Tuesday, May 4, 2010

7 Service Members Killed Last Week

Over at the political blog Crooks and Liars, a regular--and sobering--weekly feature is called This Week in Memoriam.

Sunday's post, here, by Nicole Belle, lists the 7 service members who were killed in Iraq and Afghanistan this past week. You should head over there to see Nicole's post because she has clickable links to each of the dead, often with a photograph.

It is good for us to gaze at the images of the dead, for they died on our behalf.

US Army SSG Christopher D Worrell, 35, Virginia Beach, VA
US Army SGT, 21, Ronald A Kubik, Brielle, NJ
US Army SGT Jason A Santora, 25, Farmingville, NY
US Marines LCpl Thomas E Rivers Jr, 22, Birmingham, AL
US Army SGT Grant A Wichmann, 27, Golden, CO
US Army SGT Keith A Coe, 30, Auburndale, FL
US Army SGT Nathan P Kennedy, 24, Claysville, PA

According to iCasualties, this brings the total number of allied service members killed in Iraq to 4,712; in Afghanistan, 1,741.

Christopher Worrell leaves his wife, Katrina, and four children ages 7 months to 6 years; Ronald Kubik was on his third deployment, and is survived by parents and two sisters; Jason Santora was on his fourth deployment, survived by parents and a sister; Thomas Rivers wanted to be a Marine all his life; Grant Wichmann died from wounds he suffered last month in Afghanistan; Keith Coe is survived by his wife, two sons, and a daughter; Nathan Kennedy, who was due to come home is less than a month, is survived by his father, two sisters and a brother.

The facts I teased out of the stories don’t come close to capturing the anguish that their families feel. Seven families ripped asunder. Seven families whose lives will NEVER be the same. Seven families whose loved one died for a cause whose origins are suspect and whose continuation is of dubious merit.

These families likely will project a stiff upper lip and assert that their loved one died in the cause of freedom, because to say that they died is vain is just too terrible to contemplate....but I am convinced that 50 years from now historians will be shaking their heads and asking, "What on earth was the United States thinking?"

I know that I could not look these families in the eye and tell them that their loved one's service and sacrifice was worth it.  The satisfaction will have to come from the fact that they did their duty. Stonewall Jackson, the Confederate general and fervently devout Christian, once commented on reconciling military service with his Christian beliefs.

One of his sayings (that may not have originated with him) was:

Duty is ours; consequences are God's.

Rest in peace.

Photo credit here, of the return of Keith A. Coe's remains and his family

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