A Blogger’s Last Words: Soldier Andrew Olmsted

This post is a bit more morbid than the usual posts in this space. I am going to talk about death. As if that isn’t enough, I’m also going to talk about the conflict in Iraq. Some of you might wish to skip this entry. Let me assure you upfront that I am fine. My mental health is good. I am not contemplating suicide. I am not pondering my own mortality any more than usual. I found this blog post through work and find the topic relevant and compelling enough, despite the sad nature, to discuss it here.

Soldier and blogger Andrew Olmsted arranged to have someone make a post he wrote in case of his death and, unfortunately, that person had to carry out her task. Olmsted reflects on what he learned through blogging, his military service, and, of course, life. Olmsted died when his unit was ambushed in Iraq. Another soldier was killed and one was wounded in the attack. At the time a sniper shot him, Olmsted was trying to negotiate with some insurgents to avoid a fight. More details are available on Obsidian Wings. I appreciate Olmsted’s foresight that led him to prepare some last thoughts to share with his audience.

When I think about all the projects and activities I’m involved in, I often wonder what might happen if I die or somehow become unable to carry on. I often think about who besides family, friends, and coworkers might need to be notified. Maybe that’s a sign I’m doing too much. ; ) One of the big reasons I gave other people access to the scratchpad is so someone can share the news here. What happens to this space after I’m done with it, I guess, is up to y’all. But I haven’t drafted a last post. Nor do I hope I need to any time soon. But death is a rather unexpected sort of thing at times. (Am I jinxing myself here? If so, so long and thanks for all the comments. Give my love to the world, my parents (Mom++), and that fabulous special someone.)

I think I need to contact a few folks now …

Anyway …

Thanks for letting me share some thoughts on such a morbid topic. And thanks for letting me broach the conflict in Iraq—definitely not a topic safe for work discussions. Those of you who have read the scratchpad for years (can you believe it’ll be 5 years in April?!?) probably remember a few blogging projects related to the war I followed during my early time as a blogger. Skimming Olmstead’s weblog and Obsidian Wings brought back some memories, including how some blogging soldiers had to stop because of Department of Defense rules. Luckily, the family and friends I know who have served or are serving in our conflict zones are, to the best of my knowledge, still alive. (May luck keep them that way and protect all our men and women in the armed forces.)

Addendum 1/12: Thanks for the spelling correction, GF.

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