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Old 01-08-2008, 06:11 PM   #1
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Slain Soldier's Final Blog Post

You can read the entire blog post here

http://www.andrewolmsted.com/



By Mike Underwood | Tuesday, January 8, 2008 | http://www.bostonherald.com



A Web-savvy, wise-cracking Bay State soldier, gunned down by a sniper in Iraq, has left a cyberspace message from beyond the grave that is both poignant and powerful.

Northborough native Andrew J. Olmsted, an Army major who wrote a regular blog about his Iraq experiences for Colorado’s Rocky Mountain News, was shot dead as he tried talking three suspected insurgents into surrendering near Sadiyah on Jan. 3.

But a day after his death, Olmsted - through a prior arrangement with a friend - posted his “Final Post” on the Obsidian Wings Web site.

“I cannot imagine being more fortunate in love than I have been with Amanda,” the 37-year-old wrote of his wife of 10 years in the heart-rending final passage of his final message.

“I cherished every day I was married to Amanda. When everything else in my life seemed dark, she was always there to light the darkness.”

Despite the touching personal note, most of Olmsted’s post is loaded with his trademark dry humor.

“As with many bloggers, I have a disgustingly large ego, and so I just couldn’t bear the thought of not being able to have the last word if the need arose,” he wrote.

“I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss.”

He penned that he had lived a good life, had no regrets and died doing a job he “loved.”

But Olmsted was also serious about his legacy, writing: “I do ask (not that I’m in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes.”

He also offered insight into the reality faced by troops in this almost prophetic passage.

“It would be nice to believe that I died leading men in battle, preferably saving their lives at the cost of my own. More likely I was caught by a marksman or an IED,” he wrote.

Small arms fire killed both Olmsted and Capt. Thomas J. Casey, who was rushing to help.

Both men were assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan.

Olmsted, who lived with his wife in Colorado Springs, is a 1992 graduate of Clark University in Worcester and a 1987 graduate of St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury.



"I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don't drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don't cite my name as an example of someone's life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I'm not around to expound on them I'd prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn't support. Further, this is tough enough on my family without their having to see my picture being used in some rally or my name being cited for some political purpose. You can fight political battles without hurting my family, and I'd prefer that you did so.

On a similar note, while you're free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I'll tell you you're wrong. We're all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was. "
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Old 01-08-2008, 08:48 PM   #2
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"On a similar note, while you're free to think whatever you like about my life and death, if you think I wasted my life, I'll tell you you're wrong. We're all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was. "



Freedom has never been free and I am grateful to all (throughout history) who have gone into in harms way to keep us free.
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Old 01-09-2008, 01:09 AM   #3
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I just read that quote. What a powerful statement. It really puts life in perspective.
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Old 01-09-2008, 05:39 AM   #4
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I'm speechless.........the only thing I can do is to sit here silently, shed a tear, say a prayer and salute this wonderful human being who made the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

May he rest in peace and may G-d send solace to his family.

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