bombarded with a variety of stories from the ridiculous (DoD supports
Western California Red Tailed Hawk Habitat) to the grim. Most of the
messages I gloss over and move on. The net has replaced the newspaper
and broadcast media as my primary and usually single source for
Every day I stop, however, and carefully read the casualty reports.
These are only the notices which have resulted in fatalities. Spc.
Ashley, a young man from Kansas lost his life in service to his nation
on May 24th. He was doing what he was trained to do, doing what he
volunteered to do and doing it for nations, which at times, have no idea
of the measure of sacrifice exhibited by these young men and women.
Citizen Primus, my oldest, saw the headlines in the worst paper in the
world (WPITW), the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The front page read "100 Fallen Georgia Soldiers". With a note of
surprise in his voice, he asked me what that meant. I explained to him
that we are at war and that people die in war. He is a very smart guy,
he knows that his great-grandfather served in WWII, he knows that his
father served in the Korean War and yet when he and I talk about the
current conflict - it's difficult to translate.
I do not want him to become obsessed or fearful of what is transpiring.
I do want him to understand that there is a good and evil in the world.
A set of choices we all make which can be described as right and wrong,
including the choices which skew more into the grey area. Choices of
conscience and choices of action.
Spc. Ashley made a choice. What all of his reasons behind that choice
were are unknown to me, but I think I understand some of them. I think
he served in the hopes that someday a generation will not be burdened
with that same choice.
Make your Memorial Day a true time of reflection and remembrance.
From: owner-dodnews-l@DTIC.MIL [mailto:owner-dodnews-l@DTIC.MIL] On
Behalf Of DoD News
Sent: Friday, May 25, 2007 8:18 AM
Subject: DoD Identifies Army Casualty
NEWS RELEASES from the United States Department of Defense
No. 644-07 IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 25, 2007
Media Contact: (703) 697-5131/697-5132
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was
supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Spc. Benjamin J. Ashley, 22, of Independence, Mo., died May 24 in
Balad, Iraq, of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device
detonated near his vehicle.Ashley was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th
Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort
For more information in regard to this release the media can contact the
Fort Riley public affairs office at (785) 239-3410.
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IN HONOR OF SPC. BENJAMIN J. ASHLEY 1/5 1st BDE 1ID