how to help him and my daughter cope with the aftermath of all of this. They are so young, both 20, and during this deployment my daughter was left in California to continue her schooling. I can see where he didn’t really deal with all the issues from Fallujah, and then he was sent back into what really was a more dangerous situation. I can hear it in his voice each time he calls — a total emotional shutdown for him, and, as he shuts down, my daughter begins to shut down also. Last deployment, it seemed the boys from Texas seemed to hang together and support each other; this time, Mike just seems to isolate himself more.

Thank you so much for your insight. I will always be so proud of Mike’s service and believe it was worthwhile. I don’t believe the American public in general will ever know what these young men and their families truly sacrifice for freedom. Again, from the bottom of my heart, thank you for your effort to help us all see what it is like daily for the guys.

LeAnna Brewster


To the editor: I just have to commend Don Jones for an article well written. I know many people will not agree with you, but I have to say I am glad he wrote the article from the heart. I pray his son returns home safely.

Nancy Kihenia

Nairobi, Kenya

Mixing It Up

To the editor: In reference to Dan McGraw’s article “Reality Fights” (Aug. 9, 2006): I think it’s really strange the mixed signals the Weekly is sending to its readers. A few months back, Jeff Prince’s article “Get ’Em While They’re Young” seemed to point out how immoral and unjust it is that military recruiters are at our nation’s high schools looking for potential recruits. As if serving your country is really stupid and, hey — you could end up in Iraq. But Ultimate Fighting is “really cool” for the ’tween crowd, and watching two opponents beat the crap out of each other is the “bloody new combat craze!” Huh?

At the sports bar /restaurant I frequent, the atmosphere is usually tame and relaxed — people doing the “wings, suds, and spuds” routine, watching a ball game or an auto race on tv. However, that all changes on “Fight Night.” The restaurant subscribes to the pay-per-view channel showing the Ultimate Fighting contest, and they tune all the sets to that channel and turn up the volume. The parking lot is full, and the place is standing-room only.

I must admit this recent Ultimate Fight craze surprised me. I don’t keep up with “blood-sports.” On these fight nights, the sports bar has a younger-than-usual crowd, and everyone young and old is whipped up into a frenzy watching the screens. I find the whole thing disturbing. I drive a truck for a living, and I’m supposed to be “tough” and all that, but I think frenzied twentysomethings screaming at tv screens watching Ultimate Fighting is repugnant.

Christopher C. Black


Bad Weathers

To the editor: I am very pleased to see that you have finally taken note of Josh Weathers (“Red Bull,” July 19, 2006), who puts on the best live local show in Fort Worth. But that was a terrible article, in terms of effort or accuracy. First, Josh isn’t even in the picture that accompanies the article. More importantly, there were numerous errors of fact. It appears that you all took pains to turn this man into someone he is not. I am acquainted with Josh, and he is interesting enough on his own merits.

For the record, Josh was never a bull rider. He roped for a while. Second, Josh doesn’t use the word “ballistic.” He said something else entirely to the writer, and she chose to change it — why, I don’t know. She put it in quotes and made no mention of having changed his statement. Again, not all that detrimental to Josh, but more evidence of the overall laziness with which this article was prepared.

Most importantly, Josh’s music is lots of things: It is notoriously difficult to define, in that it fluidly mixes aspects of rock, pop, funk, soul, and folk. One thing he is not, however, is country. You may have just cost him potential audience by repeatedly referencing things such as his “cowboy” background, “twang-inflected vocals,” “countrified take on pop,” etc. This is by no means a country band — not that there’s anything wrong with that — and it should not have been referred to as such.

You owe Josh an apology, a retraction, and another article, perhaps written by someone who will listen to the whole c.d. and pay attention during the interview. Ms. Collier’s article was written about someone, but this person and his music bore only a bare resemblance to Josh Weathers.

Suzie Haslinger


Editor’s note: Writer Caroline Collier had no part in the selection of the picture. She did err in writing that Weathers was a bullrider rather than a roper. Fort Worth Weekly regrets that error and stands by the rest of the story.

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