Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Four Degrees of Oprah

I talked to my friend Latonya on the phone last night, I don't think I've talked to her on the phone since we came back from Iraq in late 04'. She was a mutual friend of Chief Debra Ackeret. Since you can only get so much through via instant messenger, I called her and left a message for her to call me back.

It was really nice to hear from her! We talked about what is going on in our lives and also what had happened to Debra Ackeret. You see, even Latonya, before Debra's death, has not seen or heard a lot from Debra. Latonya just chucked it to the results of two busy lives. Debra was still in the army and was thinking about going to another deployment to Iraq. Latonya found out about Debra's death through another army friend of hers, who knew Debra as well.

Shortly, I mean very shortly after Debra died, her father flew down from Wisconsin and collected Debra's body for burial in Milwaukee. Latonya never got to speak to him, or anyone related to Debra. The burial and the service was very quick and hushed. No one really knew what drove Debra to kill herself, there was still the suspecion that her boyfriend might have done it.

Now, this is where Oprah came into the story....

Kim is having trouble coming to terms with the sudden death in November 2006 of her sister—was her death a suicide or a murder?

John says he feels an immediate energy when trying to reach Kim's sister. "Okay, you have these different energies that are coming in," he says. "They're telling me to call you by a different name, Kimmy or Kimberly or something completely different from Kim. But they make me feel, like, don't call you Kim." Kim says that her sister used to call her "Kiminy Cricket," after the Disney character Jiminy Cricket.

John then says he is getting a feeling indicating suicide. "My sister was a warrant officer in the Army," Kim says. "She came back from Iraq late 2004. She passed away November 26th and it was questionable whether it was suicide or murder. I was told that my sister was shot and I think that's why there was the issue of suicide or murder because all of us immediately thought, and that's all we knew, was that it was murder. The forensics are still out, so the case isn't closed."

Kim says the hour-long reading with John has helped ease her worries about what had become of her sister after death. "I was brought up Catholic, so I really was raised to believe that [if you commit] suicide, you end up in the fiery flames of hell," she says. "That was my biggest fear." She says she no longer worries about that.

Two days after Kim met with John, the Sierra Vista Police Department in Arizona officially ruled that the death was a suicide…just as John's reading indicated.

Kim was Debra's sister, and she had appeared on Oprah during the day that John Edward (the bug-eyed psychic) was on the show.
The GF saw that episode and so did Latonya. Now, neither of them watches Oprah much, if at all, and the one episode that they did watch, was about Debra. So what are the four degrees of Oprah? Well it's like, Chief Ackeret, Chief Ackeret sister, Oprah.

I don't know why Debra had killed herself either, and I don't think that I'll ever know. I do know that Debra is not in hell right now. I think maybe she was really depressed over something or some events, and in the spur of the depression, she decided to end her life. Even though we didn't always get along during our deployment, it's all over now and I hope that she's happy and peaceful now, on the other side.


jutamanee said...

I knew Debra here in Az. and did not know she had died untill I googled her name and your blog post is what I found. What a shock. We'd known each other for years but had a bit of an estranged friendship. I always figured over time and maturity we could eventually grow to understand each other. I always cared about her and liked to think she felt the same. It was actually just that year that we ran into one another again and our conversation reminded us of why we were friends to begin with. I was so proud of her accomplishments and experiences, and always intended to rekindle a friendship. But that was always hard, for she was always a guarded complicated mystery. Seemingly so open and welcoming yet distant and hidden. She was always that way. Even long before going to Iraq. I even met her sister Kim before, and I feel so sorry for her. Kim is a really sweet person and they loved each other very much. I also remember her mentioning Latonya as one of her friends. It is so strange to get this news this way, but I thank you for it. Please, if you know how I can contact Kim could you message me? thanks

Michael Rumbaua said...

Debra is a great person with a powerful personality. We dated in the late 90's when she was a Sergeant stationed in Hawaii. I had the honor of pinning on her rank when she was promoted to Staff Sergeant. When I encouraged Debra to submit her application for the Army Warrant Officer Program, I didn't know at the time, but in doing so would inevitably end our relationship upon her commission to Warrant Officer. My world was a better place with Debra in my life. I will miss her always.