Tuesday, January 08, 2008

A Poignant Message

"I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here."

On January 3, Andrew Olmsted was killed in Diyala. Olmsted, an Army Major, leaves behind a wife, family, and countless friends and loved ones. He also leaves behind a collection of thoughts that he hoped would "contribute in some small manner to the philosophical and political questions of the day."

In the event of his death, Olmsted wrote a "final post" that he asked a friend to post on his blog. He hoped to use it as a means of saying goodbye, but also to ask that politics be kept out of his death. Needless to say, it is a very poignant read. An excerpt:

"This may be a contradiction of my above call to keep politics out of my death, but I hope not. Sometimes going to war is the right idea. I think we've drawn that line too far in the direction of war rather than peace, but I'm a soldier and I know that sometimes you have to fight if you're to hold onto what you hold dear. But in making that decision, I believe we understate the costs of war; when we make the decision to fight, we make the decision to kill, and that means lives and families destroyed. Mine now falls into that category; the next time the question of war or peace comes up, if you knew me at least you can understand a bit more just what it is you're deciding to do, and whether or not those costs are worth it."

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