Monday, January 01, 2007

MMM

The media is reporting the death of our 3000'th service member in Iraq.

Which means we've crossed one pretty looking even number milestone, but also that we've crossed a much more important one... the number of victims of September 11th.

Unlucky #3000 was Sgt. Edward Shaffer, from Mont Alto, PA. Ironically, this young man made it home, at least home to his country. He died at a military hospital outside San Antonio, TX, after suffering wounds from a roadside bomb in Iraq on November 13th.

These wounds were hopeless... burns over 80% of his body. He had five surgeries, including unsuccessful skin graft surgery and amputations of one foot and both hands. He was given a ten percent chance of surviving. And, had he survived, could he have hoped for any more than a life of pain and horrible disfigurement? I hope he was so far gone that he had no awareness after the explosion, but somehow I doubt that was the case.

I'm writing about Sgt. Shaffer just because he happened to be #3000. His story is horrible, but it's no different from many, many others, and his story only comes now because of so many who came before him, and suffered the same way he did.

I didn't think we'd reach 2,996, much less 3,000 before the new year. But here we are... 3000 before 2007. My hope for this new year is that we can somehow put an end to this madness. Saddam's death will do nothing to help. If we're lucky, it won't make things worse. That we would even be considering escalation, now, in this unwinnable occupation is just stupid. Hopefully our new Congress, or someone, will get us out of this.

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