On February 19th of 2007 while serving as an army combat medic our son-in-law was killed in action (KIA) by a Taliban sniper. I’ve written about those early days here https://mssc54.wordpress.com/our-american-hero/ The “Death at the Front Door” is a three part series that entails the period of time from the night we were notified through Buddy’s buriel.
Through personal conversations I had (with both officers and enlisted men) I learned that the official (public) information released surrounding the circumstances of Buddy’s death were “less than accurate.” To put it nicely.
I must say that the army has done everything in it’s power to keep me fromkeep the status quo the status quo. Eventually they did release a redacted report to me (with my daughter’s written permission). There were a few things I found interesting in the Report. First of all there were only three written statements. Were it not for the nams on each of the statements one would be hard-pressed to know that they had been written by three seperate individuals. Isn’t it interesting that in the heat of a fire fight that three soldiers will see and do exactly the same thing? It’s as if there was some meeting where they came to a conconcious of what to “swear to”. But maybe they each had the same vantage point and same recolections. Maybe.
More interesting (to me) is that there were no sworn statements (provided to me) from the 10th Mt. Division guys. The 10th Mt. Division up-armored Humvee is actually the one who physically recovered Buddy’s body and brought it back to base. I find it more than odd that the only sworn statements included in the Report the army released to me were the statements of those whom I was told (off the record) refused to engage the enemy. In fact, I was told that when the 10th Mt. Division called for their 50 cal to engage they didn’t even answer their radio. Although it is possible there were communication problems. Perhaps Buddy’s “friends” simply did not hear the 10th Mt. Division’s call for help.
I am registered to vote in both Senator Lindsey Graham’s (who is actually on the Armed Services Committee) and Congressman Henry Brown’s district. I was advised to contact one or both of them for further assistance.
However, after much prayer and reflection I have decided that ultimately God is in charge and no amount of further consternation on my part will change the past. I can only hope and pray that the knock that came to our front door bearing life-altering news is not visited upon other families because of the same (in)actions by the same soldiers. But you know what? I have never (personally) been in a fire-fight. I hope that I would respond in the same manner as Buddy did but I can’t honestly say how I would respond with bullets zinging all around me.
I honestly wish no one any ill will. In fact I pray that all those involved live long, happy and peaceful lives with their wives, children and friends. I pray that as they are deployed (now and in the future) they are protected from any harm what-so-ever.
May the Lord bless them and protect them from their enemies and from themselves.