A soldier posts from the great beyond

For the skimmers and the "TLDR" crowd: If you want to skip to the point, just click the third link in this post; the one labeled "his final post".

Major Andrew Olmsted, who posted a blog since May 2007, was killed in Iraq on Jan. 3, 2008. 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 train the Iraqi Army. A sniper killed Olmsted as he was trying to talk three suspected insurgents into surrendering. A sniper's bullet also cut down Capt. Thomas J. Casey. They were 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."

I stole that summary from the sidebar of Major Olmsted's last post. on his blog for the Rocky Mountain News

Although that was the last post he made himself, he had written another to be uploaded in the event of his death. His final post is spiced with quotes from Babylon 5, The Princess Bride, and Team America. I get the feeling that, were he a gamer, he would have been right at home at GWJ.

Major Andrew Olmsted wrote:

What I don't want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. 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. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.) I had a pretty good life, as I noted above. Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I've enjoyed in my life. So if you're up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw 'Freedom Isn't Free' from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can't laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I'm dead, but if you're reading this, you're not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.

There's much more on his site and, as the title of the post on Skippy's list (where I found it originally) said, it's definitely worth reading. I put this in Everything Else because I don't think he would have wanted it to devolve in a P&C conversation. Please respect that.

Andy Olmsted wrote:

If there is any hope for the long term success of democracy, it will be if people agree to listen to and try to understand their political opponents rather than simply seeking to crush them.

Very well put, Andy. Nice find, Grumpy.

God it almost hurts to read some of it. Obviously a smart, genuinely decent person whose family and friends are without them far sooner than they should be.

Thanks for posting it Grump. It made me more than a little sad but I guess sometimes that's a good thing.

I have a friend over in Iraq right now, and this was something I could see her writing. Surreal. Think I'm going to go send her an email now...

Thank you for this link.

Good find. I like his attitude.

I raise my Coke in a toast to the fine soldier.

Wow...what a loss. I can't read it all.

It's an incredible read. I can imagine but never truly understand what it's like to function in that environment, or to make the kind of commitment that this individual did.

I don't have any Coke at the moment but I do have a lot of 80s tunes. So, I raise my glass of Sprite while listening to some classics in your honor, Mr. Olmstead.

Nothing left to say he hasn't. If our military were entirely composed of men and women like him, there would be a lot less strife in the world.

More likely I was caught by a marksman or an IED

He foresaw the "how", as well.