Patterico's Pontifications


“He Wanted to Die for Something”

Filed under: War — DRJ @ 5:22 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

The 1,000th American serviceman has died in Afghanistan:

“An Associated Press tally shows Leicht is the 1,000th U.S. serviceman killed in the Afghan conflict. The first death — nearly nine years ago — was also a soldier from the San Antonio area.

“He said he always wanted to die for his country and be remembered,” said Jesse Leicht, his younger brother. “He didn’t want to die having a heart attack or just being an old man. He wanted to die for something.”

The AP bases its tally on Defense Department reports of deaths suffered as a direct result of the Afghan conflict, including personnel assigned to units in Afghanistan, Pakistan or Uzbekistan.

Other news organizations count deaths suffered by service members assigned elsewhere as part of Operation Enduring Freedom, which includes operations in the Philippines, the Horn of Africa and at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Leicht’s brothers told the AP that the military also told the family that his death put the toll at 1,000.

When military officers went to tell Leicht’s parents that their adopted son had died in combat, sheriff’s deputies had to help navigate them to the 130-acre family ranch tucked impossibly deep in the Texas Hill Country.

It was here that Jacob Leicht chopped thick cedar trees and hiked the rugged limestone peaks, growing up into an imposing 6-5, 200-pound Marine with a soft heart. He watched “Dora the Explorer” with his brother’s children and confided to family that he was troubled by the thought of young civilians being killed in battle.”

Leicht — who was born on July 4th — had just returned to the front line after spending 2 years recovering from injuries inflicted by an Iraqi IED. He wrote letters begging to be sent back and was finally cleared to return just over a month ago.

Apparently the desire to serve runs in this family. His brother Jesse enlisted in the Marines 9 days ago.

MORE: Michael Yon says “ AfPak shows every indication of becoming far worse than Iraq ever was.”


14 Responses to ““He Wanted to Die for Something””

  1. This is unbelievably sad. I wonder why the writer felt that it was important to state that this hero was adopted? Is he insinuating that somehow he is less his parents’ son? This is a pet peeve of mine-your child is your child is your child, biological or adopted, and he should be referred to in that way-their son.

    magnolia (b2ed5e)

  2. Am I experiencing deja vu over the body count? The “news” organs sure made a big deal about it when Bush was President.

    Bill M (219c16)

  3. Semper fi, Jacob. Godspeed.

    navyvet (206534)

  4. I added thoughts about Afghanistan from Michael Yon.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  5. Far be it from me to question Michael Yon, but he was pretty negative on Iraq for awhile before “the surge” showed signs of working; which is reasonable to the degree he was basing his assessment on what was, not what might happen if a new approach was tried.

    On the other hand, there is probably good reason why Afghani folklore states that when the devil was thrown out of heaven he landed in Kabul.

    MD in Philly (3d3f72)

  6. Thank you Jacob.

    highpockets (cf4a2b)

  7. “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather we should thank God that such men lived.”
    Gen George S. Patton

    May the life you live be worthy of the sacrifices of men and women such as this.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  8. It’s really hard to tell, MD. One “benefit” of the media’s hatred of President Bush is that the war in Iraq was subjected to intense negative scrutiny, so we knew a lot about everything that went wrong. We still get reports about Afghanistan (like this New York Times’ article on the problems with drones) but there don’t seem to be as many and they aren’t as probing.

    DRJ (d43dcd)

  9. I think that is a very appropriate pet peeve to have in this case.

    happyfeet (c8caab)

  10. The stupid reporter has no clue, about what dying for one’s country, or even more his fellow troops
    is all about

    ian cormac (ee040c)

  11. Memorial Day and Veteran’s Day are holidays that I reflect and remember on rather than “celebrate”.
    Veteran’s Day for the “all who gave some” and Memorial Day for the “Some Who Gave All”.

    Semper Fi, Jacob!

    AD - RtR/OS! (36a650)

  12. When one ignores history, the lesson indicates one will tend to repeat it!

    There is no shortage of failures associated with this country and invaders. Just a continuing line of changing dates and names.

    Nice to know our ten years is about up, which pretty well matches the many other historical names in the ledgers.

    A reminder that the ten years the USSR spent there only managed to financially weaken them to a point that the USSR was forced to dissolve.

    RRR (0b9ca4)

  13. The people of this country have enjoyed our freedoms for over 200 years because of soldiers like Jacob. It’s trite to say freedom’s not free but it is only true because Jacob and others have paid the ultimate price for us.

    May God bless his family and bring it peace.

    R.I.P. Jacob and thank you.

    MU789 (bf47e4)

  14. Friday’s ABC Network News had a story on the 1000th death. Recall that similar stories in the MSM between 2003 and 2008 would use the phrase “Grim Milestone.” On Friday, the phrase “Milestone of Sacrifice” appeared.

    Arthur (5098e4)

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