Home » A Soldiers Story » Does anyone know what day this is?

Does anyone know what day this is?

I would have liked to ask some very specific people if they know what day this. But, due to the fact that Heather turned down my Facebook friend request, I find it highly unlikely she or the others would reply to an email.  So, the answers to the following questions are my attempt to provide a humorous satirical response at their expense on this very important day.

KBR’s spokeswoman, Heather Browne…do you know what day this is? “Yes….it’s time for a leg, eyebrow and bikini wax! My New Year’s resolution is to have an ‘unwavering commitment’ to myself for a change!”

KBR’s President of the G&I segment, Bill Bodie…do you know what day this is? “Yep! It’s former PTL minister Jim Bakker’s birthday? Maybe I should write an editorial for that supporting his fraudulent wrong doing!”

KBR law firm K&L Gates ….do you know what day this is? “It’s a Saturday and billable at a much hirer rate…can you repeat the question please…..very slowly this time.”

That’s what I thought. It’s just another day at the office…or the spa. Whatever the case may be! Although KBR is locked in legal battle and enduring very negative press on this issue,  I still seriously doubt any of you remembered this is the 2nd anniversary of the death of a son, a brother, a friend, a US Soldier.

On this day in 2008, SSG Ryan Maseth entered the shower in his Special Forces living quarters at Radwaniyah Palace Complex in Baghdad, Iraq and he died. He was electrocuted do to an improperly installed water pump on the roof of the building.

This 2nd day of January must be the worst day ever in the lives of Ryan’s family and friends and suspect it will be for some time to come.

I in no way intended to diminish the immeasurable pain Ryan’s family must feel. But, I would like to focus on the positives that have come about because of the devout resolution of Ryan’s mother Cheryl Harris, to find the truth and make sure no other family goes through what her family endures every day!

Cheryl refused to believe the initial lie the Defense Department gave her as the cause of Ryan’s death. She was told Ryan took a small appliance into the shower with him and was consequently electrocuted. Cheryl asked hard questions and demanded honest answers. Because of her dogged determination the DoD Inspector General requested the CID reopen the investigation into Ryan’s death. Ryan’s death was deemed to be negligent homicide by the Army CID’s own investigators. But no charges have been filed and Ryan’s manner of death has not been changed from “accidental”.

During Cheryl quest for answers many positive changes have been made.

  • There have been several highly publicized hearings of the Senate Democratic Policy Committee and House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on the issue of shoddy electrical work in Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • Investigations were reopened not only in Ryan’s case but many other cases of suspected electrocution as well.
  • The DoD made it a requirement that ALL electricians and inspectors be licensed.
  • Wages have increased for all licensed KBR electricians and in some cases wages have nearly doubled.
  • Task Force SAFE was implemented by the DoD to perform electrical and fire inspections of nearly 90,000 buildings in Iraq.
  • FY 2010 Defense Appropriations bill has included language to inspect and immediately correct deficiencies that present an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury so as to ensure compliance with generally accepted electrical standards.
  • Military Commanders are far more sensitive to electrical hazards than before.
  • To the best of our knowledge not one soldier has died due to electrocution in a shower since Ryan’s death. Tragically one civilian contractor, Adam Hermanson was electrocuted in his shower at Camp Olympia in Baghdad on September 1, 2009.
  • I know for a fact, there are Military Commanders out there who will think twice before assuming they can lie to the mother of a Fallen Hero and get away with it!

Cheryl you are a true warrior! Ryan would be very proud. KBR….this is true “UNWAVERING COMMITMENT!”

On behalf of every soldier and civilian who has not been injured or killed because of your determination to make things safer for them….THANK YOU!

Ms Sparky

my image


  1. Comment by Elizabeth:

    Great article!! It takes the patience of Job and dedication that only true caring, true love can bring about to make it safer for our soldiers and for contractors in the war zone. No more scotch tape used instead of electrical tape, no more “lights out” if you turn on the hot water and have the bathroom light on, no more foremen dropping off crews of TCNs while the foreman walks around with a coffee cup in search of people to “network” with, maybe less trips to the dump for needed repair parts–all resulting in less injuries, no needless easily avoidable electrocutions. Easier to focus on the mission in war zone, when safety versus profit margin is the higher priority. Hooray for Cheryl honoring her son by pursuing what actually happened–and during the midst of her pain. Thank you for your efforts, too, Ms. Sparky, for helping widen the knowledge of the truth.

    Is Heather Browne friends with anybody???

  2. Comment by Charles M. Smith:

    Just wanted to add, that I had the privilege of meeting Cheryl Harris at one of SEN Dorgan’s hearings. She is a true patriot, working unselfishly to improve the conditions for all of our soldiers.

    What is amazing is that she was able, with help from people like SEN Dorgan, SEN Casey, REP Waxman and others, to get the Army to admit there was a problem and take action to fix it. Ms. Harris put a dedicated and compelling human face on this issue and accomplished more than most of us have been able to do.

    She is certainly one of my heroes.

  3. Ping from » Ryan we haven’t forgotten you Ms Sparky:

    […] Ryan Maseth – You must be very proud! (2009) Does anyone know what day this is? (2010) 3rd anniversary of the electrocution death of SSG Ryan Maseth […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *