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January 24, 2008

Someone Else Died Two Days Ago, Too

I'm as guilty as the MSM, I admit:

I guess the irony came as I happened to look away from the TV and onto the page of the USA Today I was reading. Page 8A. A small box in the middle of the page which held 4 names. Names of troops killed in Iraq. One name caught my eye. SSG Justin R. Whiting, 27, of Hancock, NY.

The reason his name caught my eye initially was his age. He was a year younger than Heath Ledger. I read the short description in the box for Justin Whiting.

"died Saturday in Mosul from wounds suffered when his vehicle struck an improvised explosive device; 5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)."

That's it. That's all. Page 1D and 4D in the paper were all about Heath Ledger. Whiting got a sentence.

But that sentence said a lot about Justin Whiting. A 27 year old SSG, he was one sharp soldier. That's a fairly young age to make that rank. And, of course he was a paratrooper. In fact, I'd bet my bottom dollar he had served with either the 82nd Airborne Division or the 173rd Airborne Brigade - or both.

And he was Special Forces. He had earned and wore the coveted green beret. He was quite a young man and I know all of that from that one simple sentence, because I know what it took to be where he was, wearing the rank and beret he wore at his age.

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posted by Ace at 05:55 PM

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