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Two years ago today, Vice President Dick Cheney appeared on Larry King live to tell the American people that the Iraqi insurgency is "in its last throes" and that military activity in Iraq will decline.
So it's pretty sad and ironic that in light of the ever-increasing number of American servicemen getting killed by these "last throes" of militants, Fort Lewis has announced it will no longer hold individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers, instead holding larger, "super-sized" monthly memorials for all the dead servicemen each month.
But hey, good thing this Iraq issue is winding down...
Fort Lewis, which this month has suffered its worst losses of the war, will no longer conduct individual memorial ceremonies for soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Instead, the post will hold one ceremony for all soldiers killed each month, the Fort Lewis acting commanding general, Brig. Gen. William Troy, wrote in a memo to commanders and staff last week.
“As much as we would like to think otherwise, I am afraid that with the number of soldiers we now have in harm’s way, our losses will preclude us from continuing to do individual memorial ceremonies,” Troy wrote in the memo, according to a copy obtained by United for Peace Pierce County and posted on the group’s Web site. A post spokesman confirmed the policy change Tuesday. It will start in June.
There are 10,000 Fort Lewis troops in Iraq, more than at any other time since the March 2003 invasion. The post has reported 16 soldiers killed there so far in May, by far the most in any month of the war. The previous worst month was December 2004, when nine soldiers were killed, including six in the Mosul chow hall bombing. In all overseas deployments since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, 124 Fort Lewis soldiers have died.
In his memo dated May 22, Troy said he asked the post’s senior chaplain, Col. Jack Van Dyken, to work out the details of the new policy.
“I see this as a way of sharing the heavy burdens our spouses and rear detachments bear, while giving our fallen warriors the respect they deserve,” Troy wrote. “It will also give the families of the fallen the opportunity to bond with one another, as they see others who share their grief.”
Here, the chairman of Veteran's rights organization, votevets.org comments on the administration and its principal "Uncle Tom", John McCain, who was in law school during the Vietnam war and didn't serve and isn't listening to the troops as he wanders among them, under tight security, in Iraq.
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