And Then There Were Five

It took seven soldiers to tell the whole story.  Seven men who penned a controversial OpEd in the NYT whose goal it was to dispell the ongoing novelization of the situation in Iraq and reinject into the conflict the wide reaching complexity that has allowed US success in the country to elude us every step of the way.  Seven, and now two are gone.

Sgt. Omar Mora and Sgt. Yance T. Gray died Monday in a vehicle accident in western Baghdad, two of seven U.S. troops killed in the incident which was reported just as Gen. David Petraeus was about to report to Congress on progress in the “surge.” The names have just been released.

Gen. Petraeus was questioned about the message of the op-ed in testimony before a Senate committee yesterday.

The controversial Times column on Aug. 19 was called “The War As We Saw It,” and expressed skepticism about American gains in Iraq. “To believe that Americans, with an occupying force that long ago outlived its reluctant welcome, can win over a recalcitrant local population and win this counterinsurgency is far-fetched,” the group wrote.

It closed: “We need not talk about our morale. As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.”

Mora, 28, hailed from Texas City, Texas, and was a native of Ecuador, who had just become a U.S. citizen. He was due to leave Iraq in November and leaves behind a wife and daughter. Gray, 26, had lived in Ismay, Montana, and is also survived by a wife and infant daughter.

Every soldier lost in this ongoing conflict is a tragedy, and an open wound upon the fabric of the United States.  My heart goes out to Sgt. Mora’s and Sgt. Gray’s families.  May they rest in piece and may their children grow up knowing how truly heroic their fathers were.

6 Responses to “And Then There Were Five”

  1. Macswain says:

    Actually:

    “One of the other five authors of the Times piece, Staff Sergeant Jeremy Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head while the article was being written. He was expected to survive after being flown to a military hospital in the United States.”

    So its 3 out of 7 who are casualties. These are the guys who are truly seeing the bullets fly. Yet, they’ve been largely ignored by the elites in Washington and the media for a guy who doesn’t now if his troop demands will make us safer and is so myopic, he doesn’t seem to care what impact his recommendations have on our ability to deal with issues anywhere other than Iraq.

  2. You know… I read that too, but the wording of the article had been ambiguous, and there was too much noise in trying to search if he was still alive or not as a result of the OpEd he penned a couple of weeks ago.

  3. Kenn Duncan says:

    Tell Gray is (was) my son-in-law. He was an honest and respected member of the army. Tell would not have written his letter to the NYT if he had not sincerely believed in all that he was writing. Didn’t bush once say that people can voice their opinions in this free society, but there will be a price to pay for it? I think he said that about the Dixie Chicks. Regardless, our family is deeply troubled and saddened by his death. Tell believed in what he was doing with the army, because it was his job. But he did doubt that bush and his buddies were on the right track. I will miss you Tell.

  4. I…

    Thank you Mr. Duncan, for stopping by. You and your family have my deepest condolences, and I want you to know, that I respect not only your son in law’s service, but the bravery to do what I wouldn’t, both in the terms of his service, and in the terms of speaking his mind about that service.

    We lost truly great men that day.

  5. Kelley Gunn says:

    i am a wife to a soldier that is stationed with the men who were both injured and killed. in my position, it’s so hard to be thankful for my husband’s life when i know that so many of his friends were lost that day. see, he’s in the same unit, and knew 6 out of the 7 men. i knew 3 of them. i was knew sgt gray’s wife, and right now, all i know is that my heart goes out to her. i know what she felt for sgt gray, and i know how happy she was when he came home, when they were together. it hurts me to know that someone so loving and wonderful could be taken away virtually overnight. i can’t imagine being in her place, and yet i have this overtaking sense of guilt because i my husband is ok. anyways, we lost some wonderful soldiers, some wonderful fathers, and above all, some wonderful men.

    –kelley gunn
    proud WIFE of SPC Micah J Gunn

  6. Mrs. Gunn,

    First, you have every right to be thankful for your husband’s life. There is nothing wrong with this, and it is a gift for which you should be rightfully grateful and joyous. My way of thinking, in and out of the military, we can all lose the most important people in our lives at a moment’s notice. If we love them, then we have to let them know that, we have to celebrate that love, and to my way of thinking not doing that does everyone a disservice. In a way, you honor the loss of our fallen soldiers by appreciating what you still have.

    And earlier today I did a little research on Sgt. Gray. Mostly google stuff, and… He leaves behind a beautiful family, and I feel for them so much. His daughter is about the age of my younger daughter, and I saw this picture, and they were so happy, and that joy they shared as a family truly shown through and to know that there’s this gaping hole there now… that just kinda ripped me apart inside.

    I wish I knew the words to honor all of these brave men and women. I wish I knew what to do to bring them home to their families where they belong. But I don’t.

    Anyway, my hopes go out to you and the family of not only Sgt. Gray, but to the families of all 3700 fallen angels.

    Further, I hope you learn to love without the guilt, there is no need for it.

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