Another Soldier Died Today.

I’ve been in the Army for a while now. Almost 9 years. In those 9 years no one I’ve personally known has ever been killed in the wars. Until now.

Maybe you’ve seen the news, maybe you haven’t, but on Saturday two U.S. officers were shot and killed inside Afghanistan’s secure Ministry of the Interior. I deployed to Kosovo with one of those men. I didn’t know him well, but I knew him. We were still part of the same family, bound together by the same unit patch and the shared experience of a 16 month mobilization. He was killed, according to the Taliban, in retaliation for the recent burning of copies of the Qur’an by American forces.

I’m so angry. Livid, even. I’m mad that someone, somewhere made the decision to burn copies of the Qur’an in the first place. I’m mad that in 10 years of war we still haven’t figured out how to respectfully conduct ourselves. I’m mad that dumb shit presidential candidates have the gall to come out and condemn President Obama for apologizing for the Qur’an burning. I’m mad that this person, this man I served with, didn’t have a chance to fight, that some brainwashed fuck with absolutely no concept of the true principles of Islam crept into an office and shot two American heros in the back of the head. I’m mad because this shouldn’t have happened.

Some 30 people have been killed as a result of the Qur’an burning. 30 people. 30 lives. 30 families.

How do people rationalize their ideas that apologies are bad? How do people look at the number of lives taken and continue to cheer the burning of another religion’s holy book? How do they watch people die, mourn the loss and yet still continue to fan the flames of violence with their ignorant ravings ? How have we still not learned the basic tenet of respect?

I just don’t understand. I don’t understand the world we live in. I don’t understand how a religion so beautiful has been so perverted. I don’t understand how this man was killed, or why. I don’t understand why empathy isn’t present in daily discourse. I don’t understand the inability of so many to step outside themselves and look at the world through another’s eyes.

I just don’t understand.

25 thoughts on “Another Soldier Died Today.

  1. Ed Siebold

    Terra, I share your feelings. I too am at a loss to understand why there are some in our military organizations that seem so ignorant of issues like that of damaging or disrespecting the religious symbols of other cultures. Especially in light of recent history with many examples of how the Muslim community reacts. I too am at a loss to understand how an organization like the Taliban (which claims to be an organization of holy warriors) can be so cowardly as to kill an enemy like a common assassin.

  2. I couldn’t have expressed my feelings on the subject any better than you have here. The idea that admitting fault or wrongdoing somehow creates weakness is just absurd. That people can’t foresee or don’t care about the consequences of their disrespectful behavior is just sad. I’m sorry for your loss. I don’t understand it either.

  3. I’m so, so sorry, Terra. This post really shook me up – & if it did that to me, I can only imagine what the news itself is doing to you. People appall me, shock me, continue to disappoint me. I fail to understand how in 2012, we live in a world where this can happen.

  4. KT

    Amen. I can’t believe that we have been over there so long and we still don’t get it.

    According to reports people in the detention facility were using the Qur’ran to send secret messages. If that is true, why BURN the book? Why not take them away?


    1. That’s what I’ve read too. The reports say it was accidental that the Qur’ans were burned, but I don’t understand that. How does that just happen? Someone made a decision to load them up and haul them to a burn pit.

  5. THANK YOU. thank you for posting everything that i’ve been feeling and thinking about this. i talked to my soldier about it and he said that whoever did it is someone that doesn’t leave, doesn’t see things first hand and now people are paying for it. I’m so angry that someone could be so dumb and i’m SO angry that its cost us so much.

    Hugs to you, i know it’s not easy to lose someone, regardless of how close. In the Army you are all family. <3

  6. I’m so sorry, lady. I know this has to be so tough you all. I wish there was more tolerance and respect, and it’s amazing that after all this time, our own citizens can’t find a way to respect other religions. It’s heartbreaking, really.

    Hugs to you.

    1. Thanks, lady. It really is heartbreaking and devastating that we still haven’t figured out how to respect one another. We’ve been doing this for so long, and yet still, we don’t get it.

  7. First of all, I’m sorry for your loss. Losing someone to one of these wars is one of my biggest fears.

    I don’t understand, either. I sat and ranted about this to my (military) boyfriend over the weekend, wondering how things like this can happen and how the world can possibly be this way. I don’t understand any of it.

  8. Goodness. I’m so sorry to hear about this and to hear about your loss. I cannot even imagine, and then the way it was done…

    I second your last paragraph. I don’t understand, either. And not understanding? Makes me feel helpless in the face of everything that’s going on in our world, good and bad.

    Hugs to you and yours.

  9. Terra, I am so sorry for your loss (and for the families and loved ones of these soldiers). Thank you for telling us this story. It’s too easy sometimes to not pay attention or really sit and think about it. Hugs.

  10. This is so sad =/

    One of my really good friends was the Newsweek bureau chief in Afghanistan and has horror stories about narrowly escaping death. Another friend of both of ours worked for Newsweek in Iraq, and his fiance (who was a well-known NGO worker in those parts) was killed by a suicide bomber. I just can’t even imagine going over there in such a capacity–being in the U.S. military is the bravest thing one can do, in my opinion. And you’re right, it’s some sort of sick perversion that so much of this has to do with religion.

  11. terra, i’m so sorry. thinking of you…
    i don’t understand at all.
    i don’t know how to say this any other way, so thank you for serving our country – you do it with grace. many, many hugs.

  12. Ash

    I’m so sorry, Terra, and Andrew, too, since he was with you in Kosovo & likely knew him, too.
    I have followed this so sad story, from the ignorant or carelessness that led to the burning, the rioting, the assassinations in what was supposed to be the most secure spot… I think Obama did right by apologizing, and it worries me that there are those who gave him flak. I don’t understand, either.
    Hugs to you both.

  13. B

    We just had a vigil for a local soldier that was killed in the war. It’s amazing how maybe, just maybe, if more people were more respectful of others and their thoughts/feelings some of these killings would never happen.

    Thank you for serving our country!

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