A Life, WastedThe Washington Post has an incredible column titled "A Life, Wasted" from Paul E. Schroeder. Paul's son, Lance Cpl. Edward "Augie" Schroeder II, was killed in Iraq.
Read the full column: Paul makes the point that his son was a hero in life, not in death.
The day his unit returned home to waiting families, we received the second urn of ashes. This lad of promise, of easy charm and readiness to help, whose highest high was saving someone using CPR as a first aid squad volunteer, came home in one coffin and two urns.
In our last conversation, Augie complained that the cost in lives to clear insurgents was "less and less worth it," because Marines have to keep coming back to clear the same places.
Though it hurts, I believe that his death -- and that of the other Americans who have died in Iraq -- was a waste. They were wasted in a belief that democracy would grow simply by removing a dictator -- a careless misunderstanding of what democracy requires. They were wasted by not sending enough troops to do the job needed in the resulting occupation -- a careless disregard for professional military counsel.
But their deaths will not be in vain if Americans stop hiding behind flag-draped hero masks and stop whispering their opposition to this war. Until then, the lives of other sons, daughters, husbands, wives, fathers and mothers may be wasted as well.
This is very painful to acknowledge, and I have to live with it. So does President Bush.
Tags: politics, war, iraq