Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Death Hits Close to Home: RIP Army SSG Richard J. Tieman

Army SSG Richard J. Tieman (photo credit here)

Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars has posted last week's casualties, based upon a Pentagon release of the names of eleven service members killed in Afghanistan:

US Navy PO3 Zarian Wood, 29, Houston, TX US Marines
CPL Nicholas D Parada Rodriguez, 29, Stafford, VA
US Marines SSGT Adam L Perkins, 27, Antelope, CA
US Army COL John M McHugh, 46, New Jersey
US Army LTC Paul R Bartz, 43, Waterloo, WI
US Army LTC Thomas P Belkofer, 44, Perrysburg, OH
US Army SSG Richard J. Tieman, 28, Waynesboro, PA
US Army SPC Joshua A Tomlinson, 24, Dubberly, LA
US Marines LCPL Patrick Xavier Jr, 24, Pembroke Pines, FL
US Army SSG Shane S Barnard, 38, De Smet, SD
US Army PFC Billy G Anderson, 20, Alexandria, TN

According to iCasualties, the total number of allied service members killed in Iraq is 4,717; in Afghanistan, 1,783. During this same period, Iraq Body Count lists 78 Iraqi civilian deaths. The Army announced this week that they would launch an investigation into the illegal deaths of Afghan civilians.

The 7th name on the list strikes home: Army SSG Richard J. Tieman, 28, Waynesboro, PA. He was from a community just a few miles away.  I did not know him personally, but his death will leave a hole in his family that can never be filled.

While I continue to strongly feel that continuing the Afghanistan venture is ill-advised and basically a no-win situation, I applaud the sacrifices made by all service members, who can take satisfaction from the fact that they are doing their duty to the best of their abilities. We have a seemingly endless war, coming with a blank check (i.e., no estimate as to costs), no success criteria, and no discernable exit strategy.

Richard Tieman deserves better.

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