Can we help this man here is a news story about him.. Perhaps you know him.
He is nearly homeless being evicted from his home, this man has served so many from his heart. Now he is in need of a job and a home... HOw can we help this man?shouldn't be forgotten
Sunday, July 01, 2007
The Oregonian by Margie Boule'
H is name is not the only unusual thing about Q Madp.
Yes, that's the name he goes by: Q, with no period after the letter, and Madp, pronounced "MAD-pay."
Beyond his name, beyond the fact he's been telling people he's "about 49" for several years, is the man. He's more than an occasional freelance computer repairman.
Someone called him a "hero to heroes."
Of course, you'd never catch him saying that.
For the last five years, Q has dedicated every spare moment -- and a lot of hours he's stolen from work and home -- to pay tribute to fallen soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen.
He's spent every penny he could lay hands on, paying for gas to attend military funerals from Northern California to the Canadian border, to take photographs he's given the families of victims of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Most of those photographs are too private to be shared. Mothers and fathers weep; wives embrace folded flags; caskets are gently lifted from military planes by men in uniforms, their faces stricken.
Q gives those images to the families, on CD; he will not release anything so personal to the media. He charges the families nothing. "It's a small price for me to pay," he says, "considering the price they've paid in the loss of a son or daughter."
Still, it's a price that keeps increasing. He needs a new camera. His car is old. Gas prices have gone up. There are more funerals than ever to get to.
Q has no wife or children. But he's not lonely. He's been drawn into an extended family of survivors of military casualties. They see him at the funerals; they appreciate his gifts.
It started in 2000 with a single Web site, which spawned others that thrive today. Q believes he's the only person in the U.S. to maintain sites honoring those who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan, who died during or after their service.
His first site preceded those wars, of course. It was dedicated to people who served in Vietnam and died in-country or after they came home. The site, vietnamwarheroes.org, "continues to be an ongoing project. That site has over 3,000 photos shot by grunts" in Vietnam.
The technology was in place when the Iraq war began in 2003; Q knew before the first bombs hit that he would create a Web site to direct attention to that war (031903.com). He filled the site with daily updates, some from Arab news sources.
"Then a couple days into the war, I officially started the Iraq War Heroes Web site (iraqwarheroes.org)," he says. On it he created individual Web pages for each man and woman killed in Operation Iraqi Freedom, or Operation Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan).
"I didn't want them to be forgotten," Q says.
Q gets official data from the Department of Defense and has worked hard to get photographs of nearly all of the 3,975 victims listed on his site. Often pages include descriptions of the fallen fighters sent by family members or friends. Some have accounts of combat deaths, written by witnesses. A few even include journal entries or letters written by the deceased.
The late Spc. Brian Alex Vaughn wrote his family a letter they were to be sent if he was killed. One of his greatest fears, he wrote before he died, "is that no one will really know how much I love them. . . . There are no words for what my heart wants to say."
From the beginning, Q says, "I wanted the site to be non-political and non-commercial. There are no click-on banners. I find things like that totally inappropriate for a memorial site. It would be like going out and finding a McDonald's ad on your buddy's tombstone."
And he's tried to keep the site apolitical. "Most of these men and women join (the military) to serve this country. They don't start the wars, they don't pick the wars. They just do as they're told," Q says. So when they lose their lives, he believes, "they died defending this country. They died for you."
The fallen become much more than just numbers, as you click name after name on his Web site, see the faces and read the stories.
You also begin to get a better understanding of the war than you get from news reports.
". . . struck by sniper fire while he was in a guard tower . . ."
". . . the very last picture, taken 45 minutes before he was killed. The flowers he is holding were given to him by Iraqi children, for his kindness. He is just beaming with joy . . ."
From a fellow soldier: "You can never know the depth of his heroism that day."
And over and over: ". . . killed when an improvised explosive device detonated . . ."
After the Web site came the photography.
In 2003 a friend of Q's who works in a mortuary called him and "asked if I was willing to photograph a memorial service for a guy killed in Iraq."
Q began asking for permission to photograph other military funerals. Over time he began to be recognized by military clergy and officers, who explained his presence to family members wary of the media.
Lately Q has been "run ragged," trying to get to as many funerals as possible, driving across entire states in a day to get to services. "Over the last year we've had so many casualties in the Northwest," he says.
Exposure has not made him tougher. "It gets intense a lot. Sometimes I cry before I get there, sometimes afterwards."
Then when he gets home to Portland, "it starts all over again," as he crops and corrects photos for the families. It's like reliving the grief "frame by frame," he says. "A picture tells you a lot."
When he's done, he returns to the work of his Web sites, creating and adding to pages honoring the dead.
"It's my mission," he says, "to remind people who our fallen heroes are." If that means he has to give up the rest of his life, Q says, "it's worth it."
At least he knows his work is appreciated. The uncle of a victim of war sent Q a $50 gift card for gasoline and a note: "Your many postings and pictures are . . . presented with such dignity and compassion. I truly respect and thank you."
Because of Q, the numbers have names, and the names have faces and stories to tell.
Whether you mourn the loss of Americans who died in a war you oppose, or a war you support, the names, faces and stories that fill the pages of Q Madp's Web sites are worth remembering.