Saturday, January 05, 2008

Blogger-Soldier Andrew Olmsted Speaks From The Grave: "I'm dead. That sucks. . ."

This gives new meaning to the words "Last Post": Major Andrew Olmsted, a regular member of Joe Katzman's crew at Winds of Change, a contributor to Obsidian Wings, and a freelance correspondent of sorts with Colorado's Rocky Mountains News, left a message with friends, to be posted in the event of his death. The U.S Defence Department announced yesterday that Olmsted was killed in Iraq when his unit was attacked by insurgents. Major Olmsted's last post reads, in part:

"I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don't drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don't cite my name as an example of someone's life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I'm not around to expound on them I'd prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn't support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I'd prefer that you did so."

The torch passes to other hands.


Blogger Stuart Morris said...


...on a larger scale, for those who knew me well enough to be saddened by my death, especially for those who haven't known anyone else lost to this war, perhaps my death can serve as a small reminder of the costs of war. 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 in lieu of a cold discussion of theoretical merits of war and peace. Now I'm facing some very real consequences of that decision; who says life doesn't have a sense of humor?

Andrew will be missed. I had trouble seeing the road on the way home last night.

3:18 PM  

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