Posted by: Kate | January 18, 2007

Another Casualty of War

I wonder, exactly what goes into the country’s statistics about casualties of our current Iraqi Insanity? I know my friend’s husband, who was killed by a road-side bomb in February 2004, gets officially counted. But what about the girl, locally – I won’t mention her name because I want to give her family some space, though she wasn’t a client of my agency and I have no legal need to protect her confidentiality – who died on Sunday? She hung herself upon being informed that her boyfriend was being shipped to Iraq. She was 19 years old, and an honor student.

I know, there had to have been underlying problems for someone to react that intensely to a what-if sort of situation, so I know she won’t get any acknowledgment for dying for her country. But it seems to me that maybe her country played a role in killing her, nonetheless.

And let me be clear – this is not an anti-Bush rant (though I can go on one if you really want me to), nor is it anti-military. I don’t like that we live in a world where military force is necessary, but I can dislike the institution while still having respect and appreciation for the people who, by choice or by necessity, keep that force running. I do think – and have from the start – that we have no business in Iraq, imposing our priorities on a bunch of people who don’t want what we have to offer.

And I’ll muzzle myself here rather than launch on an uninformed rant, because, really, who needs that?



  1. How sad for this girl, the boyfriend and her family.

    To me, though, it’s a stretch to say her country had a role in killing her, and a stretch to say she died for her country.

    I also could write an anti-Bush rant, and abhor the need for a military while being grateful for having a pretty darn good one. I always thought, “Why can’t disputes be settled over a game of chess? Why the death and destruction?”

    Apparently no one is listening to me.

  2. How sad for the girl, her boyfriend and her family. Sometimes life doesn’t make sense, and I wish sometimes that we could ask those that choose such drastic reactions to this kind of news why they thought what they did would help? I know there would probably be an answer that made perfect sense to them, and none to the ones left behind.

    But that being said I can’t say blaming the country or the awful state that having her boyfriend shipped over there put her in is right. Sigh, there is no right answer.

  3. That really sucks that she hanged herself. Seems to me she was probably near to jumping off that edge anyway. Had her boyfriend not been sent to Iraq, would she have hanged herself if he had to move to Georgia? Or got in a car accident? Or took too long taking a dump one day?

  4. How terribly sad for that girl – but doubtless she had underlining problems that would cause her to act in such a rash manner. Being sad is one thing – but to say that she died for her country or the country played a role in it? Um – I have to disagree. Her act was a selfish one. That’s what I think suicide is….she took the “easy” way out instead of dealing with her issues and trying to get help.

  5. Oh, agreed, you’re all right. I’m just too close to it, having had my friend over once a week for months after her husband was killed. Any inkling of support I had for the *war* (as opposed to supporting the people) – and it wasn’t much – evaporated then and there.

    I don’t think the country is specifically at fault, no. But I do think it’s a contributing factor, in the same way that the suicide of a parent can be a contributing factor in the suicide of a child. It’s always, ultimately, the choice and responsibility of the person who commits suicide – but things add up to it, straw that broke the camel’s back etc.


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