Jul 16, 2007

Iraq war heroes honored for ultimate sacrifice

On Sunday an all-too-common-occurrence took place on the lawn of the historic Livingston County Courthouse with the addition of two more names from among the growing list of Livingston County soldiers and Marines killed in Iraq etched onto the Veterans Memorial that honors those killed in battle from World War I to the present.

In a small ceremony Sunday afternoon the names of Army Spc. Andrew Daul of Brighton Township and Army Pfc. Wilson A. Algrim of Marion Township were added to the memorial. Both men were killed late last year at age 21. Daul was killed on Dec. 19 after an IED exploded near his tank. Just four days later on Dec. 23 Algrim was one of three Michigan soldiers who were killed when an IED exploded near their vehicle during combat operations in Iraq. More than 4,000 service members have been killed in action since combat operations began in 2003, and on Friday the 150th Michigan solider was killed when Army Sgt. Allen A. Greka, 29, of Alpena, was killed.

Any death is too much to pay in this misguided civil war/occupation that has done nothing but made this country less secure, but it seems Livingston County has paid far too high a price with the deaths of nine servicemen in Iraq so far who have ties to the county.

In the entire 16 years shots were fired in anger in the Vietnam conflict only seven servicemen with Livingston County ties died in that conflict. Combat casualties began in 1959 when two U.S. military advisors were killed in an ambush and concluded with two servicemen who were killed in 1975 when their helicopter crashed during the evacuation of Saigon.

This news comes less than a week after the Iraq progress report was released that said there has not been satisfactory progress in Iraq on 10 of the 18 benchmarks set by Congress, and a recent military intelligence report concluded that al Qaeda – the people actually responsible for the 9/11 attacks - has largely restored itself to pre- 9/11 strength. Last week also saw the return of sanity to the U.S. House of Representatives when it voted 223 to 201 to bring troops home from Iraq by April of next year.

With more than 4,000 U.S. service members dead, countless thousands of civilian Iraqi deaths and a monetary cost of $10 billion a month it makers you wonder what more will it take for people like U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers to see the tragic mistake the occupation is.

The turnout at the ceremony was not as large as it should have been, but there was almost no publicity on it at all. Just a three-paragraph brief on it ran in the Livingston County Daily Press & Argus that only in the print edition and only the day of the event. No other media outlets ran it that I am aware of. I certainly hope it was because the family did not want a lot of publicity because both Daul and Algrim and their families deserved recognition for their sacrifice.

The Livingston County Honor Roll

Pfc. Jason Meyer, 23, 4/17/2003
Staff Sgt. Paul J. Johnson, 29, 10/20/2003
Staff Sgt. Thomas Christensen, 42, 12/25/2003
Lance Cpl. Michael W. Hanks, 22, 11/17/2004
Lance Cpl. Andrew Kilpela, 22, 6/10/2005
Marine Maj. Gerald M. Bloomfield, 38, 11/2/2005.
Staff Sgt. Gregory McCoy, 26, 11/9/2006
Army Spc. Andrew P. Daul, 21, 12/19/2006
Army Spc. Wilson Algrim, 21, 12/23/2006

Pfc. Maurice J. Biehn, 20, 10/9/1967
Army Spc. William F. Diggs, 22, 9/15/1969
Pfc. John M. Donohue, 18, 9/16/1968
Sgt. William M. Light, 24, 4/5/1969
Pfc. James M. Loso, 23, 6/10/1967
Army Spc. Brent B. Nauss, 21, 9/2/1969
Staff Sgt. Robert V. Simons, 32, 8/15/1968

No comments: