The debate over the war in Iraq, whether we should, or should not have gone in unfortunately rages between a majority and a minority of Americans to this very day. True, the majority has switched to those being against the war in the last five years but regardless, we are still paying the price. Big numbers can sound abstract to many people as they lead their busy lives, so sometimes you need to put things in perspective. Numbers like 3,908 and $483 billion can become mind numbing to all of us, even if they are shocking at first. So that is why I want you to read the last blog post from Major Andrew Olmstead. His words do what no others can.
From Obsidian Wings:
This is an entry I would have preferred not to have published, but there are limits to what we can control in life, and apparently I have passed one of those limits. And so, like G'Kar, I must say here what I would much prefer to say in person. I want to thank hilzoy for putting it up for me. It's not easy asking anyone to do something for you in the event of your death, and it is a testament to her quality that she didn't hesitate to accept the charge. As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn't bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose. Perhaps I take that further than most, I don't know. I hope so. It's frightening to think there are many people as neurotic as I am in the world. In any case, since I won't get another chance to say what I think, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Such as it is.
"When some people die, it's time to be sad. But when other people die, like really evil people, or the Irish, it's time to celebrate."
Jimmy Bender, "Greg the Bunny"
"And maybe now it's your turn
To die kicking some ass."
Freedom Isn't Free, Team America
What I don't want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. I'm dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren't going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.) I had a pretty good life, as I noted above. Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I've enjoyed in my life. So if you're up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw 'Freedom Isn't Free' from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can't laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I'm dead, but if you're reading this, you're not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact. Read on...
I never got the chance to read Andy's works until now, but I am glad I was able to find them. He was a brilliant yet humble writer who personifies the cost of the war. In that comment thread at Obsidian Wings there is a policy not to post political comments, since Andy's family is reading it, so please, if you like what he wrote, please leave a respectful comment down below.Godspeed Andy.