This post is dedicated to Lance Cpl. Michael L. Freeman, Fayetteville, PA, a local man who was killed in action in Afghanistan on 1 Feb 2010. Photo is from The Public Opinion newspaper. There is no connection to UltraRunning.
Please take the time to read the story. What strikes me is its ordinariness, a low-key, unremarkable story about a young man who died in service to his country. Lance Cpl. Freeman was neither rich nor famous, and likely no one outside of his immediate circle of friends and family will remember his name, say, some 10 years hence. You could probably substitute the name of many of the other U.S. Afghanistan war dead (nearly 1000 now), men and women from small towns all over America, and the story might read just about the same--a likeable young person who is now gone forever.
Lance Cpl. Freeman leaves a young widow; children (perhaps) who will now never be; and other loved ones, all who are struggling to find meaning in his death.
I did not know Lance Cpl. Freeman, but I mourn his loss. Moreover, I mourn the loss of many more like him who will die over the ensuing months and years as we perpetuate a seemingly endless war with no clear end in sight. Shattered lives here and a shattered country over there, with the common denominator that violence is the last resort of the incompetent.
Perhaps I am naïve, but I do speak from the knowledge base of decades of work for the Defense Department. And I say as I have said here before, as I hold Mister Tristan on my lap, by God, we can do better than this. We have to do better than this.