Kobe Bryant was a national treasure. I applaud his talent and determination. Surely, Kobe made many sacrifices, but they were all optional and for his own reasons.

What about those who die in service to their country? Where are their national accolades? Is it the media that ignore their sacrifice, or the American public for whom they died?

Army Spc. Henry Mayfield, 23; Pfc. Miguel Villalon, 21; Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29; Spc. Antonio Moore, 22; Master Sgt. Nathan Goodman, 36, and Air Force Staff Sgt. George Girtler, 37; they were from Illinois, New York, North Carolina and Virginia; they died in Afghanistan, Antarctica, Kenya, Syria and Arizona, where Master Sgt. Goodman, a Green Beret, fell to his death during freefall parachute training after surviving eight deployments to Afghanistan, Africa, Iraq and Kyrgyzstan. Where is their recognition, beyond the painful grief of their family members and other loved ones?

Newspapers and television news programs devoted nearly half of their space and time to developments in the investigation of the crash that took the life of Kobe Bryant and eight others. Grown men have stood before cameras and cried for him. But the deaths of the military personnel named above have hardly been mentioned, if at all, and they died within the past four weeks.

I’m not saying Kobe Bryant wasn’t deserving of the recognition and laurels he received, but how much more so those who knowingly and willingly place their lives on the line for their country, for the U.S. Constitution, for each of us?

Jerry Genesio


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