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Saturday, January 05, 2008

We Lose Our Best & Brightest

Sobering news out of Iraq. Soldier and blogger, Andy Olmsted, who had gained a sizeable following writing for the Rocky Mountain News from the war front, has been killed in combat:

The Rocky Mountain News

Major Andrew Olmsted, who posted a blog since May 2007, was killed in Iraq on Thursday, Jan. 3. Major Olmsted, who had been based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, began blogging after his unit was sent to Iraq with the mission of helping to train the Iraqi Army. No official details have been released on his death, but reports say that he and a second member of his unit were killed during an enemy ambush in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. Olmsted was determined to make a difference in Iraq. "The sooner the Iraqi government doesn't need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave." (link)
Major Olmsted's last weblog post can be found here.

The last sentence he ever wrote was so typically American:

Thanks to everyone back in the U.S. for your kind donations. Until you see how little a lot of these people have, you don't really understand poverty; your donations go a long ways.
An American soldier supplying gifts to the children of a former enemy. There must have been a place reserved in heaven for Andrew Olmsted. There must.

As it turns out, Andy had previously written his goodbyes to all in the case of his death. It can be found here.

An epitaph comes to mind that seems appropriate to the age. I had to modify it to fit the circumstance:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field that is for ever America