Image courtesy: Pfc. David Hauk, U.S. Army. Kandahar, Afghanistan, November 12, 2009

Friday, April 1, 2011

Right now

File image courtesy: Sgt. Richard Rzepka

"We are not at war," a veteran who served in the Army for eight years told me Wednesday in Maryland. "Only some of us are."

I wasn't initially sure how to feel about that statement. The painful events of the next 48 hours showed that he was on to something.

Beginning at about 10 p.m. eastern on the night of March 30, casualty notices from the Pentagon began filling my inbox. In all, at least six U.S. soldiers, all serving with the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), based out of Kentucky's Fort Campbell, were killed on March 29 in Afghanistan's Konar province. The families of the fallen have been in my thoughts and prayers ever since the e-mails started pouring in.

When I mentioned this last night on The Unknown Soldiers Facebook page, the online community, while universally supportive of our troops and their families, also demanded answers from the national press.

"Not one thing was mentioned by the media," one fan wrote, as another asked: "Why have we not heard of this?"

Outside of an Associated Press wire write-up and a very short CNN wire article, the national media has all but missed another major story from Afghanistan. Fighting is clearly heating up on the eastern front, and remains heavy in the south. But the conflict in Libya is "newer," giving news executives an excuse to focus on Libya in the pursuit of ratings, ignoring the ongoing struggles in Afghanistan and Iraq.

The lives of all six men killed on Tuesday demand more attention at the national level, as their stories, being told almost entirely by small local TV stations and newspapers, show us.

Staff Sgt. Bryan Burgess, 29, Cleburne, Texas

Staff Sgt. Burgess had a wife and two children, and was in the middle of his third combat tour, having served in Iraq twice, according to The Cleburne Times Review. Before leaving for what would be his final deployment, Burgess sat down with his kids and showed them a map of Afghanistan.

"There were camels all over the map and when he would call, he would tell them that he had been busy with his [troops] chasing the camels," the fallen hero's mother, Linda Pearce, told the newspaper. "I thought he was serious, but it wasn’t camels he was talking about. It was his way of talking to the children about the fighting."

Pfc. Dustin Feldhaus, 20, Glendale, Arizona

Pfc. Feldhaus was gravely wounded alongside Staff Sgt. Burgess, and both later died at Bagram Airfield. KNXV-TV in Phoenix reports that Feldhaus was proud of his military service.

"He would fight for his country and he would die for his country," high school teacher Tari Stanford told the station. "That's the kind of guy he was."

Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, 28, Hialeah, Florida

This brief WTVJ-TV article shows Sgt. 1st Class Arrechaga with his beautiful wife, Seana. According to The Fort Campbell Courier, the couple has a son and daughter. Arrechaga, an infantryman who joined the military seven months before the 9/11 attacks, was awarded the Bronze Star for his uncommon valor.

Staff Sgt. Frank Adamski III, 26, Moosup, Connecticut

The Day in New London, Conn., reports that Staff Sgt. Adamski is survived by his wife, Danielle, and their one-year-old daughter. His death has stunned the community, while also illuminating the incredible patriotism of a hometown hero.

"He simply had a love for life and a passion for whatever he was doing," high school football coach Patrick Smith told the paper. "In high school it was playing football, studying and making friends. Later on it was his dedication to the military."

Spc. Jameson Lindskog, 23, Pleasanton, California

Reading a family account of the death of Spc. Lindskog, who was killed in the same incident that took the lives of Sgt. 1st Class Arrechaga and Staff Sgt. Adamski, felt like a punch in the stomach and brought tears to my eyes. The soldier's mother, Donna Walker, told The Contra Costa Times that her son, a combat medic, was caring for the wounded when he was shot and killed.

"Jameson, as a medic, went to help others," the devastated mom told the newspaper.

This disgraceful, tragic attack reminds us who we are fighting in Afghanistan. The Taliban and al Qaeda are savage butchers who murder children, enslave women, and shoot at medics on the battlefield.

Pvt. Jeremy Faulkner, 23, Griffin, Georgia

WAGA-TV in Atlanta reports that Pvt. Faulkner was excited to return home in a few weeks to meet his recently born nephew. On Thursday, his family made the tragic journey to Delaware's Dover Air Force Base for his dignified transfer ceremony.

"He was so sweet in high school," Jessica Miller posted in a Facebook tribute group dedicated to Faulkner. "He was always smiling everytime I [saw] him in JROTC class. He will be greatly missed!"

Are we a nation at war? I still believe the answer is yes. Yet we are also a nation at a crossroads. We cannot think about war only when it's convenient or when someone from our town is killed. To stand by as this pattern develops not only dishonors the brave men and women volunteering to fight, but puts at risk everything they fight for.

To me, being a nation at war means uniting behind our troops and paying attention to their sacrifices. The time for America to do both is now.

Images courtesy: U.S. Army

82 comments:

  1. If you really want to help soldiers and their families do more work for peace and stop enabling politicians to start these wars in the first place.

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  2. maybe if "we" US citizens boycott ALL the News media, maybe then they will take notice. Unless we stand together nothing will change.

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  3. Martin---Who started the wars? Politicians?? So they had no reason, they just started a war for nothing? BS. Radical Islam is the problem and flopping belly up and doing nothing will not stop them from killing anyone that doesn't believe as they do. Wise up.

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  4. God Bless them all and give their families and friends peace in heart and mind. As long as some of us honor their memories and work to keep America sovereign and free, their sacrifice is not in vain. Semper Fidelis. God Bless America and Her Defenders.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sDQZAflJ73k

    Father of, brother of, uncle of Marines and a former Marine.

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  5. do more work for peace?, hmmm, sorry that is not the answer. War is going to happen regardless, because like it or not this is a FALLEN world. What we need in time of war is a clear mission statement, proper training, proper equipment, proper rules of engagement for our soldiers and for the politicians to STOP playing politics with our troops!!! And the rest of us need to stop treating the media like they are in charge of everything. Their job is to report the truth, and they are not. It is all about their special interests and manipulating us into believing what they want us to believe. I say boycott them all!!!

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  6. If you really want to help soldiers elect ALLEN WEST President in 2012.

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  7. We need to get all US Soldiers out of there. No more deaths.

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  8. Hey Martin, We didn't start this war . I recall that when the sons of the muslims devels flew a couple of airplanes into the World trade centers, Pentagon. and that field in Pennsyvania that killed over 3000 American citizens was the real start of this war.Remember when the Taliban refused to turn over al quaida? But I guess to you these unfortunate young men (Terrorist) were just having a bad hair day and we should just try to understand there anger and help them find resolve.

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  9. We might also morn the UN employees beheaded yesterday in Afghanistan in response to a minister in Florida's burning a Koran back on the 24th, also poorly covered by the media. At least we an thank the murderers for reminding us of why those six shoulders were in Afghanistan (I am not defending our foreign policy, just making the observation). If it were up to me, I take us out of the Middle East and put all our effort into quickly ridding ourselves of foreign oil needs...and, meantime, isolate the Islamic world until they clean up their own houses.

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  10. These men were and are our nation's finest. I honor them and say this truly, no finer men have ever walked the Earth than these noble warriors, warriors for peace and the preservation of life. God bathe them in your love, embrace their loved ones and reunite them with their families in Heaven. I pray this, in Christ's Holy Name.

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  11. dm1201...You should wise up. Politicians did start these wars, and they are more than happy to let young soldiers die to perpetuate those wars. How many of the 9/11 hijackers were from Afghanistan? How many Al Qaeda still remain in Afghanistan? What are we doing there besides trying to prop up an American-style political system that favors our interests. If you were really serious about going after "terrorists", you'd advocate invading Saudi Arabia, because more funding and footsoldiers have come from there than anywhere else.

    Iraq was a war of choice based on falsified evidence with bad intentions. Thousands died in Iraq because of Politicians who didn't want a crisis to go to waste.

    Libya is even more of a war of choice. And is just an example of how both Republicans and Democrats like to go to war. It enables them to create perpetual crisis so they can push policy through that would otherwise be unthinkable.

    It's not Martin who has his facts wrong, its you. Look back at Arab-American relations through the years, and you'll see the we are the true aggressors. We're just too short-sighted to remember that.

    In reference to the article as a whole, I think it makes a good case to bring our troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. If Americans have stopped being concerned with those "wars", then why should out soldiers fight and die for them? I'm sorry to say that these 6 soldiers lost their lives for nothing at all. Being a soldier used to mean something.

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  12. Thanks to The Drudge Report for linking to this post. Our deepest, heartfelt condolences go out to the family, friends, and fellow soldiers of the 6 fallen heroes from the 101st.

    The Unknown Soldiers blog and syndicated newspaper column exist for one reason: To spotlight the incredible heroism and courage shown every single day by our valiant troops serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and around the world. Welcome!

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  13. Where are the peaceniks, pray tell?Suddenly they've disappeared from view and after all Obama is in the WH and so everything is fine according to the simple-minded mainstream media.They don't want to report on deaths.As the mother of an American Serviceman, our family is nothing but disdainful of the idiots who are mainstream media nowadays.

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  14. You should be commended for this blog, but it is unfortunate that it is necessary. Afghanistan was host to the perpetrators of 9/11, and any show of weakness or lack of resolve will only encourage further terrorism. No one wants war but this one is a major part of the global war against Islamic Terrorism. Political correctness is the most insidious form of social engineering that will ultimately breed more attack. I wish to honor these brave young men who gave everything. They should be honored by every person who believes in freedom.

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  15. "We are not at war," a veteran who served in the Army for eight years told me Wednesday in Maryland. "Only some of us are."

    That veteran is entirely right; the spurious Commander in Chief is the most prominent among all those (i.e., the Left, in other words, the Democrats0 who are not at war in Afghanistan in particular and against Islamo-terrorism, in general.

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  16. These men are heros and I will pray for their famalies. Let's complete our mission in Afghanistan and then get the hell out of their. The stupid people there do not care about our sacrafice. They only care about some other idiot in Florida burining a book. And for that matter that's all our President cares about too. I wish we would keep just enough troops there to take all of their gold out of the ground and then come home. Let these idiots be taken over by the Taliban again. That will bring the terrorists out of hiding so we could bomb the hell out of them again from the air.

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  17. As an old retired guy the lack of MSM support is no surprise to me. Those who would preach peace should go look at my blog and remember why we are fighting the ignorant, savage, Muslim extremists who killed thousands of innocent citizens on our soil.

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  18. Thank you for honoring these heroic souls. I'm ashamed at the way our media and politicans turn their backs on those who give everything.

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  19. Thank for this article. Hooah for the 2-327 101st Airborn.......... This is my son's unit. While he is the first of his unit that has made it back to Ky., those 6 won't make it back. He wasn't feeling to well about that fact when they told him about the loss. Wives are planning homecomming parties, the ball gowns they are buying for the Ball. It was a surprise to us all that we lost the young men.... The press needs to cover more of what they are doing over there.. I love your blog and spread it around everyday.

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  20. Thank you for the recognition of these fallen soldiers. Being here in the Ft. Campbell area we have noticed for too long now the lack of media attention given to our troops. Thanks to all the rest of you who support our troops as well.

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  21. This is why making the decision to go to war is so important. It's also important to remember the innocent civilians who were slaughtered in Afghanistan for 'fun' by the Stryker kill squad that has been in the headlines recently. I would only support war if our nation was being DIRECTLY invaded or attacked by another nation or entity. In no way would I support war to expand our crumbling empire. With all that said, we've been in Afghanistan for 10 years and what is our goal???

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  22. Ashley,

    You are the one that is short sighted. The west and Islam have been in a constant state of struggle since Mohammad and Abu Bakr first began conquering, or "converting" The Roman/Byzantine Christians across the middle east, southern Europe, and North Africa. So, if you want to start pointing fingers we can start there.
    This is a real conflict. Islam would rule the world if they had the military might to do so, and they will, if we are not vigilant.

    God bless the men who stand on the wall.

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  23. Thank you for your comments. Everyone is free to post their point of view here, as long as profanity and personal attacks are avoided.

    I do, however, have one humble request. Before posting a comment, I ask you to keep in mind that loved ones, friends, and fellow troops of the fallen read this site, and therefore, may see your comment. Thank you in advance for showing them the appreciation and respect that they deserve, especially during this difficult time.

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  24. Tom, thank you so much for sharing these heroes with us. We owe them our respect and gratitude and should not take this opportunity to fight with one another and make this political.

    They gave their lives for a cause they clearly believed in - my heart, thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones. ox

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  25. Well, I will defend our foreign policy, and I will gladly stand beside any soldier, sailor, airman, and marine on the battleline. Nobody likes war. Nobody wants war, but when we have exhausted all avenues and peace & talks go out the window, then by God we need to fight and fight to kill our enemy. If we don't they'll sure as heck kill us before supper time. I salute each and everyone of you who serve in our Armed Forces. I lift my head high for all of those who have died in battle. I would gladly trade places with any one of these soldiers. They and their families deserve the highest admiration, dignity and respect from each and every U.S. citizen and those citizens of the country in which they serve(d). Moaning and groaning about the political atmosphere isn't going to a dang thing, and on this site, is not the place to do it. You voted. You made your political choice. You could at least give these folks the dignity, respect and admiration of giving their all for each and everyone in this country and abroad. Quit your sniveling and bickering about politics. We're in it for the haul, now deal with it. Nobody has to like it.

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  26. I'm a retired combat arms NCO with significant counter insugency experience in both the marine Corps and Army.

    There are a number of factions that are benefitting from our presence in the Middle East. First, the Israelis, and their lobbies which control our press, entertainment industry, news media and most certainly Fox News. We pay them 3 billion dollars a year so they can spy on us, steal our technology, treat the Palestinians like dogs and create more and more enemies for us. Oh yes, we also get to fight their wars for them.

    Second you have the war machine, the very same military industrial complex Eisenhower warned us about. They want war, they need war. And they run the federal government.

    Last you have the radical Islamists themselves. It both amuses me and saddens me to read the rantings of the living room commandos and chickenhawks who are totally ignorant of the relalities of guerilla warfare and think this is some kind of John Wayne movie.

    Let me lay down a few facts for them. You would be hard pressed to find ONE true snake eater, Delta, Seal, Force Recon, who thought that DS II was a good idea. They knew full well that for every terrorists kiled 10 more would be created.

    Before the second Gulf War there was NO Taliban or Al Qeda in Iraq and the Taliban was defeated in Stan. Now, almost a decade later, billions of dollars and thousands of American warrior lives wasted, the radicals are all over Iraq which has been pushed firmly into Iran's sphere of influence, the Taliban is stronger than ever in Stan to the point where they turtle up in Yemen and Pakistan, recruit fighters from all over the world and send them in to Stan to get life fire training against out troops.

    And the sorry folks who think this is a good idea want more of the same. They do not understand combat, they apparently have never read a history book, and they certainly do not understand that the folks there will NEVER stop fighting as long as we (FOREIGNERS) are in their country. Why is that so hard for these folks to grasp?

    Do you think they hate us because we have a Constitution or a Super Bowl? They hate us because we are Israel's meat puppet. And because we are there. Pretty damn simple.
    And to the genius talking about the Twin Towers, those were taken down by Saudis. At the time Bin Laden laid down 10 demands. They have been filled...mostly by Bush. Our being there plays right into their hands.

    The fools errands in the Middle East are motivating, recruiting and training more terrorists than they are killing. We need to stop being Israel's meat puppet and get our troops home to secure our own borders.

    But that is not likely to happen given that the federal government is owned lock, stock and barrel by the war profitteers.

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  27. War profiteers - that is exactly right.

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  28. Sometimes, the only way to win is not to play.

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  29. @Martin Peace is a loaded term. People like you aren't taken very seriously because you have a habit for euphemism and general slaughter of the meaning of certain English words. Can you be more specific in what you mean by "work for peace" and be more clear about how the blogger is enabling politicians to "start these wars"? Otherwise, you come across as just another troll in the style of westboro.

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  30. @Gerry L: Very well said! Thank you for your thoughts.

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  31. God Bless those who serve! You truly are our best and brightest. I thank God daily that there are men and women who stand at the ready to do horrible things to those who would wish us harm.
    Thank you sheepdogs!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_u67l7EaJRU

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  32. Out of the night that covers me
    Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever Gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul

    In the fell clutch of circumstance
    I have not winced or cried aloud.
    Under the bludgeonings of chance

    Invictus, poem for soldiers

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  33. 'The News Hour' on PBS did report the 6 US military deaths, and they're the ONLY media outlet to broadcast a nightly, silent 'Honor Roll,' of all US military personnel killed in action.

    As mentioned above, there is only one answer: We The People must rise up and demand an end to all undeclared, un-Constitutional US wars-for-profit immediately.

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  34. G-d bless America! G-d bless its loyal citizens and its loyal military representatives!

    It is amazing to me just how free we are. Because if it were up to me, I'd long have muzzled the leftist scoundrels of the media, or done something to remove their socialistic bias. How do they know about bias? Because they own it! They know it because they own it. They therefore want to shut down the spokespeople of America - the conservative voice - which, thank G-d, still has its outlets on talk radio.

    G-d bless the great Americans!

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  35. Tom, God bless you and your staff for providing this vitally important Blog. Our State lost a very vital and wonderful young man Pfc. Dustin Feldhaus, 20, Glendale, Arizona. PFC Feldhaus and all the others posted and remembered here were great Americans and wonderful human beings. God has called them to his Kingdom for further work and worship. God bless you and all these great and unforgotten heroes. Keep up the excellent work. I am grateful that Matt Drudge was able to post your blog. I have found another great and important blogger site. Matt Marino, Chandler, AZ.

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  36. Its time to leave this shit hole. Im a former Marine and think that his president and his government media only use this for their political gain. Get out now!

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  37. NO more body clocks under Obama, the world loves us, or him! add: 6 soldiers, Americas finest, a few UN types, and a dog! the media is not keeping score under obamanomics, it is kinetic. stupid.

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  38. wake up America!!! we are right in the middle of a 600 yr old WAR with people who are passionately focused on KILLING all of us and ending the western way of life. So before you speak out against those brave folks on the front lines, you should come out from your cushy little lives and VISIT these hell hole places to see for yourselves. Otherwise, shut your pie holes!!

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  39. Martin - I am tired of hearing people like you berate the war and scream about "working for peace". What, exactly, is "working for peace"? Regardless of how you feel about the war in Libya and Iraq, we entered Afghanistan as a direct result of 9-11. Did you miss the fact that over 3000 people died on American soil? This is the same magnitude as Pearl Harbor. How does one "work for peace" after being attacked like that? Answer: you invade their country and try to kill the bastards responsible for attacking us.

    Please go back under the rock you came from.

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  40. Media won't say squat about this. This is the war Obama supported. If it were Bush, it would be front page headlines for the next week. If it were US soldiers killing civilians, it would be front page

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  41. The media could care less about our soldiers - but that's not the end of it - it's the DEMOCRAT PARTY media. It's ALL about electing Democrats and that's it. If soldiers need to be sacrificed for that end, then the Democrat media says so be it. They use the issue - but that's what Democrats are all about - arrogance, corruption, manipulation.

    So don't confuse the media with being liberal, or leftist - it's about supporting the corruption of the Democrat Party.

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  42. The problem with this country is people like Martin, the US is always the bad guy, the problems of the world are our fault and our apologizer in chief leads the band with that drum beat. We've lost countless men and women protecting muslims since Reagan and Lebanon. We've got to take the gloves off fight the fight and not worry about the "Arab Street" because they could care less about their "brothers" The only language they understand is strenght and our unbelievably brave men and women can totally bring the noise to them. God Bless America!!!

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  43. Larry, electing Allen West is not the solution. Politicians never have, and never will be the solution. Both Republicans and Democrats could care less. They selfishly inject the United States into wars, and most of them are indifferent to the deaths of these soldiers. I'm not saying all politicians, but most.

    As a proud American who supports a strong military and national defense, I still believe that America has forgotten the valiant sacrifices of its soldiers. My father served in the Army as a colonel, and my older brother served in Afghanistan as an officer in the Marines. Too many politicians are squabbling for media attention to win political points, citizens are glued to the mind-numbing television shows of the day, oblivious to the world around them. A recent study found that 38% of Americans can't even pass the citizenship test. America has been slowly falling asleep for years now while our soldiers protect our freedoms daily, unnoticed for the most part. And what does our media do? They cover the antics of Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan, the political battles between the GOP and Democrats, and other relatively trivial issues.

    Rome fell because the Romans forgot what it was like to be a Roman. I hope and pray the same doesn't happen to the United States of America. God Bless these troops and their families.

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  44. It is always easier to preach peace when you are not the one being shot at. I hate war. I have seen the scars on my family but, then what is the alternative. Getting in a circle and signing Kumbyah? What about the people of Afghanistan who are terrorized by the radicals. What about the savagery brought on to their women? So, is is OK to fight for women's rights only in this country? I don't know the answer but, I do know it is not simple. God bless these guys.

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  45. Thank you for bringing attention to these men and their ultimate sacrifice.

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  46. Ashley - I find it odd that you defend Martin (who wants us to "work for peace")and then advocate invading Saudi Arabia in the same breath.

    If you are saying that invading Saudi Arabia would be "working for peace" then I am all for it. They are indeed the source of much of the problem.

    However, if we did invade Saudi Arabia I suspect you and Martin would be against such an invasion.

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  47. Martin is correct. Before I get attacked for being UnAmerican, blah, blah, blah, I'm a former US Army Sgt. The mission to bring freedom to the Middle East is BS and it is now obvious. We are there for natural resources. Period. Yes, Islam has grown stronger and more radical, that is a result of the occupation by western forces and our involvement in their governments. We will not "win". The "enemy" numbers in the millions around the world. It's time to grow up and confront the corporations and Christian fanatics that need these wars to continue.

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  48. ASHLEY posted, "If Americans have stopped being concerned with those "wars", then why should out soldiers fight and die for them? I'm sorry to say that these 6 soldiers lost their lives for nothing at all. Being a soldier used to mean something."

    Dear Ashley,

    Americans have not stopped being concerned with war or our soliders. American media has. As far as American soliders "loosing their lives for nothing" I have to take a step back, pull my jaw up from off the floor, and try to grasp how some Americans, like you, are so unappreciative of the sacrifice our troops make for us, and you, and people like you. American soliders give their lives to protect America from being attacked. American soliders give their lives so that sociopathic leaders cannot rule through enslavement, rape, and genocide. American soliders give their lives so that their children and their childrens' children can grow up in an America that is ruled democratically and not by Sharia law. American soliders give their lives because they APPRECIATE what they have and DO NOT take if for granted, like some Americans do (that would be you). Being an American solider means everything! It embodies honor, brotherhood, and a willingness to die for continued freedom for America and others.

    Thank you Staff Sgt. Bryan Burgess, Pfc. Dustin Feldhaus, Sgt. 1st Class Ofren Arrechaga, Staff Sgt. Frank Adamski III, Spc. Jameson Lindskog, and Pvt. Jeremy Faulkner for you bravery, heroism, and sacrifice. Thank you for giving so that I can go to work each day and focus on my clients and not on whither I am going to be blown up or not. Thank you for giving my daughter a chance to grow up in an America that beacuse of your sacrifice remains FREE!

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  49. I HATE the MEDIA! Most of whom were graduated from http://www.Indoctrinate-U.com

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  50. Tom, Thank you for you for you blog. We all owe a debt of gratitude for those quiet professionals who willingly put themselves between us and our enemies. It is sad that so many Americans don't seem to get that.
    I hope you don't mind that I've linked to your blog from my post today over at http://nwrandomizer.blogspot.com/2011/04/are-we-nation-at-war.html

    And to Anya, who insists we are out pillaging natural resources...we don't have to pillage resources from Iraq or Afghanistan (if they even had any) or any other place. All those people would gladly sell us what we wanted to buy. It is a silly and pathetic argument that doesn't stand up to even the most casual scrutiny.

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  51. Your wrong Heather. Our soldiers are giving their lives for oil and rare earth minerals. Period. You want to "support" them? Give them the truth not a lie. I suggest you take the time to explore the history of the Middle East, our involvement, the British, oil companies, etc. I would start there before I supported perpetual warfare. We are being attacked because western corporations using our government resources are trying to hold on to assets they took decades ago. It's all in the history books. I wonder how "radical" we would become if the situation was reversed. Support the troops by bringing them home.

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  52. oh Jon, I suggest you google rare earth minerals Afghanistan, seems some of our "government" geologists found a trillion dollars worth in Afghanistan and there is oil, plus pipelines. The fact you don't know this speaks volumes.

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  53. We need to demand from our "public servants" that all of our troops leave this mess. Tomahawks/bombing will keep these guys off our radar just as well. What happened with the UN workers just really says it all. 10 years - really, if anyone would have told us that 10 years ago no one would have been so eager to stay. 10 years from now these people will still be the same corrupt fanatics.

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  54. Some U.S. history for those in favor of the war in Afghanistan. 1)We trained the Mujahideen to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan during the Cold War. 2)These Mujahideen fighters evolved into Al-Qaeda. 3)Al-Qaeda uses their CIA training to attack us on 9/11. 4)The U.S. invades Afghanistan to fight Al-Q, even though most of the hijackers came from Saudi Arabia. 5) OBL was a paid CIA asset 6) We're now considering having the CIA train the 'rebels' in Libya to fight Gaddafi. Guess who is ALSO helping? That's right, Al-Qaeda. We are essentially teaming up with Al-Q to help the rebels fight Gaddafi. The point is, the U.S. is a military-industrial nation who has to keep creating enemies to keep Lockheed, Northrop, Raytheon, mercenaries (I mean "defense contractors") paid. If you do not understand this vicious cycle, then the media has indeed won the war over your mind. Be a critical thinker.

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  55. It's time to get out of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. We've been at war too long. It's time for peace.

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  56. Gerry L.

    As a member of the 2/327th 1979 - 1981
    I could not have said it better than you. I was a young naive kid blinded by propaganda induced false patriotism ready to kill. Very grateful I did not have to use those skills.

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  57. Anya, I don't doubt that there are those in our government motivated by oil and rare earth minerals. But I also know that allowing rulers such as Saddam Hussein to rule through unthinkable brutality without consequence is not the answer either. Since I have looked at a history book or two I know that ignoring Hitler's rule is how the Holocaust came about. And since it's been said that history repeats itself, it only makes sense to strike down rulers who engage in such brutality. It's a preemptive strike on something worse to come. Or am I wrong on this too?

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  58. Yeah you're wrong. How long do you think we will allow the "King" of Bahrain to kill civilians? How about Yemen? Burma? China in Tibet? Why are we not stopping them? The list goes on. We are destroying infrastructure in the Middle East for resources. Period. We are not on your moral "Crusade". This nonsense endangers our troops. If you really support them, you will consider this and demand they be brought home.

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  59. Heather, let me make this clear. "We" are only involved because "we" will not confront the private corporations that make fortunes off the resources. "They" are using our government resources to secure the assets "they" took in the Middle East. Please explore this. I want our troops to be safe. I want our intelligence folks to be safe.

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  60. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perpetual_war_memorial

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  61. I am optimistic about our future knowing that there are intelligent individuals like Anya Solange, Gerry L. and Bill living in our society. I only hope that my children grow up in a future where the military-industrial complex is but a distant memory. I am proud to live in a country where our Forefathers fought against the imperialists so that we have our indelible rights, however it appears that we have become the imperialists, or at least allowed corporations and Israel specifically to use our once great nation as their bulldog. We're essentially sacrificing our lives and happiness so that these corporations can profit from war.

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  62. Anya - let me guess; you believe that Bush staged the attack on the World Trade Center?

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  63. Thank you for writing this blog. My son is in the 2/327 and my wife and I have gone two days knowing nothing. You get a phone call telling you your son is OK, but you still wonder what's going on. I had talked to my son Sunday and hetold me they were going out again for hopefully the last time before they leave for home. I told him "it's been quite and you guys are almost done". He could only tell me that alot could happen. Why no press? Because a whole lot of Americans that say they care don't get slapped in the face when something like this happens. They don't have a personal stake in what's happening. They are too worried about their job,the price of gas, will their job be there tomorrow, the Final Four, how to protect themselves from radiation and tsunamis,just to name a few of their worries. It's time for a clear cut,workable policy on our involvement in this war. Afghanistan is not Iraq. Our methods of winning the people over are not working there. Karzai publicly denounces the U.S. and continues to be blind to what it takes to win the war.
    Oh wow. Sitting here writing this and ABC News just spent all of 15 seconds mentioning the ambush. Diane says there will be more next week. Sure.
    Enough said. Unless the American people get into the same mindset they did during WW II, when everyone sacrificed, we can expect the gov and the press to continue diverting our attention elsewhere.

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  64. Anya, as much as I would like for all of our soliders to be safe at home, that is an unrealistic expectation. They are soliders. This is what they do. I'm thinking that it has been hard for you to accept that soliders fight regardless if they agree with the agenda. Or maybe there is something more to it?

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  65. Ah Heather, I was an Army Sgt. I get it. I am not a robot. I have a brain and the facts are very, very clear. If you really care about out soldiers, you will demand they be brought home and the criminals that used our resources for personal gain are prosecuted.

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  66. Anya, I'm aware you were a Army Sgt. Hence the last sentence of my last paragraph.

    And I understand where you are coming from. Besides the fact that I am WAY TOO SCARED to put my life on the line as a solider I also knew that I could never join becuase there would be times I would be call to fight for things I did not agree with. Again, part of being a solider no matter what country you live in.

    Take care, and thank you for your past service.

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  67. Heather, Did the Nazi soldiers get to hide behind orders? No. We should not allow our soldiers to be put in a situation that jeopardizes their dignity and honor. Please explore the individuals and corporations that are making a fortune off the wars.

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  68. Just a reminder for "Martin" ... "Politicians" did not "start the war" in Afghanistan. The war was started by those who killed almost 3,000 innocent American civilians. How soon we forget, Martin?

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  69. zlerpster, Forget? Why did they fly into the "World Trade Center"? Why? It was a symbolic target. What crimes have the international banks committed in the Middle East? Why are the people so poor? Who supports the tyrants in power? Why would you keep the people of the Middle East poor and disorganized? Perhaps it makes it much easier to exploit the nature resources found there. It's time to stop this nasty cycle of violence and confront the individuals and corporations making fortunes from our suffering (this includes our Arab brothers and sisters).

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  70. This blog concerns the lost lives of six brave men. We all should be on this site to honor these men. There are numerous sites that allow you and me to voice our opinions on our involvement in these wars. Please show some respect for the fallen, and their families. I to have strong feelings about war, but now is not the time.

    Pray for their families, and pray for the men and women still in the fight today.

    Semper Fi Soliders

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  71. rodger, if they weren't there, we wouldn't be here. When do we draw the line and say enough?

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  72. Rodger, thank you for your comment.

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  73. Iraq was a war of choice based on falsified evidence with bad intentions. Thousands died in Iraq because of Politicians who didn't want a crisis to go to waste.

    I have read several of the post that blame everyone but the Islamic Terrorist who attacked The United States and killed 3000+ Americans. In Iraq the intelligence was flawed not falsified.

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  74. Anya - You are so right. If they weren't there we very well might not be here. (Actually I understand your statement, apologize for the sarcasm).
    I'm simply saying - find another blog to say it.

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  75. Each and every day for 4 years straight under President Bush the media reported on each and every death and kept a count. I as a supporter was not disturbed because the fallen were being remembered even if the media's intent was to destroy Bush. The Media Wing of the Democrat Party have all but forgotten the fallen men and women who fight in THREE wars in the year 2011. It is only here and at Unified Patriots which tracksback to here and Twitter that that Americas hero's are given a name.

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  76. Insert from blog: "There were camels all over the map and when he would call, he would tell them that he had been busy with his [troops] chasing the camels," the fallen hero's mother, Linda Pearce, told the newspaper. "I thought he was serious, but it wasn’t camels he was talking about. It was his way of talking to the children about the fighting."

    Let us not forget that kids serve too! These children lost their brave father and now must learn to live without him. If you are interested in supporting our troops' children please visit www.CAMPCOPE.org to learn how you can help.

    CAMP C.O.P.E.'s Mission:
    Camp C.O.P.E. strives to help the children of service members cope with the transitions and/or trauma they are facing in response to the deployment or injuries sustained by their soldiers.

    Camp C.O.P.E. was founded after a military wife learned first hand how her husband coming home from war injured effected their children...their family.

    In the past I have served as a Lead Counselor for Camp C.O.P.E. and can vouch that this organization is well worth your support.

    www.campcope.org

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  77. We don't start wars! Armchair military analysts never cease to amaze me. You need to put your remote down. We're not the bad guys. We give food, comfort, and liberty to people world wide. I've seen the bodies of children who were killed by their own governments.. for the bags of rice we gave them. We do only what we have to. This isn't a cheesy novel, we're not at war for money or votes.

    If you saw a woman stoned in the streets for not covering her face, or a man get his hand cut off for taking a loaf of bread for his starving family, you would say "This is hell on earth, why is no one doing anything?!" But you sit back in peace and comfort.. THEN SCORN THE PEOPLE WHO PROVIDE IT TO YOU. You should be ashamed.

    We ARE the good guys.. spread the word.

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  78. "“A nation should be judged not only by how and why it sends its young people off to battle, but also by how it welcomes them home, and how it remembers those who sadly did not return. "

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  79. Thank you, Tom. I pray for those soldiers and their families. My friends are relatives of Brian Burgess and I'm grateful that you are recognizing the sacrifices of these fine young men and women and their families for our freedoms. God bless you.

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  80. oh Tom, you removed my posts, yet you allow pro-war statements to be plentiful here, etc. I was in the military and I have seen your type before. Chickenhawks. This page is NOT a memorial to these soldiers. It's an extension of your blood-lust and religious/political agenda in the Middle East. You severely dishonor these men by promoting the illegal wars that are getting them killed. I sensed this from the beginning. Peace Tom.

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  81. Anya,

    I removed some of your posts and also several posts from commenters with opposing viewpoints. Your discussion had gone far off topic, including numerous personal attacks back and forth on both sides.

    Readers can judge my body of work to decide whether I place the personal stories of our troops and their families above politics. Nevertheless, thank you for reading and commenting, and for your past service.

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  82. No Tom, the thread represented the real story. There seems to be a high tolerance for grandiose Pro-war posts on these "memorials". I would hope that one of the objectives here is to explore why these "war" memorials even have to exist. In my opinion, when future generations explore these sites and comments, they should view the "real" thread and the thoughts provided. My posts did not attack any poster personally and provided FACTS. They were also short and concise. Removing my posts has far more to do with your personal political view. So this is just one more "false" representation of the consequences connected to our occupation of the Middle East. Tom, controlling the social narrative is not the domain of honest journalists. Leave that to the corporate media. Peace and thanks for the robust discussion. This is how we find solutions.

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