The Broken Spear Vision
A local journalist has taken the lead in drawing attention to the victims of drone strikes in Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan. Persistent drone attacks in this region have terrorized the community and disorganized the society that is the basis of support for the people. Noor Behram has dedicated himself to bringing the tragedy imposed on his community by a foreign army pursuing its own aims. He has compiled a dossier of photographs of child victims of the attacks, and of the general devastation of destroyed homes and lives.
According to Shahzad Akbar of the Foundation for Fundamental Rights in Islamabad, Noor came to town a year ago with his photos and asked for assistance in finding a venue where he could show his photos. When he couldn’t get a gallery to support a showing, he set them up on the street. Since then, his pictures have appeared in numerous news outlets from the Guardian of London to Rachel Maddow’s show on MSNBC. On October 7, 2012, posters made from these photos adorned and identified our buses as we headed for South Waziristan with Imran Khan’s Peace March.
Noor attended a meeting we held with some family members of victims of drone attacks. During the introductions, he busily sifted through a large envelope full of photos. When he spoke, he held up the images that would illustrate his words. Noor says that he has about 100 photos of children who have been killed by drone attacks, but there are many more whose bodies were torn to pieces by the Hellfire missile that took their lives, or who were already buried by the time he was able to arrive.
Gary was born in Rochester, NY and raised in rural Chili.
He attended St. Helen school in Gates, and was a member of Boy Scout Troop 157
He graduated from McQuaid Jesuit High School in 1972 where he played football and was an undefeated City-Catholic League wrestling champ.
Gary was fortunate enough to be accepted at the University of Rochester where he played offensive guard for the Yellow Jackets football team.
Wishing to pursue a career in law enforcement he transferred to RIT and earned a bachelors degree in Criminal Justice.
Gary began his law enforcement career in the New York Attorney General’s Office as a criminal investigator. He was also in the Rochester Police Department, Irondequoit Police Department and settled in the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office under Sheriff Andy Meloni. He had many assignments ranging from patrol deputy to watch commander. This included assignments in the western part of the county where he had responsibilities in Parma, Ogden and Greece. He was also heavily involved in the training program for Critical Incident Management and Command Post Operations. This training emphasized cooperation between emergency medical services, the fire services and law enforcement during critical incidents such as active shooter, terrorist and mass casualty scenarios such as chemical spills.
Gary retired after more than 29 years of service rising through the ranks to become a watch commander and head of the Internal Affairs Unit.
During this time he became an FAA certified pilot and worked as a private contractor traffic watch pilot, FAA certified flight instructor and commercial Part 135 pilot to help pay for his daughter’s education.
Upon retirement he continued work as a pilot and returned to school going to St. John Fisher College to work on a masters degree in preparation to enter the private sector. Always interested in helping others he studied human services administration and served on several local non-profit boards.
Gary has on many occasions given back to the community in a host of capacities, including being a member of the Center for Dispute Settlement’s Police-Community Advisory Committee, a school tutor for underprivileged children, a tax-preparer for low income families and senior citizens, a volunteer advocate for women’s issues and as a hiking trail maintenance worker for the ADK . Gary has also served on a variety of church committees and is a supporter of the Greece Historical Society.
Gary is a long time Greece resident who resides with his wife of 36 years, Kathy, a life-long Greece resident. Kathy retired from the Rochester City School district where she helped children with hearing challenges as an educational audiologist. Their daughter Colleen attended Greece schools and is a now a special education teacher.
About Matthew Martin Nickoloff
If there are a “chosen few” then I am not one of them, if an “elect” well then I have not been elected. I am one who is knocking at the door. I am one whose foot is on the bottom rung. But I know that Heaven’s bottom rung is Heaven though the ladder is standing where I work by day and at night sleep with my head on a stone. -Wendell Berry No one ever told us we had to study our lives, make of our lives a study, as if learning natural history music, that we should begin with the simple exercises first and slowly go on trying the hard ones, practicing till strength and accuracy became one with the daring to leap into transcendence, take the chance of breaking down the wild arpeggio or faulting the full sentence of the fugue. And in fact we can’t live like that: we take on everything at once before we’ve even begun to read or mark time, we’re forced to begin in the midst of the hard movement, the one already sounding as we are born. Everything else seems beyond us, we aren’t ready for it, nothing that was said is true for us, caught naked in the argument, the counterpoint, trying to sightread what our fingers can’t keep up with, learn by heart what we can’t even read. And yet it is this we were born to. We aren’t virtuosi or child prodigies, there are no prodigies in this realm, only a half-blind, stubborn cleaving to the timbre, the tones of what we are, even when all the texts describe it differently. And we’re not performers, like Liszt, competing against the world for speed and brilliance (the 79-year-old pianist said, when I asked her What makes a virtuoso?—Competitiveness.) The longer I live the more I mistrust theatricality, the false glamour cast by performance, the more I know its poverty beside the truths we are salvaging from the splitting-open of our lives The woman who sits watching, listening, eyes moving in the darkness is reheasing in her body, hearing-out in her blood a score touched off in her perhaps by some words, a few chords, from the stage, a tale only she can tell. -Adrienne Rich