A Hero Says Goodbye

Written by Lotus on Saturday, 5 of January , 2008 at 1:29 am

Major Andrew Olmsted has been on the frontlines in Iraq as a soldier and blogger.  The Rocky Mountain News reported:

Fort Carson-based Army Major Andrew Olmsted is blogging from the war in Iraq, where his mission is to teach members of the Iraqi Army how to defend their country and provide security for their people. Major Olmsted is a veteran blogger and he is determined to make a difference in Iraq. “The sooner the Iraqi government doesn’t need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave.”

“hilzoy” at Obsidian Wings writes:

Andrew Olmsted, who also posted here as G’Kar, was killed yesterday in Iraq. Andy gave me a post to publish in the event of his death; the last revisions to it were made in July.

The following is the first part of Major Olmsted’s funny and touching post.  I don’t feel it’s my place to pick excerpts, so be sure to read the entire post here:

“I am leaving this message for you because it appears I must leave sooner than I intended. I would have preferred to say this in person, but since I cannot, let me say it here.”
G’Kar, Babylon 5

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”
Plato*

This is an entry I would have preferred not to have published, but there are limits to what we can control in life, and apparently I have passed one of those limits. And so, like G’Kar, I must say here what I would much prefer to say in person. I want to thank hilzoy for putting it up for me. It’s not easy asking anyone to do something for you in the event of your death, and it is a testament to her quality that she didn’t hesitate to accept the charge. As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose. Perhaps I take that further than most, I don’t know. I hope so. It’s frightening to think there are many people as neurotic as I am in the world. In any case, since I won’t get another chance to say what I think, I wanted to take advantage of this opportunity. Such as it is.

“When some people die, it’s time to be sad. But when other people die, like really evil people, or the Irish, it’s time to celebrate.”
Jimmy Bender, “Greg the Bunny”

“And maybe now it’s your turn
To die kicking some ass.”
Freedom Isn’t Free, Team America

What I don’t want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.) I had a pretty good life, as I noted above. Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I’ve enjoyed in my life. So if you’re up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can’t laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I’m dead, but if you’re reading this, you’re not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.

Click here to continue reading.  One last thing — please respect Major Olmsted’s wishes and keep politics (pro or against the war) out of the comments section.

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LOTUS lives in Northern Virginia. NOTE: The views expressed on LOTUS blog are the author’s alone. Organizations listed on this blog are for identification purposes only.