santa cruz wharf

04 January 2008

getting the last word

"Oh and I don't want to die for you, but if dying's asked of me;
I'll bear that cross with honor, 'cause freedom don't come free."
American Soldier, Toby Keith
quoted by Andrew Olmstead in his final post

The world wide weblogging world…where we feel like we know people we never have met…people who we never will meet. This is one of those things I hesitate to post. However it is very important to me that I do not overlook the contribution of the man…or the sacrifice he …and his loved ones…have made for me and mine.

A number of you who read this weblog have a close family member currently serving our country in military service. Several of you have a son or daughter on active duty deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. I am cognizant of how this may impact your heart.

In addition to the fun and frivolity you all provide...I also read quite a few serious blogs…including a few written from the front lines so to speak.

Heavy Sigh…one of those has been Andrew Olmsted. Tragically his unit was ambushed and Andrew Olmsted has been killed. In his typical smartass manner he acknowledged that he wanted to have the last word on his blog…so he left a final post to be made in the event of his death.

You can read it on
Obsidian Wings…and if you want to read some of his more recent posts check out Rocky Mountain News. There are several comments on his final post from his family and friends on the Rocky Mountain site. (he previously posted on Andrew Olmstead)

Damn.

25 comments:

Desert Songbird said...

I tried reading it all. I did, I really did, but I couldn't. I can't stop crying. My sweet nephew Jason called me from Baghdad on Christmas Eve; he should be home in about 30 days, but still I worry...

Bond said...

So very sad...Why are they not all home already?

Bond said...

Hope your weather is letting up and we are trying to break 'the code' on The Couch

Bond said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mel said...

(((((((((katherine)))))))))))

In the arms of an angel...

Casdok said...

Thank you for sharing that. :(

crazy working mom said...

Very powerful words. My 21 year old brother is due to ship out from Camp Shelby in March. My thoughts are with him every day! He is an EMT. His first child is due in February. :(

Mimi Lenox said...

I send my condolences and will pay my respects at his site. What a tragedy and Bond is right....why aren't they home yet?

The storm: Are you OK???!!
Maybe you don't have power. Sending prayers and thoughts.

Roger said...

That saddens me to learn that. Thank for sharing that with us.

Matt-Man said...

Americans haven't given up a damn thing during this stupid war...other than the families and friends of the soldiers. The whole thing is is just a big fucking waste. Sorry. Love ya Kat!!

Julie said...

I went over and read and read...my heart aches...he was so loved.

Mimi Lenox said...

Katherine? Are you OK??

Jeff B said...

I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. I'll be sure to go over to his site and pay my respects to his family.

Hope your fared well through the storm yesterday. It looked and sounded pretty nasty.

Travis said...

Thank you for guiding me to Andy's words.

Kb said...

Wow! May memories comfort his family and may Andrew's character live on.

Linda said...

It is always sad and tragic when one of your men or women die in the line of duty, especially in a war that is frustrating at best. However, and this is where I'm going to get boo'd at but so be it, I don't think that it honors the memory of the person who died to ask, even just in the comments, why everyone isn't home yet. That's a good question to ask and should be asked - in the right context - but I don't think that this is the right context.

Many, many, many of our troops that are deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan are there serving proudly and not doing anywhere near the amount of whining that people here at home are doing. They went with a mission and they uphold that mission with honor and valor and guts.

Andrew knew that there was a distinct possibility that he wouldn't come home from this war, hence the reason he had the foresight to leave a final post should the worst happen. In that post he said the following:

"I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don't drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don't cite my name as an example of someone's life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I'm not around to expound on them I'd prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn't support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I'd prefer that you did so."

I agree with him 100%. To ask "why aren't the troops home?", though a simple question, is one that always goes towards politics and politics are as ugly as the war our country is engaged in.

I hope that Andrew's family and friends take some solace in knowing that he died doing what he loved and that he felt like his life was not wasted. Sometimes I think that's the best any of us can ask. We're all going to die - that much is simple - but in his death, just as his life, Andrew touched an awful lot of people in a lot of good ways.

He was a good man and he deserves a good peace.

Thank you for this post and I hope you're okay out there on the West Coast.

Misty Dawn said...

With tears streaming down my face, I sit here... completely speechless.

Turnbaby said...

Thank you for sharing such a true and interesting soul with us.

{{{{HUGS}}}}}

david mcmahon said...

Bless you, Katherine, for bringing that to our attention.

Kat in Ohio said...

Its only by keeping these soldiers the real people that they are that will keep us remembering its not just a piece of news. My two have served their time in Iraq and returned home safely. For that I thank God every day.

Ron said...

Thanks for posting this Katherine.

I went by and read his post...very moving.

Mags said...

Katherine, thank you so much for sharing the link. His words made me sad because I know how hard it must have been for him to write them, but also proud of him for his bravery.

Thank you again...

david mcmahon said...

I'm back in the swing of work now - hope you have a great 2008.

Odat said...

I started to read it, but have to finish it later....I'm am so so sorry to hear that....and it's funny, like you say, altho we've never met the people we know from blogland, they are still good friends and we miss them when they're gone.
Peace and hugs.

Dixie said...

I don't know if I can read this or not. I have a very strange feeling that Matt will be stationed with a unit that will be going in April. U promise I will read when I think I can handle it.

SMOOCHES~