September 22, 2004

Holy crap, What's wrong with this picture??

Yokosuka Naval Base, Japan:

"Seaman Robert Howard sat on his tiny baby to shut him up, playing PokÈmon on his Game Boy as the infant suffocated and died beneath him, Howard testified on Monday...

"...28-day old son Logan...

"'Please tell me why it is you decided to sit on him,' military Judge John Maksym said to Howard.

"'He was making some noise. He was a little fussy,' Howard said. 'I wanted complete concentration for the game.'

"...'I started yelling at my son, "You won't eat. You don't want to sleep. I need to really use the toilet but you won't let me,"' Howard said."

Kitty Hawk sailor pleads guilty to murder of infant son [Stars & Stripes, via waxy]


Why? Why? Why? Why did I read that?

Divorce him? I'd probably kill him.

Makes me embarassed to be a military brat. And so sad.

I've been reading up on news, traditions, and programs for military dads, and this case is by far the most shocking I've found. (Well, there's that spate of Marines killing themselves and/or their families after coming back to NC from Afghanistan, possibly due to the side effects of vaccines or performance-enhancing drugs, but anyway...)

Also, in case it's not clear from reading these things side by side, this case demands an altogether different type of outrage from a cake made out of diapers.

I am Robert's brother, and I find it hard to believe that this had happened, I am in the military as well. Based on what he did, he doesnít realize even to this day the impact it has had on the rest of his family. When something like this occurs in your life you will never forget it, you will always be haunted, and never know what to say when someone confronts you about it. The only remorse I have is for the child; I still canít even talk to him to this day because I donít know who he is anymore. When we grew up together he had an anger problem and he wasnít vary social, he was dedicated to playing videogames in his off time and never showed hostility towards younger kids in school, but he was picked on by those older then him in class. One thing to be learned from this is that if you see symptoms of anger and frustration in your child you should confront the problem right way and try and talk with your son about what is going on. Our parents where never apart or considered divorce, but my father had a drinking problem that made things hard on the family, he sunk into a terrifying depression that lingered on the edge of suicide that scared me into seeing my father in a different light. My mother directed him to AA meetings and he stopped drinking and to this day has not touched a drop. this occurred before Robert left for the Navy.

Wow, thanks for the comments on what is obviously an extremely difficult situation for you and your family.

It's odd how people who aren't directly involved in a terrible tragedy like Robert's--people like me--can get really flippant and judgmental, and then we move on. The media, meanwhile, jumps right onto their next outrage. But for friends, family, and people directly affected by something like this, the anguish and difficulties continue long after the camera trucks are gone.

To be honest, I had nearly forgotten about this until your comments, Brian. But then I realized that this now comes up in every Google search for your brother's name, and that kind of reminder has got to be a new kind of tough to deal with. My deepest sympathies to you and your family.

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