Monday, March 31, 2008

4,000 dead: A view from Iraq

Pundits can wax eloquent about the horror of war and those who fight and die honorably in battle. But its the military men and women who do the fighting who tell the story best.
Lt. Sean Walsh who is in Iraq wrote a compelling piece for Time magazine last week.

It began: “The passing of the 4,000th service member in Iraq is a tragic milestone and a testament to the cost of this war, but for those of us who live and fight in Iraq, we measure that cost in smaller, but much more personal numbers. For me those numbers are 8, the number of friends and classmates killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and 3, the number of soldiers from my unit killed in this deployment. I'm 25, yet I've received more notifications for funerals than invitations to weddings.”
It ended: “For the vast majority of Americans who don't have a loved one overseas, the only number they have to attempt to grasp the Iraq War is 4,000. I would ask that when you see that number, try to remember that it is made up of over 1 million smaller numbers; that every one of the 1 million service members who have fought in Iraq has his or her own personal numbers. Over 1 million 8's and 3's. When you are evaluating the price of the war, weighing potential rewards versus cost in blood and treasure, I would ask you to consider what is worth the lives of three of your loved ones? Or eight? Or more? It would be a tragedy for my 8 and 3 to have died without us being able to complete our mission, but it maybe even more tragic for 8 and 3 to become anything higher.”

Thoughtful and thought-provoking. To read the entire article, go to:,8599,1725642,00.html


Anonymous said...

I have been against this "war" since day 1. It breaks my heart that we have lost so many wonderful men and women for nothing!! Our country is going down the tubes financially, emotionally and physically. We have become enemies of countries that used to love and admire us. Bush has made the USA a joke in most of the free world, but he doesn't care because he and all of his wealthy republican cronies are getting richer and richer while the rest of America becomes destitute. Shame on everyone who voted for George W. in the last election. God help Barack Obama because it is going to take him YEARS to get us out of the quagmire we are in.