By Zardoz Z. Bachman

This morning I learned that my brother-in-law’s nephew was killed in Iraq last night. I was notified by my mother-in-law this morning. One of two soldiers. We are not sure of the details yet… Not more than 22 years old! I have to wonder if there is any real understanding or recognition regarding the courage and sacrifice these young men and women are making everday outside of their immediate families? Putting their lives at risk for a cause to protect all of us. It really sinks home when you know the person and watched them grow up. Playing ball with them when they were in grade school. Smiling faces at family get togethers. Listening to the children stories with them. Opening presents on Christmas morning. Sad and tragic beyond words.

Yet I can’t imagine the grief from his mother and father. My own son is the same age. It would be unbearable for me. This is the un-thinkable image for any parent yet it is the stark reality of any “war” and the ultimate risk and sacrifice. I must admit this is all beginning to feel very much like Vietnam all over again, with a foggy exist strategy, except now it’s our sons and daughters who are living it. No words or deeds my wife or I can say or do will bring back this loss in our family.

Thousands have been killed in the WTC on 9/11 and unfortunatley there will be more sacrificing of lives for the protection of freedom and security. Innocent civilians and yes, those at the point of the spear alike ! We need to see this enemy for what it is. It is not us, nor our political leaders. It is the radical, blackmailing, relentless anarchist in the world that is hell bent on the destruction of our western culture of free speech and individual liberty. This loss in our family circle was offered up to preserve that culture by our collective society. For that we should all be proud, and honor their courage, and that of all of those you have paid the ultimate price to preserve our freedom. Soldier and innocent civilian alike. — zzb