Andrew Olmstead, a milblogger who valiantly reported from the warzone in Iraq, fell today. He will be missed. G’Kar, as was his blog handle, left behind a final note in case he didn’t make it back from his last assignment.
It shows a commitment to truth and a level of valor that’s very rare these days. My prayers go to his family and friends. My posthumous thanks go out to a man who will be sorely missed.
In his final post, he makes a request that I hope everyone will honor.
Obsidian Wings: Andy Olmsted’s last post:
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.
Godspeed, Andy, into the final reward of a fallen warrior-poet. My gratitude and admiration cannot be fully conveyed.