Specialist David Mahlenbrock was killed December 3rd by an IED in Kirkuk, Iraq. The milblog Black Five was first with the information,and a simple but important last request from Specialist Mahlenbrock.
Mahlenbrock was a fan of Country musician Toby Keith, and wanted Keith’s song, "American Soldier" played at his funeral. A nationwide effort is underway to have that song played simultaneously at 1 PM EST today by every station willing to participate. Soldier’s Angels, a non-profit group which works to support U.S. military personnel, asked Toby Keith to personally sing the song when Mahlenbrock is laid to rest at Arlington National Cemetery.
Toby Keith fumbled the ball, to put it bluntly. His manager released a terse statement, saying that Keith "has set aside this time to spend with his family." Black Five confirms that Keith has no intention of showing up at the funeral. Seems that he doesn’t feel obliged to meet Mahlenbrock’s 19-year-old widow or 11-month-old daughter. Apparently, there’s no royalties to be had, by showing up to honor a fallen warrior.
Smash and Blackfive say Keith has "offered to cut a new CD of his song, dedicated to Specialist Mahlenbrock’s memory."
We’ll see. Toby Keith has not bothered to mention this promise on his website, and in my opinion, Toby has shown his true color: GREEN. Toby had no trouble playing up his love for the troops, when he could get a good song, a nice video, and sell out concerts, but when it comes down to meeting a debt of honor, ol’ Toby is just not cut out to meet the same standards as the men he pretends to support.
I’d say Toby has dropped to the level of the Dixie Chicks, but at least they were honest about their loyalties. Toby Keith is a mercenary loser, putting his personal comfort over a soldier’s family. For Christmas, somebody ought to get Keith a dictionary, and highlight the page with the word "honor".