From Wednesday's The Washington Post:
The service member killed in Afghanistan’s restive Helmand province earlier this week has been identified as Staff Sgt. Matthew V. Thompson, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
Thompson’s patrol triggered a roadside bomb Tuesday, wounding another American and six Afghan soldiers.
According to a statement released by the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan, U.S. troops were accompanying their Afghan counterparts near the province’s capital of Lashkar Gah when their unit came under attack.
Thompson, 28, of Irvine, Calif., was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 1st Special Forces group, according to an Army release. The incident is under investigation.
“He was an exceptional Green Beret, a cherished teammate, and devoted husband. His service in Afghanistan and Iraq speak to his level of dedication, courage, and commitment to something greater than himself,” said Lt. Col. Kevin M. Trujillo, the commander of the U.S. Special Operations task force in Afghanistan.
According to the Army release, Thompson enlisted in the Army in 2011 and reported as a medical sergeant to 1st Special Forces Group in 2014. He was on his first stint in Afghanistan when he was killed and had previously deployed to Iraq in support of the U.S.-led war against the Islamic State there.
Thompson was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart, a Bronze Star with a V for valor in combat and the Combat Infantry Badge.
For some time, our political "leaders" have engaged foreign campaigns of military conquest, pacification and even societal transformation in which they've managed to offer up the lives of the few, the proud, the brave on a daily basis as testimony to their utter lack of ability to either fight a war decisively and competently or to energize a civilian population that is steeped in the pursuit of individual "happiness" to engage even the slightest thread of an emotional or intellectual commitment to share in the sacrifice. It's obvious that the current political leadership doesn't have any faith in the ability of the average American civilian to handle truth. It's easier to tell them to go about their business as if their sons and daughters are not dying in far off lands because, actually, for the overwhelming majority of Americans, they're not. It's the warrior elite that's paying the price. A warrior elite that day-by-day, life-by-shattered-life, loses limbs, organs or lives (all they are and all they ever will be) so that the overwhelming majority of the rest of us can order a large Dominos Pizza ("hand tossed crust, pepperoni, mushrooms, green peppers and onions, please"), which we'll wash down with our sugared carbonated water and polish off with a 10-piece set of buffalo wings, and watch our cellulite-laden asses and love handles grow exponentially with each AK-47 bullet or RPG or IED that pierces defective body armor or an unshielded limb of another professional soldier.
With a few exceptions, neither the clowns in the current White House nor the Republicans and Democrats in Congress are worthy of the men and women at the tip of the spear who are thrust into whatever hell hole the politicians who run this great experiment in democracy decide. If you think that a change of control of either the White House (especially with the two clowns running in front this year), the Senate or the House of Representatives would make a profound difference, you're kidding yourself. Instead, look in a mirror. We have met the enemy, and he is us.
This is the life we have chosen. A small group of professional soldiers is paid to fight and die for whatever purpose their government decides to sacrifice them. The rest of us concern ourselves with our kid's soccer games, "America's Got Talent," and the bastard who cut us off in traffic.
Am I the only person who sees the beginning of the end? Apparently so.
Never mind. Go back to "Saturday Night Live."