Friday, June 22, 2007

A Call To A Soldier's Patron Saint

I am as guilty as the next American of not personally identifying dead troops in Iraq as real people with family and loved ones. The word troop is a plural, non-entity, noun to me. Yes, I understand that it is a long-standing military-use word. I've never been in the military.

Now that a young person in our family is military and a troop, my eyes have opened even wider. (That should help keep the plastic surgeon away another year or two.)

Tuesday I received the following email from Sgt. Jer's wife, Tara (slightly edited for privacy):

"Not to scare or alarm anyone. Our...meaning Jer's company, has taken a huge hit. I will forward you all any information I get, unfortunately this is the only way I probably will get information which really just sucks. Anyone wanting to send a prayer or donations would be appreciated. I can only I really don't want to (imagine) but we can all understand what they might be going through right now.

Sitting on the edge of my seat-

Bad times over the last few days and we’ve lost several men.
PFC Carriker from B Co died from a non-hostile injury last week. He was single with parents in the mainland...

SPC Roberts and SPC Borm from B Co were killed in action last Thursday...

1LT Walkup from A Company was killed in action Saturday morning. His wife is currently on island...

Most of this information has been in the paper for a while despite notification of next of kin not being complete. There were complications in all cases that delayed things for a variety of reasons. There was one additional soldier killed in the incident with SPC Roberts and SPC Borm who was attached to B Company from HHC BDE/BSTB (which means he worked with Bravo company but was technically assigned to HHC BDE/ BSTB), notification of his next of kin has been problematic and remains incomplete at this time...

> MAJ O’Brien
Rear Detachment Commander
Task Force 2-35

Sgt. Jer is now in a part of Iraq where life is cheap and the thirst for blood reigns. Please join me in a call to the soldiers' patron saints and ask for their protection over each and every American volunteer in Iraq.

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