A decade after the Iraq war started, one cost, multiplied

March 18, 2013 

Capt. Andrew Pedersen-Keel

Capt. Andrew Michael Pedersen-Keel was a Green Beret. He died last week in Afghanistan, gunned down by an Afghan policeman who turned his weapon on soldiers. Keel leaves behind his parents and a sister.

We reported about Pedersen-Keel on Thursday. It was the 448th time we have written a story announcing the death of a Fort Bragg soldier, a Pope Field airman or a service member with local roots since 2001.

Spc. Josiah Crumpler

Chief Warrant Officer 2 Michael S. Duskin

Staff Sgt. Scott W. Brunkhorst

Spc. David Hickman

Staff Sgt. Robert J. Miller

Listed above and below are just a few of the names of those killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Most of those names are, or will be, inscribed on a memorial wall somewhere. And they will live on in the memories of those who loved them.

No matter how history may judge the post-9/11 wars, it is a simple truth that these men and women stood up when their country called and gave their lives in its service.

That’s why we believe it is so important to remember each in the pages of our newspaper.

It is their due.

Pfc. Jarrod A. Lallier

Tech. Sgt. John W. Brown

Staff Sgt. Donna Johnson

1st Lt. Salvatore Corma

Sgt. James M. Treber

Each afternoon, we hold a meeting to decide where stories will run in the newspaper. For the past few years, the story of a death in combat has always gone on the front page.

In a community such as ours, surrounded as we are by military families, wartime sacrifices have become the new normal. It is easy to lose sight of the extraordinary commitment that soldiers make.

We run the stories about combat deaths because they are news, important to our readers. But each story is also a reminder that war is not an abstract concept here, the temporary home of so many men and women in uniform.

Cpl. Christopher J. West

Capt. Ronald G. Luce

Staff Sgt. Robert B. Cowdrey

Sgt. Joshua Boyd

MCT Information Services

Michael Adams is executive editor

of the Fayetteville Observer.

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