3,300+ Dead! How Many More?

The number of military fatalities in Iraq has now exceeded 3,300. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports on one of the recently fallen soldiers:

Army Staff Sgt. Brandon Wallace, 27, was supposed to leave Iraq and prepare to come home in two weeks.

He was supposed to marry an Army specialist he had met and proposed to while fighting in Iraq.

He was supposed to fulfill his dream of becoming a police officer in his hometown of Festus.

Instead, his parents got a phone call Saturday morning asking them to come home right away. When they saw military personnel waiting for them, they knew none of those things would happen.

Wallace was killed Saturday by a roadside bomb in Fallujah. He had been deployed since May.

His father, Rickey Wallace, said his son had already served his active duty contract for three years in Germany and Kosovo and was called back to duty from the Individual Ready Reserve….

“In Brandon’s mind, he thought he was basically done,” his father said. “He was shocked that they called him back….”

Rickey Wallace said he had strong views about the war even before his son was deployed.

“I support the military,” he said. But, “I think it’s a waste of time. I don’t think us being over there is going to change anything.” [full text]

2 thoughts on “3,300+ Dead! How Many More?

  1. This story is heartbreaking, especially that his fiancee will be returning with his body when he is shipped back for the funeral.

  2. DULCE ET DECORUM EST

    Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
    Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
    Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
    And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
    Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
    But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.

    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    Fitting the clumsy just in time;
    But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
    And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
    Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
    As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
    In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
    He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.

    If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
    Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
    And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
    His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
    If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
    Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
    Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
    Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
    My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
    To children ardent14 for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori

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