Editor’s Note — We’ve updated the post to include official figures from the Pentagon’s report. — Scott @ SFB
Part of me can still see this little boy scurrying around in the balcony of our church. I just cannot believe that he’s gone.New Zion Baptist Church pastor Reverend William Wright • Remembering Army Spec. David Hickman, the 4,474th and final United States military casualty of the war in Iraq. Many who were close to Hickman recently spoke with The Daily, sharing their memories of the former athlete and tae kwon do black belt, six months after he was killed by an IED while driving through Baghdad. source (via • follow)
A missing ankle bone. Some missing tissue. A sawed-off arm. War is an ugly thing, and the death of a soldier is certainly one of the more difficult things to put into a pretty package. But three employees at the Dover, Delaware Air Force base found out that “close enough” isn’t good enough when it’s someone’s life in the package. They got reprimanded (but not fired) for the mishandling of the soldiers’ remains, leading to some shocking and gruesome details getting out to the press. As this is a sensitive issue, the Air Force is working to ensure this won’t happen again. “We and every employee of the Dover Port Mortuary understand the obligations of this work, the sanctity of this work, the necessity, the need for reverence, the need for dignity and respect for our fallen, just as if these were our sons and our daughters,” noted Gen. Norton A. Schwartz, the chief of staff for the Air Force. source
» Going on a diet: With over half a million soldiers, the U.S. Army isn’t lacking in warm bodies, but those numbers went way up in recent years, in part due to the troop surge in Afghanistan. With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, the Army is ready to move on. “We feel that with the demand going down in Iraq and Afghanistan, and given the time to conduct a reasonable drawdown, we can manage (the force reduction) just as we have managed drawdowns in the past,” noted Lt. Gen. Thomas Bostick. Is this nearly enough?