Friday, November 6, 2009

US Airman Killed in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

I saw this headline Thursday morning and my first thought was Good. Not good that anyone was killed, but if an American is going to get caught in the drug violence, better it be a member of the US armed service because it'll be harder for it to be swept under the rug.

From the AP:
A gang of gunmen killed an off-duty U.S. airman and five other people early Wednesday at a bar in the Mexican border city of Ciudad Juarez, authorities said.

There was no immediate information on a motive for the attack that killed the U.S. airman at the Amadeus bar in Ciudad Juarez, which also left a seventh person wounded, said Arturo Sandoval, a spokesman for prosecutors in northern Chihuahua state. But the methods bore the hallmarks of attacks by drug cartels.

Staff Sgt. David Booher, assigned to the medical unit of the 49th Fighter Wing at Holloman Air Force outside Alamogordo, New Mexico, about 90 miles (145 kilometers) north of Ciudad Juarez, was among those killed in the bar, the U.S. Air Force said.

Earlier this year, the 12th Air Force barred airmen from traveling in Mexico's Chihuahua state. Soldiers from Fort Bliss, just outside El Paso, Texas, across the border from Juarez, also are barred from going to Chihuahua.

I'm very curious to see how both the US and Mexican presidents respond to this attack. Aside from a couple articles online, it seems to be quiet. I'll be very disappointed if nothing is done, even if it was just a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.


MeganRebekah said...

You know what the sad thing is? It will get overshadowed by the attack at Ft Hood in Texas yesterday. But you're right, our countries need to start paying more attention to the ongoing drug wars that affect us all.

Melanie Avila said...

You're right. I actually wrote this before news broke about the attack at Fort Hood, otherwise I would have mentioned it.

JLC said...

I was about to say the same thing as Megan. Right now the news is focused on Texas. Both are very sad incidences. :(

Nadine said...


In first grade, one of my school friends wrote that his hope was for world peas.

I second that. Let's hope for world peas.

Melanie Avila said...

JLC, I still can't believe what happened at Fort Hood.

Nadine, I'd love whirled peas.

Robin said...

Not to be a cynic or anything, but drugs, medical unit. . .I'm just sayin'.

I agree with everyone. The US will ignore it because of the Ft. Hood nightmare. Psychiatrist. Violence. Hmmmm... The medical unit people are just sayin'.

MSgt(ret) MW Highsmith, USAF said...

First off to "Robin": SSgt Booher taught me a phrase in Spanish that roughly translates to "You seek an evil nonexistent in others which in your own heart thrives." Grow up. He was a good man, an awesome, hits-the-fan-proven medic, and a volunteer protecting our hard-won freedoms. I will not stand by in silence while you tarnish his good name. (Also, you're not being cynical, you're being farcical).

Secondly, "Melanie Avila", how callous that one's first response to the death of this husband, father, brother, and son is "good". WTF!!!!! From one Anglo to another, you should leave Mexico. You don't appreciate it, and you don't deserve its beauty. And you're obviously not safe.

R.I.P., my friend, Staff Sergeant Booher; you will be missed.

Robin said...

Sgt Highsmith: You are completely right. About me. I strongly apologize. Witnessing my own sleezy anesthesiology colleagues in the US getting involved with drugs gives me no right to speculate or joke (ugh. embarrassment.) about your friend. He sounds like a wonderful man, and I'm very sorry for your loss. Please accept my apology.

As for Mel, I know she can speak for herself, but I heard her saying that she was hoping this tragic situation would make the US take notice about the drug violence in Mexico, not that it was a good thing that a man died.

Again, mea culpa.

Melanie Avila said...

Sgt. Highsmith, I apologize if my remarks seemed callous. As Robin said, the only reason I said "good" was because I want the US to do more to help Mexicans.

My choice of words saying it was my first thought was just laziness -- for the sake of my readers I don't list out every single thought and tend to summarize things here. I believe my actual first thought was "oh shit, they're f---ed now." Meaning, finally the US will have to do something about the unending violence.

I truly am very sorry for your loss.

As for your comment that I should leave Mexico, I agree, and we're trying. Unfortunately the US doesn't seem to think my situation is very dangerous. Despite that, I try to make sure I don't badmouth Mexico and only complain about specific things -- I don't make generalizations.

I hope this clears things up for you.