It is with deep regret I respectfully say my goodbye and thank you to fellow MilBlogger, Major Andrew Olmsted. Though I did not know him, his loss is felt throughout the family of frontline bloggers. It is always surreal to hear of our fellow bloggers paying the ultimate sacrifice.
I recently visited his blog and read his last blog titled, ‘Final Post’. It was a post he had written with instructions to his friend to post in the event of his death. It is as symbolic and meaningful as the letters that have been exchanged by soldiers since war began. Many of us in combat feel compelled to say our goodbyes and express our loves, hopes and dreams in “letters from the grave”.
In his final post, Major Olmsted wrote, “Believe it or not, one of the things I will miss most is not being able to blog any longer.” I think that is a common feeling among all bloggers. We have become so accustomed to sharing our lives with the masses that it may be hard to actually have a moment in our lives, good or bad, that we do not want to share.
In my blog, I often share my thoughts and feelings. There are a few opinions that I should probably not have been so vocal about, but blogging is so addictive. For some reason, I often do not think about whether or not my readers will enjoy or even understand what I am writing about. In some aspects, it doesn’t matter much to me, I blog for myself.
I too had a final post for a friend to post in the event of my death. I guess I wanted to ensure I would have the last word and wanted to bring closure to my blog, to my life. I do not believe I could ever say anything enlightening or insightful that I do not say in life.
My family and friends all know how much I love them. My children know how I love them more than the world. My mom and dad know that I love them and will put them in the best old folk’s home I can find (by best I mean cheapest). My siblings all know that I love them, each in their own way. Yes, I have always made sure my family and friends know how much I love them.
No, there would be nothing in my final post that would shock or surprise anyone. My sense of duty and my feelings regarding my service to my country and the people of Iraq would not surprise anyone who has known me, met me or read my blog.
I could easily drift away with no words being said...
THE DEATH OF ANDREW OLMSTED
Major Andrew Olmsted, who posted a blog since May 2007, was killed in Iraq on Thursday, Jan. 3. Major Olmsted, who had been based at Fort Carson in Colorado Springs, began blogging after his unit was sent to Iraq with the mission of helping to train the Iraqi Army. No official details have been released on his death, but reports say that he and a second member of his unit were killed during an enemy ambush in Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad. Olmsted was determined to make a difference in Iraq. "The sooner the Iraqi government doesn't need U.S. support to provide security for its people, the sooner we will probably be asked to leave."