Sunday, July 08, 2007

The dead

It was 22 names this time, the most ever. This morning our minister read 22 names. That's how many American soldiers died in Iraq and Afghanistan in the past week.

Each Sunday we hear the names and acknowledge the loss. They are men and women unknown to me who have died fighting on behalf of my country, in a mismanaged war based on lies. Seven were from California. Some were old enough to leave behind families...wives, children, maybe even grandchildren. Some were so young they probably never had a chance to find love and marry.

This week's dead are:
  1. Jason Dale Lewis, 30, of Brookfield, Conn.,
  2. Robert Richard McRill, 42, of Lake Placid, Fla.,
  3. Steven Phillip Daugherty, 28, of Barstow, Calif.
  4. Scott A.M. Oswell, 33, of Washington.
  5. Andrew T. Engstrom, 22, of Slaton, Texas.
  6. Steven A. Davis, 23, of Woodbridge, Va.
  7. Christopher N. Rutherford, 25, of Newport, Ohio.
  8. William C. Chambers, 20, of Ringgold, Ga.
  9. Jeremy L. Tinnel, 20, of Mechanicsville, Va.
  10. James L. Adair, 26, of Carthage, Texas.
  11. Juan M. Garcia Schill, 20, of Grants Pass, Ore.
  12. Raymond R. Buchan, 33, of Johnstown, Pa.
  13. Michael L. Ruoff Jr., 31, of Yosemite, Calif.
  14. Victor A. Garcia, 22, of Rialto, Calif.
  15. Jonathan M. Rossi, 20, of Safety Harbor, Fla.
  16. Robb L. Rolfing, 29, of Milton, Mass.
  17. Shin W. Kim, 23, of Fullerton, Calif.,
  18. Michael J. Martinez, 24, of Chula Vista, Calif.,
  19. Giann C. Joya Mendoza, 27, of North Hollywood, Calif.,
  20. Dustin L. Workman II, 19, of Greenwood, Neb.
  21. Cory F. Hiltz, 20, of La Verne, Calif.
  22. William W. Crow Jr., 28, of Grandview Plaza, Kan.
And since those 22 names were read this morning, the Department of Defense has announced six more American deaths (five men, one woman) on its news release web page:

  • Thomas P. McGee, 23, of Hawthorne, Calif., died July 6 of wounds sustained when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Wazi Khwa, Afghanistan.
  • Michelle R. Ring, 24, of Martin, Tenn., died July 5 of wounds sustained from enemy mortar fire in Baghdad.
  • James M. Ahearn, 43, of Calif., and Keith A. Kline, 24, of Oak Harbor, Ohio, died July 5 when their vehicle struck an improvised explosive device in Baghdad, Iraq.
  • Christopher S. Honaker, 23, of Cleveland, N.C., died July 5 of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire and indirect fire in the Watapor Valley of Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
  • Joseph A. Miracle, 22, of Ortonville, Mich., died July 5 of wounds sustained from enemy small arms fire and indirect fire in the Watapor Valley of Kunar Province, Afghanistan.
According to reports on tonight's news, the U.S. death toll now tops 3,000. And, of course, that's not counting contractors...or the estimated 160,000+ Iraqi civilians who have died since we invaded Iraq.

But there is a glimmer of hope...another Republican senator, Pete V. Domenici of New Mexico, has come to grips with reality and broken ranks with the president on Iraq, calling for a pullout of U.S. troops from Iraq. And in one of this Sunday's editorials, The Road Home, the NYT editorial board finally stated the obvious:
It is time for the United States to leave Iraq, without any more delay than the Pentagon needs to organize an orderly exit.

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