Thursday, December 2, 2010

Heart-breaking news

Fort Campbell, Kentucky, lies along the state's southern border and the nearest good-sized town is Clarksville, Tennessee. The 101st Airborne Division of the United States Army is based at Fort Campbell. This spring, folks from Fort Campbell poured out of there and into Afghanistan to support the so-called surge.

Clarksville's main newspaper, The Leaf-Chronicle, carries a good deal of local Army news. The newspaper's website uses the dark graphic, above, when it carries reports of losses from the 101st Division. This graphic has gotten too much use this year.

Today, The Leaf-Chronicle is reporting six more deaths from the 101st Airborne. By my count, this brings the total number of 101st Airborne soldiers killed in Afghanistan this year - mostly since June and the beginning of the surge - to ninety-eight. In the most recent deaths, the six soldiers were killed Monday when an Afghan Border Police officer turned his weapon on them. The gunman in Monday's attack was a border police officer rather than an insurgent donning the uniform for a day, according to the news story.

As I have written here and here, I have a daughter and son-in-law currently serving with the 101st and I find these mounting losses painful to read about. My heart aches for the families of these brave soldiers.

But aside from these families and readers of the Clarksville newspaper, is anyone noticing?

You can click here to see the faces and names of ninety-two 101st soldiers lost this year. The six new names and photos will be added soon. And if you scroll back down the list, you will find the photos of two local young men: Spc. Benjamin D. Osborn, a graduate of Lake George, NY, High School, who was killed on June 15, and Pfc. David T. Miller, a graduate of Saratoga High School, who was killed on June 21. May they all rest in peace.