Daily Kos
Political analysis and other daily rants on the state of the nation

Sunday | August 17, 2003

Iraq KIA figures revised upwards

Casualty figures have been updated by the military to take into account soldiers who died after being evacuated from Iraq.

I'm not sure of the Iraq Coalition Casualty Count website has taken the new numbers into consideration, but this Reuters chart lists 16 more killed in action (330 vs. 314). That total now includes the first non-US or UK solider killed -- a Dane.

(Incidentally, did you know that non-combat also includes friendly-fire incidents? It does.)

So is 330 and counting worth the price for the Iraq "liberation"?

Spc. [Justin] Hebert, an Army paratrooper with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, was killed Aug. 1 when his convoy was attacked with rocket-propelled grenades in Iraq. He had celebrated his 20th birthday four days earlier [...]

Many who attended the services recalled Justin Hebert before he joined the Army, a shy, quiet kid who dreamed of a life beyond rural Snohomish County.

Hebert was so intent on leaving this small town that he committed to joining the Army when he was 17. He was still a junior at Arlington High School and needed his parents' signature to enlist, said his father, Bill Hebert [...]

"He knew he wanted to see the world and go to college," said Dan Hebert, Justin's uncle. "The way the economy is, the service is just about the only chance these kids have."

Hebert thrived in the Army. He met a girlfriend in Germany, partied in nightclubs in Italy and earned 40 college credits studying business administration over the Internet.

American Legionnaires from the Stanwood chapter linger after paying their respects at yesterday's funeral for Army Spc. Justin Hebert, 20, killed in Iraq. In the background is the historic Little White Church on the Hill in the Snohomish County town of Silvana, where Hebert grew up."He always seemed like a quiet little boy," Casey Brown said. "But when he came back, he had blossomed. He started talking, and he had a lot to say. He became a man."

I was just like Justin once upon a time, enlisting at 17 (with angry parents reluctantly signing my enlistment papers), dreaming of getting out and seeing the world. Becoming a man while serving my country.

Except I got a chance to continue living my life. Thanks to Bush's lies, Justin didn't.

Posted August 17, 2003 11:03 AM | Comments (164)


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