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Saturday, November 26, 2005

A Death in Mazar-i-Sharif


The flag is flying at half-mast over the Fortress today because one of our ISAF guys has been killed in Afghanistan. Another is grievously hurt and may not survive. This the result of a roadside bombing in Mazar-i-Sharif.

Leaving aside the awful and futile political circumstances of this loss I will mention that we spent a tense and unhappy hour last night between learning what had happened and finding out that a good friend of the family was not among the victims. We have reason to believe that he was in the convoy which was bombed, however. The tension here turned to relief and then to sorrow as the details of the incident began to filter through.

This young soldier grew up with my boys and did his Ranger training with my 22 year old. My youngest - 20 - is now doing the same officer training program. These kids grew up together and I've fed the lot of them I don't know how many times. So that makes this incident special for me - the anonymity of Marines killed in Anbar Province has been traded for a detailed and personal connection.

And it's bad enough. And one reflects over the unimaginable distress being caused elsewhere, right now. Other problems are trivial by comparison.

1 comment:

shep said...

Joe,

I am very sorry for you and your friends on this terrible story. It is little solace to those affected, but I am deeply grateful to those who have made these huge sacrifices to make this world a better place.