Where Were You?

Where were you on Saturday when Army Specialist Joshua Reeves, a 26-year-old from Watkinsville, Georgia, was killed after “a bomb detonated as [his] Humvee drove down a Baghdad street”? Where were you when his wife Leslie, who had given birth to their son just the day before, “learned she was a widow” while “still in the hospital”? Where were you when his parents, James and Jean Reeves, were informed that “they had lost the oldest of their five children,” a son who “was such a good-hearted person”? Where were you?

Where were you on Monday when Army Corporal Anthony Bento, a 23-year-old from San Diego, California “was killed in a small-arms attack by insurgents” in Beiji, Iraq? Where were you when his wife Colleen, perhaps holding their 13-month-old son in her arms, was informed that her husband—who “was due home in 26 days after 13 months of time in Iraq”—had perished? Where were you when his parents, Anthony and Penny Bento, were told that their only son, a young man with a “fun-loving personality and an untamed spirit that not even the Army or war could break,” had died? Where were you?

Where were you on Tuesday when Army Staff Sergeant Zachary Tomczak, a 24-year-old from Huron, South Dakota, “died of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit using small-arms fire” in a suburb of Baghdad? Where were you when his wife Beth was informed that her husband, who “was on his fourth tour in Iraq,” had been fatally wounded? Where were you when his mother and father and friends heard the news that this “very, very nice young man” who “had a real love for life” breathed no more? Where were you?

Where were you when any of the more than 3,800 (and counting) American soldiers were killed in Iraq? Where were you when President Bush and a complicit Congress initially ordered men like Joshua Reeves, Anthony Bento, and Zachary Tomczak into harm’s way? Where were you when this war continued to be fought despite the many lies exposed about it and the swelling of public opposition to it? Where were you?

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3 responses

  1. Anthony Bento had 2 sisters he was not an only child. He will be missed.

  2. Thank you for the correction. I amended the text to reflect this information. If Anthony was a friend or family member of yours, please allow me to offer you my sincerest condolences.

  3. All too often we do not see the fallen in this useless struggle in a failed state that was never a state. All too often, we do not see them as real people, all having died so young and cheated out of the fullness of the lives that should have been their’s. All too often the numbers of the the dead and wounded counts are numbing and do not show us the faces of the dead or the faces and torn emotions of the families, forever changed by their loss. All too often we do not see and cannot feel the agony felt by the dead and wounded as they died or were forever maimed. Perhaps it is this isolation from the realities of the pain felt by our fallen in this useless involvement, in a place none of us really cares about, or really have any reason to care, that explains why we pass over the numbers of dead and maimed to get to the sports or advertising pages. Perhaps it is the failure of American politicians, more interested in their positions than taking back the decision making responsibilites they supposedly represent, that further isolates us from the real pain of this useless struggle. We do need to know the names and ages and hopes and dreams and feelings of the families of our dead and maimed soldiers. The politicians who send them to die, and the politicians who do nothing to stop sending them to die, should also know their names and get to know their families.

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