Friday, October 28, 2005

More On The 2000

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin:

On Wednesday, the NYTimes published a 4,625-word opus on the "2,000 dead" milestone - a "grim mark," read the headline - on page A2. Among those profiled were Marines from the First Battalion of the Fifth Marine Regiment, including Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr. Starr, of Snohomish, Washington, died from small-arms fire while conducting combat operations against enemy forces near Ar Ramadi, Iraq. He was assigned to 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force, Camp Pendleton, California. During Operation Iraqi Freedom his unit was attached to 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force (Forward). He died on May 30, 2005 at the age of 22.

This was Jeff's third tour in Iraq; he was there for the battle of Baghdad at the beginning of the war and fought in Fallujah during his second tour. Just before he left for his third tour of duty in Iraq he was asked what he thought about going back the third time. He said: "If we (Americans) don't do this (free the Iraqi people from tyranny) who will? No one else can."

Here's an excerpt from the Times' passage about Cpl. Starr:

Sifting through Corporal Starr's laptop computer after his death, his father found a letter to be delivered to the marine's girlfriend. "I kind of predicted this," Corporal Starr wrote of his own death. "A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances."

Hmmm. Sounds ominous. Sounds like he never should have gone back. Maybe it would have been better if hadn't re-enlisted. Maybe the world would have been better if he had become an anti-war protestor instead.

But as for the NYTimes, it's always more informative for what it leaves out than for what it puts in. Let's see the rest of the letter:

Obviously if you are reading this then I have died in Iraq. I kind of predicted this, that is why I'm writing this in November. A third time just seemed like I'm pushing my chances. I don't regret going, everybody dies but few get to do it for something as important as freedom. It may seem confusing why we are in Iraq, it's not to me. I'm here helping these people, so that they can live the way we live. Not have to worry about tyrants or vicious dictators. To do what they want with their lives. To me that is why I died. Others have died for my freedom, now this is my mark.

Much different. Here we see that Marine Cpl. Jeffrey B. Starr really believed in his mission, that he was not just taking orders. He saw himself as part of a selective few that are really making a difference in the world, and for the better. We see a man of courage and conviction. We see a real Man.

He rejected a $24,000 bonus to re-enlist; that's the kind of Marine, the kind of American, the kind of Man Jeffrey B. Starr. Wouldn't it be great if us "back home" could have the same level of committment he had.