Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Obituaries

I don't know if you heard about this, but the actor Heath Ledger passed away yesterday. Of course I'm being facetious, because if you watched any of the morning news shows or really any kind of news after 1700 CST yesterday you were subjected to breathless commentary about this or that aspect of Mr. Ledger's demise...endlessly.

What you didn't hear about was this:

January 22, 2008

MND-North Soldier dies in accident (Kirkuk)

Multi-National Division – North PAO

TIKRIT, Iraq – A Multi-National Division – North Soldier died from injuries sustained during a vehicle rollover while conducting operations in Kirkuk Jan. 22.

Additionally, one other Soldier was wounded and evacuated to a Coalition hospital.

The cause of the vehicle rollover was non-combat related and is still under investigation.

The name of the deceased is being withheld pending notification of next of kin and release by the Department of Defense.

Or this:

January 21, 2008
DOD IDENTIFIES ARMY CASUALTY The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.Staff Sgt. Justin R. Whiting, 27, of Hancock, N.Y., died Jan. 19 in Mosul, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne), Fort Campbell, Ky.

January 21, 2008
DOD IDENTIFIES ARMY CASUALTY The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.Spc. Richard B. Burress, 25, of Naples, Fla., died Jan. 19 in Al-Jabour, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle encountered an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 30th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

January 21, 2008
DOD IDENTIFIES ARMY CASUALTY The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.Spc. Jon M. Schoolcraft, III, 26, of Wapakoneta, Ohio, died Jan. 19 in Taji, Iraq, of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade, 25th Infantry Division, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii.

The only time people like SPC Schoolcraft, Burress or SSG Whiting are worthy of discussion in the media is when they want to use their sacrifice to lament this terrible awful wrong headed war that we were lied into...in other words to bash the President of the United States.

I sat there this morning and listened to people lament the tragedy it was to loose such a talented young man, so full of life, all the possibilities he had in front of him now gone.

It made me want to vomit. Is Mr. Ledger's passing a tragedy to his family and friends? Of course it is. And it is sad when a talented person, whose work you've enjoyed, career is cut short (John Belushi, John Candy, Chris Farley). But if anyone wonders what is wrong with this nation, take one look at the priorities that people have. The things people think are important. The things that are held up and honored.

Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Service, Honor, Integrity, Courage...those are the Army values. Does every Soldier live it every day? I wouldn't be so stupid as to proclaim that, but I do know that is a much more lofty standard than anything I heard discussed on the news this morning...and that is a tragedy.

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