Monday, August 22, 2005

Casey Sheehan: The Forgotten Soldier

"The biggest terrorist is George W. Bush."
"We are waging nuclear war in Iraq, we have contaminated the entire country."
"America has been killing people on this continent since it started. This country is not worth dying for."

I suppose by now we all know these to be the grieving words of the mother of the forgotten Casey Sheehan, uber-griever Cindy Sheehan, who is, as we all know, sacrosacnt in word and deed. But, Cindy Sheehan is not the one who has lost a life; her son Casey Sheehan lost his life. We all know what Cindy (that's what he called her) has to say, but what did Casey have to say?


The United States of America was at peace when the 20 year old man (not a child) enlisted in the Army in 2000. Casey Sheehan served with honor, if not distinction, for 1 year in the peace time Army.

September 11, 2001 changed everything for Casey Sheehan, everything except his heart. "He would do anything for anybody. He'd give you the shirt off his back. He was just a loving and caring person," said his 23 yr old sister, Carly. Three years later, Casey would give more than his shirt, he gave his life rescuing fellow soldiers in Baghdad.

Four years after enlisting, Casey reenlisted, knowing full well he would be sent to Iraq - to war. As a mechanic of the 5th Cavalry Regiment of the 1st Cavalry Division, Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was in Iraq March, 2004 fighting that war of which he knew he would be a part.

A month later, barely two weeks into his tour, a convoy of his unit was attacked in the Sadr City section Baghdad. Now 24 yrs. old (far from being a child), Casey volunteered for the dangerous rescue mission. As a mechanic, his sergeant told him, he had no obligation to take part in combat. But the former alter boy, Boy Scout, and Eagle Scout knew what his duties and responsibilities were; Casey volunteered. It was his time, it was his place. "Where my chief goes, I go," was all Casey said. He didn't have to go, but soldiers were in trouble and he could help save lives. That's what soldiers do for one another.

"That's all he wanted to do was serve God and his country his whole life," Carly Sheehan said. "He was a boy scout from age 6 or 7 and an Eagle Scout. It was kind of a natural progression to go into the military from that. He said he was enjoying the military because it was just like the boy scouts but they got guns."

"On April 4, Palm Sunday, we got the word that Casey had been killed in an ambush," Cindy Sheehan wrote in an essay. "The first chance he got, my brave, wonderful, faithful, sweet, gentle and kind boy volunteered for a rescue mission ... Casey and 20 of his buddies were sent into a raging insurgent uprising to rescue wounded soldiers. Only 13 of them returned."

He died while trying to save others. He died while trying to bring peace, freedom, and security to others. He died for others. He died serving his God and his country. Casey Sheehan died doing what he thought and knew to be right and honorable.

For his acts of bravery and selflessness he was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star.

Seven brave soldiers, rescuers, died that day in Sadr City, Baghdad, Iraq. Seven families grieve over the loss of their beloved kin. But only one makes a mockery of their service. Only one denigrates the charity and faith of her son. Only one. There are six other families grieving their own losses and honoring the selfless acts of protective caring shown by their young men who also died that Palm Sunday in the city in which Daniel faced down the lions and Nebakanezer saw the writing on the wall.

We are witnessing the tyranny of the minority. Cindy Sheehan has no moral superiority because she lost her beloved son. Six other mothers lost their sons that day, too. Because they believe their sons did not die in vain, are we to dismiss them as blood-thirsty warmongers? Those mothers loved their sons every bit as much as Cindy Sheehan loved her son. They just choose not to dirty the memory of the brave souls who so generously gave their lives so others could live in freedom.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

25 comments:

Don said...

Well and powerfully said Indy. This woman thinks it is all about her.

dcat said...

Indigo,

Nice job! I am sick of the cindy crowd!

Tom said...

Dear Indigo
I am Tom:muideahere.blogspot.com
I read ur ans but Moslems know trinity well,but they say it is impossible that God ,the unique, be three gods(1 is not 3)
We say God is bigger trhan we can consider another God with him,and we belive in Jesus as a great prophet like Mohammad(PBUT).His words exist in qoran and our other books.But we belive that God is one NOT Jesus(PBUH) Thanks alot

Sylvana said...

Before I hit the end of this piece I was thinking to myself, "Finally, someone who can tell the other side without resorting to bash someone with close, legitimate feelings about the issue." However, I soon realized that you were just saving that for your finale. Just because people oppose the war and want the soldiers brought home in no way means that they are calling them "blood-thirsty warmongers". In fact, I have not heard anyone say that about the soldiers in Iraq except the proponents of the war in accusation of those that say because the war was based on a lie it should never have happened and those soldiers should never have been asked to give their lives for a lie. Yes, Casey was a very brave, giving person. No one is arguing against that. He re-enlisted before the truth came out about the war. He died before the truth came out about this war. He chose to take the dangerous mission because that was who he was- a courageous, giving person who cared about others. I have seen no proof that it shows that he was in full support of the war. The mission that he chose to take was more to ensure the safety of his fellow soldier than to cast his vote in support of the war.

Other than the end- good post.

Indigo Red said...

Your comment is greatly appreciated, Sylvana.

I debated for a long time how to end the piece. My thrust was not to bash anyone, but to legitimize the others who have lost family in this war and, indeed, any war. The media has focused on Cindy Sheehan to the point that Casey's death is now irrelevant.

That no one has expressly said individuals on either side of the debate (if war can be called a debate) is a warmonger is without question, and I did not do so here. It's the logical extention of a rhetorical question. My intent was to show the very extreme to which the answer is an obvious "Of course not." I'm afraid, Sylvana that very soon these types of accusations will no longer be the extreme, but the norm and the extreme will pass on to a whole new level of mindlessness from all corners.

Sylvana said...

Thanks, I re-read that and I now realize that you were probably referring to the parents. But you are also implying that the non-supporters would call those that support the war "blood-thirsty warmongers", and that would include the soldiers under your argument.

I don't think that Cindy is in the minority. The latest polls that I have seen regarding whether Americans believe that we should be in Iraq, 54 percent said that they thought the war was a mistake.

Indigo Red said...

As I'm sure you know, Sylvana, monger is a buyer and seller of goods services, i.e., fishmonger, ironmonger, and so on. A warmonger is one who sells war itself. A true example of a warmonger is William Randolph Hearst who literally created, marketed, and sold the Spanish-American war through his San Francisco newspaper. Not in so many words, but I have heard intimations that POTUS and V-POTUS are warmongers from the less than suppotive factions of our great nation. Blood-thirsty just goes with the warmonger territory. Such talk, at the moment, I prefer to believe is rhetorical by most.

The latest polls are almost always trumped by the even more latest polls. I was called recently for a telephone poll. It was hard to answer the questions as they were phrased in such a way that all answers were anti-war. Another was equally difficult for the exact opposite answer bias. I've never been asked in a poll, point blank, "Do you support the war in Iraq? Yes or No.

Most Americans, Sylvana, may believe the war was a mistake based upon the lack of evidence that was found. (Can one find a lack of something that wasn't there?) When asked if they believe removing Saddam by force was right most Americans say yes.

There were some 4 - 6 reasons for the invasion of Iraq, only one of which was WMDs. But, stopping the killing of Kurds or the marsh Arabs was not as catchy as WMDs. Getting the medical supplies to the people who needed them in order to end the deaths of 60,000 children per year from curable medical conditions was not as sexy as WMDs. Ensuring the oil revenues went to the people of Iraq for the purchase of food and medical supplies rather than paying French, Russian, UN diplomats and beaurocrats with oil futures is just too complex to understand. I certainly didn't read about the Oil for Food scandals - too boring, too many foreign names.

Sylvana, if WMD was never used as a reason for the invasion, but only the relief from tyranny, the restoration of adequate health care and food distribution, would you have supported the endeaver, supported the war? For me the WMD argument was always the weakest link, the terrorist link was the second weakest, yet both were brought to the top because those were the arguments that got John Kerry and Joe Biden and the rest of the opposition leadership behind the invasion. The reasons were as much political as anything else, if not more. I woould have supported the war just to stop the killing and deaths of the kids, Kurds, and the innocent.

Sylvana said...

The ends does not justify the means. It is not moral to trick the people to get them to do what you want. That is still lying no matter how you cut it. This administration has shown that they are very much willing to lie to the public on issues that truly matter to them and affect their lives in order to get things to go their way.

My huge problem with the humanitarian reasoning in Iraq is that far worse is happening in Darfur and no one seems to give a rip about that. The weapons reasoning, what about North Korea? The president there tortures his people and has known WMD- nuclear weapons at that. So why not Darfur or North Korea?

I agree about the polls. It all depends on what is asked. But I still do not believe that Cindy is in the minority. And even if she was (like if we saw her as one out of the seven families), she still has every right to petition for answers, even if the other families don't. We all have that right.

dcat said...

Sylvana

I think people like you have been brain washed by the evil media. You best polish that halo to hide those horns behind it. Looks like the other kind of angle because the angels I know don’t have a scowl on their faces. It’s over now drink your big black “cow” but in your case kool-aide and get out of here.

I have my rights too and so do a lot of other people that don’t agree with you. So get over yourself! Because a lot of us don't care what you and the evil media has to say!

dcat said...

Sorry Indigo,

I read the comments and didn't realize you were at it. Ok I'm going I just saw the twisted mind post and started in.

BTW Indigo well done! I just wanted to see if Brian P was here ;)

Indigo Red said...

Now the arguement enters realpolitik. North Korea should have been dealt with decades ago. But, NK is problematic - too close to The Peoples Republic of China. Attacking NK invites attack by China - a much bigger adversary than Iraq.

I am sickened by the worldwide reaction to the digusting tradgedy in Sudan and Darfur. The same occurred in Rwanda and the worldwide reaction was the same - "Hey, stop that!" There was no strategic value to either Darfur or Rwanda and people died because we chose not to care for our fellow human beings. Pres Clinton chose to do nothing in Rwanda and apologize later. Pres Bush chose to do something in Iraq and maybe history will require an apology, but not yet.

The ends may not justify the means and that's a fine philosophical position. Lying is wrong and immoral and government shouldn't lie to the people. I can't think of a single government, a single candidate, foreign or domestic, that has not lied on issues that truly matter.

The ideal is a wonderful goal, but that's all it is - a goal, something to work toward. In the meantime real life is happening and we have to get through it. Sometimes that requires lying, means and ends that aren't quite kosher.

Cindy Sheehan has every right to petition for redress of grievances. She isn't petitioning, though. She is demonstrating and really has no intention of asking questions and getting answers. In my opinion, her purpose is to embarrass and harrass Pres. Bush in any way she and the organs suppoting her can devise. This is also her right, but it is immoral and a kind of lie.

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Indigo Red said...

I still value freedom of speech. The rules I have layed out for this blog are nil. I welcome all comments and commenters.

Spammers, however, will be deleted summarily.

However, I do expect a degree of decorum to which other blogs are not usually accustomed. Personal attacks and requests to go away are allowed, but do not reflect the opinion or will of the administrator, namely, me - Indigo Red.

Besides, I happen to like Sylvana, dcat, Don, Tom, Mike, Tom (from Tehran), and all the others who read and comment from 14 of the earths time zones and do not wish to lose any of you.

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Don said...

Indy I am glad to see that you just delete the hate spewers. I disagree with Sylvana but I respect the way she presents her views. I feel that Cindy cares more about Cindy than anyone else,including her son. She is a pathetic attention seeker.

dcat said...

These people are just a minority Don and Indigo.

Indigo Red said...

Don,

I haven't deleted any post by a "hate spewer". I will not delete any valid posts from anyone. As I explained above, blog spam are summarrily deleted.

The above deletions were blog spams. Example:

"Your site is Great! I have a site too at no medical exam insurance site. It pretty much covers no medical exam insurance related stuff.
Come and check it out if you get time :-)"

I will not tolerate anyone using my blog for advertising diguised as an opinion.

I will not delete valid comments. I will not ban any visitor. I will not stop the free flow of ideas and opinions of any stripe. If Cindy Sheehan herself posts here, she will be welcome. If Osama bin Laden comments here, he will be welcome (I will notify the FBI of OBL, though.)

Sylvana said...

Do you think ObL blogs? That just put a really funny picture in my head.

We can't police the Middle East forever. But there is the problem- what IS the exit strategy? "wait and see"?

I think that it is too late to just pull out the troops without any real transition. It's sad, but now that we are there, we need to stabilize the situation. But this means that we need to take the Iraqi people's desires into consideration, not just setting up another puppet government. There won't be anything close to peace if things are forced on the people.

We can't go back in time, but we can look to the future. I think that we should look more carefully at the reasons for going to war in the future and be sure that they are for reasons that we can live with and ones we would be willing to die for.

BTW- Thank you, to all that have been respectful of my comments even if you disagree with me.

DCat, if you didn't care what I thought or said, you wouldn't have made such a fuss about me.

Sylvana said...

Indigo, if you go into your Settings in the Blog Dashboard and click the Comments tab, there should be a choice called "Show word verification for comments?" If you change this to "Yes" and save your settings then your commenters will have to verify a word before they can publish a comment. This should get rid of almost all, if not all, of your spam.

You can also completely obliterate all traces of a comment that you'd like deleted by checking the "Remove forever?" box before you click "Delete Comment".

DrMax said...

Hello Indigo,

When reading your posts I feel like I am back at a family get together. Politics in our family range from far right to far left. We do argue, but we are still family. I will never agree with a conservatives view of life, I think it is something deep in the core of my DNA. I assume my brothers' opinions, which appear to match yours, run just as deep.

I think I am done with trying to sway anyone from their beliefs, they are ready with counter interpretations of any facts I bring up. Debate is fine, arguement is truly American, it gets the blood going. I just hope we don't start burning all the bridges between each other. I fear if we all keep demonizing each other we will eventually stop talking altogether and that would be the true danger.

I love my country, I have nothing but awe and respect for the troops, whose daily mission is often to do the impossible. I'm sure they could care less about the fine points of how they ended up in Iraq, they are just trying to get through another day.

You see Sheehan as a minority voice that is grandstanding. I see her as sincerely trying to remind to Bush and the neocons of the cost of their policies. She is bringing up questions that recent polls show a lot of Americans share. Just questions. I can't understand why conservatives have spent so much time worrying about her. If the Iraq cause is so noble, this one woman certainly can't effect it.....or maybe the ARE worried about that.

Thanks for having a place where we can still share thoughts. I do hope the left and right can work out differences like we do at family reunions: it's OK for the debates to get heated, but we're always willing to go fetch a cold beer for each other.

Indigo Red said...

drmax -

I am thrilled to see you here. Thank you. Yours is one of the funniest sites I know.

I agree whole heartedly with what you have said here. I do enjoy good political arguements, however, I'm not sure what you mean when you imply Liberals have 'facts' ;) ...

I have a very liberal sister who wants to hug the bad guys and a very conservative brother who wants to drop a-bombs on the bad guys. I'm somewhere in the middle - I don't know if I should hug the bad guys or the bomb.

Sylvana -

Thanks for the tips. I knew about the delete comments forever option, I was just too lazy too use it. I've used the word verification on other blogs and find it cumbersome and unfriendly. I'll just delete spam for now.

We are already pulling troops out of the area. The Pentagon has withdrawn 22,000 troops from Kuwait since last year. Troop strength in Iraq will be down to something like 65,000 by January 2006.

This fall will see a sharp increase in US troop strength to about 165,000 for the Constitutional vote. But, it's actually an overlap in troop deployments. The current troops will remain for the election with there replacements arriving earlier than usual. After the election, troop strength will be about half (82,000) with another 17,000 leaving by years end (65,000 left.) Then as Iraqi troops are deployed more Americans will leave. Also, the other Coalition troops will leave before we and the Brits do.

I, too, believe the reasons for war should be more thoroughly known before commiting troops. That will be very difficult if the opponents continue to be Muslims. There is a hadith that specifies three situations in which it is okay to lie. One of them is lying to infidels. As long as Muslims see the West as kufir, we will not know if we are being lied to.

I can see the Iraq scenario playing out again with Iran. Are they or are they not making nuclear weapons. The Persians are being wishy-washy, the French and Germans are adament there is a nuclear bomb program and the Russians are supplying the radioactive material. Sounds just like Iraq and nobody knows what is true. Atomic chicken would make a fun video game or lunch, but in real life, it's not fun at all. It's just scary and sick.

Oh... and, yes, I do think OBL blogs. He does so in his flannel jihad PJs, the ones with the pictures of little smiling, AK-47 wielding jihadis all over them. Now if I can only get him to tell me where I can buy a pair.

Tom C said...

Just so were clear on this, I find Cindy Sheehan offensive. Thats my vote and opinion.

Indigo Red said...

Thanks, Tom. That is my vote also. Especially now that she has obtained a catering service for Camp Cindy.