Politics from the Palouse to Puget Sound

Monday, July 09, 2007

Remembering the Fallen

A Band of Brother remembers its own.

The Washington Post has a very moving story about soldiers marching 4 miles through hostile territory to attend a brother soldier's memorial service.

Everything in the Army is supposed to have a task and a purpose, and this simple mission was no different. The task was to get 27 soldiers from Point A to Point B, from their neighborhood combat outpost to an Army base four miles away. The purpose was to attend a memorial service for one of their fellow soldiers, who had died eight days earlier while attempting to make the very same trip.

And so the leaders of Alpha Company had a decision to make: drive in Humvees and risk getting blown up by a roadside bomb, which is what happened to their friend, who bled to death as they worked to save him, or try to minimize the risk of a bomb by walking the four miles in searing summer heat, which would increase the chances of being shot by a sniper.

Such were the choices last week in eastern Baghdad, an area that has become more dangerous since the inception of the Baghdad security plan earlier this year. A largely Shiite area, it had once been less deadly than those parts of Baghdad with Sunni-Shiite fault lines. It was now twitching with daily gunfire, mortars, rockets, grenades and, most of all, roadside bombs, all targeting U.S. soldiers. The attackers were thought to be affiliated with the militia of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr.

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