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March 29, 2012

The Real Face Of American Servicemen And Women Spc. Dennis Weichel

While the media focuses on the case of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales, it is worth remembering that he is the overwhelming exception.

Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard is far more representative of the selfless sacrifice and honor exhibited by the US military during 2 wars and over 10 years of fighting. But even within the ranks of heroic actions, Spc. Weichel's sacrifice stands out.

The official Pentagon news release says he died "from injuries suffered in a noncombat related incident." But there is much more to the story. Weichel, 29, of Providence, died saving the life of a little girl.

According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan. Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel and other troops got out to move them out of the way.

Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that. But a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward her, according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.

MRAPs, as they are known, usually weigh more than 16 tons.

Weichel saw the massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the armored truck ran him over, Riel said.

The little girl is fine. Weichel died a short time later of his injuries.

Specialist Weichel leaves behind his fiance and three children.

Far more Iraqis and Afghans have been saved by men and women like Spc. Weichel than killed in cold blood by rogue soldiers. Some want "crazy, murderous vets" be the narrative of the War on Terror. We owe to those who served honorably and sacrificed so much, to make sure the truth wins out in the end.

Oh God...I was looking for a photo of Spc. Weichel and found this story of him surprising his kids this Christmas.

Local soldier gets home for holidays: wpri.com


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posted by DrewM. at 10:03 AM

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