Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
January 4, 2008
WAR: Andrew Olmsted, RIP

I encountered him only intermittently on the web (see here, here and here), but Andrew Olmsted (Major, US Army) was part of the larger community of bloggers, and he was serving his country in Iraq when he was killed yesterday. You can read his final, "post in case of my death" blog post here. Go take the time to read it; to paraphrase Ronald Reagan, he paid for that microphone, and earned a few minutes of your time. And honor his request:

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.

RIP. RedState's Charles Bird and hilzoy of Obsidian Wings (who was tasked with posting the entry) both offer additional thoughts.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 9:53 PM | War 2007-14 | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Wow. That was something. Deeply, deeply moving. It was all I could do not to start weeping at those last few paragraphs.

And I'd never read a word of his before.

Posted by: Mike at January 5, 2008 10:29 AM

I too have not had the pleasure of experiencing Major Olmsted and I feel a lessor man for that failure. RIP my friend, it matters not how you passed. You are a hero in the true sense of the word.

Posted by: maddirishman at January 5, 2008 4:10 PM

Thanks for getting his words out. I went to Obsidian Wings--I have no idea what that site even is--and read a series of writings done by Olmsted. I had to stop because I was at work and was starting to cry. Really thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.

Posted by: Kent at January 6, 2008 12:13 AM
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