"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?
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.