UPDATE: Mike Nichols of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel basically reprints some of Maj. Olmsted’s post, whose parents apparently live in Cedarburg.
Michael Mathias of Pundit Nation points to this post, humorous, realistic, moving last word by a blogger killed in Iraq. No matter what your views of the war, it’s worth reading. If you get through it without tearing up, you’re a better man than I, even though I didn’t know, nor had ever read his posts.
Some excerpts to whet your appetite,
…while you’re free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I’ll tell you you’re wrong. We’re all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.
A lot of people will protest that argument by noting that the people we are fighting in Iraq are unlikely to threaten the rights of the average American. That’s certainly true; while our enemies would certainly like to wreak great levels of havoc on our society, the fact is they’re not likely to succeed. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t still a need for an army (setting aside debates regarding whether ours is the right size at the moment).
Regardless of the merits of this war, or of any war, I think that many of us in America have forgotten that war means death and suffering in wholesale lots. A decision that for most of us in America was academic, whether or not to go to war in Iraq, had very real consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Yet I was as guilty as anyone of minimizing those very real consequences….
If everyone who feels this pain keeps that in mind the next time we have to decide whether or not war is a good idea, perhaps it will help us to make a more informed decision. Because it is pretty clear that the average American would not have supported the Iraq War had they known the costs going in.
There’s more, much more.
Rest in peace, Major Andrew Olmsted.