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April 13, 2003

Among the POWs found alive: Sgt. James J. Riley, 31, of Pennsauken, N.J. Yay. [04:31 PM]
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Comments on Among the POWs found alive::

Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2003, 06:23 PM:

Same reaction here.

Thinking once he gets back and decompresses, might be nice for someone to make him a fan GOH for some con somewhere. He's from N.J. What's his local con?

There's a lot of fandom in the military, and getting to, say, judge a masquerade might be some of the fun side of weirdness he'll be needing, as opposed to the circus of reporters and whatnot.

Arthur D. Hlavaty ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2003, 07:26 PM:

I am not fond of the Local Man Injured in Hong Kong Riots coverage the POWs have been getting, but I am happy for him.

Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2003, 10:15 PM:

Great news. It sounds like some Iraqi army officer did an amazingly generous, wise, and possibly risky thing, letting the P.O.W. free, as a group, while by most standards a war was still underway.

Not everyone who reads SF is a con-goer. But taking up a collection for a gift certificate would be a nice gesture.

anna ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2003, 10:15 PM:

Hey James (if you find this page), get back to work on that chain mail shirt! and when done, let Patrick know where to find you in it on the web, so he can link to it.

we've been pulling for you.

Kathryn Cramer ::: (view all by) ::: April 13, 2003, 10:53 PM:

Now we can send books.

Bob Devney ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 12:16 AM:

Finally some invasion news to feel happy about. We're allowed to feel good about a member of the family, right?

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 10:41 AM:

Bob, I think that's one of the rights our boys fought and died for...oops, I mean that we successfully argued for some time ago. We get to be human.

I've got to say, this gave me a lift. We HAVE to find out where to send gifts and stuff!

Maureen ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 12:21 PM:

Pennsauken, NJ is actually across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, if I understand correctly. The family lives on Marion Avenue, according to local Pennsauken newspaper reports. I would say that a package would easily reach him there, as he'll be at Walter Reed first and then going home.

Especially if you write "Science Fiction Books" on the outside.... :) Then his parents will know to take it with them to the hospital.


Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 01:49 PM:

The first con that didn't end up being my first con was shortly after the Falklands War, and I recollect a friend mentioning that one of the con members had been in that... The guy had admitted to having a bit of trouble coping with the transition.

So maybe a GoH invite would be too much, but a simple free membsrship from a local con, with no obligation to actually turn up, would be easy enough to do.

Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 04:11 PM:


Being a hostage or prisoner of war is an odd sort of celebrity. It's not something that anyone seeks out, and has no upside aside from being something to trade on if you want to go into politics.

A con membership might be nice, and offer of a costume might be better if he wants to hide out for a while.

I remember stories of Mark Hamill having taken Harrison Ford to an SF convention after Star Wars hit big, but Ford put on a fake white beard and a robe and went around as one of a sea of Obi Wan impersonators (arguably the best, as he'd been working with Alec Guinness). No one caught on.

So if Riley wants to duck the celebrity for a while, a con might be a good idea.

Madeleine Reardon Dimond ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 04:17 PM:

I like the idea of a con membership (books too, of course. What else are you going to do in the hospital?). It sounds like Philcon might be a good choice, or maybe Readercon. Jersey people come up for that, and he'd have a good chance of meeting a favorite author.

I've been reading conservatives who think the anti-war contingent is going to spit on Our Brave Soldiers Coming Home. (Where do they get their ideas?) I'd love a chance to do the opposite.


Kevin Andrew Murphy ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 06:05 PM:

Well, given San Francisco's own "Pukers for Peace," and the historical precedent of the '60s, there's going to be someone who'll make like a llama for their fifteen minutes of infamy. And as we well know, one a-hole in a group will draw the tv cameras.

Since odds are that less than 50% of those soldiers voted for Bush, it would be nice for them to be greeted by someone other than crying Republican ladies with flags and yellow ribbons.

Stefanie Murray ::: (view all by) ::: April 14, 2003, 06:53 PM:

Madeleine & Kevin:

I remember that during the first Gulf War, Barbara Ehrenrich said in a speech that she had her research staff comb the '60s & '70s newspapers looking for accounts of soldiers being spit on by anti-Vietnam War folx. According to her, the only actual verifiable spit-on soldier was Ron Kovic, when Vietnam Vets Against the War went to the Republican convention in Florida and someone there spit on him.


Stefan Jones ::: (view all by) ::: April 15, 2003, 05:35 PM:

I've read other, similar research into the "spat on me in the airport on my way back from 'Nam" story.

I sometimes wonder if it's the indignant-hawk equivalent of "I was in the crowd for MLK's 'I had a dream' speech:" A defining event that happened, but not to everyone who claims it happened. (Did that come out the way I intended?)

Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2003, 12:37 AM:

It's like the "bra-burning" feminists. Research that one and you find it never happened either.

S. M. Breen ::: (view all by) ::: April 16, 2003, 05:32 PM:

"Since odds are that less than 50% of those soldiers voted for Bush, it would be nice for them to be greeted by someone other than crying Republican ladies with flags and yellow ribbons."

Well, there's always the option of welcoming Sgt. Riley back with an honor guard of SCAers in full kit. It would certainly make for a more interesting TV moment than the usual...

Xopher ::: (view all by) ::: April 17, 2003, 04:02 PM:

Good idea. I believe he's in the Barony of Settmour Swamp; I know some people out there. He definitely should have some mail-clad minions meet him at the airport...not that they'd get through the metal detector.

Wait. I bet you can't walk into an airport in armor at all, can you? Shit.

Well, at his house then. I'll mention it.

Terry Karney ::: (view all by) ::: May 25, 2003, 07:45 AM:

I would have to say, despite the numbers in the public at large, more than 50 percent of the Army probably did vote for Bush.

As a group (individuals and subsets, like MI, will always be useful for pointless difference in debate) the military tends to be Conservative, even if not Republican.