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Major killed by sniper bids his farewell in blog

By LEO SHANE III | STARS AND STRIPES Published: January 8, 2008

WASHINGTON — Army blogger Maj. Andrew Olmsted was killed Jan. 3 during a mission in Iraq, but that didn’t stop him from getting in one more post.

The 37-year-old Colorado resident, who had been a frequent contributor to the Rocky Mountain News and his personal Web site, left a lengthy reflection on his life with a friend before his deployment, with instructions to put it online in the event of his death.

When friends confirmed over the weekend that Olmsted was killed by sniper fire in Sadiyah, they posted his posthumous goodbye: serious thoughts on his family and mission in Iraq, mixed with some dark humor and pleas against mourning.

Included were these lines:

“What I don’t want this to be is a chance for me, or anyone else, to be maudlin. I’m dead. That sucks, at least for me and my family and friends. But all the tears in the world aren’t going to bring me back, so I would prefer that people remember the good things about me rather than mourning my loss.

“(If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.)

“I had a pretty good life … Sure, all things being equal I would have preferred to have more time, but I have no business complaining with all the good fortune I’ve enjoyed in my life.

“So if you’re up for that, put on a little ’80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can’t laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little.

“I’m dead, but if you’re reading this, you’re not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.”

His full post is available at: Obsidian Winds.


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