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His Final Post

Andrew Olmsted is a fairly prolific blogger, writing both his own blog and one for the Rocky Mountain News. What makes them special is that he's also Major in the US Army, serving in Iraq, and had been posting from the frontlines on a regular basis.

Until January 3rd, that is, when he and Captain Thomas J Casey became the first US casualties of 2008, after being ambushed and killed by small arms fire. Olmsted had always realized the possibility of being killed in action, and so had prepared a final blog post to be published in the event of his death. It's a moving and thought provoking piece, with wry humor, and even some quotes on the meaning of life and death, from both famous philosophers and from Babylon 5.

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.

On a similar note, while you're free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I'll tell you you're wrong. We're all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was.

Take a moment to read his final post here, and then see the full story of Major Olmsted here.

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