Minh-Duc, like the rest of us, woke up Wednesday to a fecefull of “2,000 dead,” courtesy of our anti-war … er, round-number-obsessed media. But as a Reservist who served in this war, he also connected that tragic number with another story that many newspapers buried inside, or neglected to run at all (many, but, to their credit, not all): The certification that the new Iraqi constitution had passed a popular referendum. Surely that was a “milestone,” too.

Every fallen soldier is a great loss to his/her family, the community, and the country. The media by paying special attention to this day when the number reached 2,000 miss the point. This war is not about the deads but the livings – counts the living not the deads. Count the number Iraqi voters in the next coming election and many elections to come. Count the children who would have died in the cripping sanction.

My experience had much bitter. I wrote about it here. It even titles: “They Year of Discontent.” It was a bitter and difficult year – many days I was in despair. But we did great thing – against great odds. And we did it not knowing what the outcome would be, not knowing if we would be appreciated for our sacrifice, not knowing if our political leaders have the conviction and wisdom to lead us to victory. We did it on faith – faith in our own nobility and hopefully the nobility of the Iraqis. I did not realize the fruit of my labor until January 30th, 2005 when Iraqi flocked to the poll to elect the first representative government.

Today, it is confirmed that the Iraqi constitution has passed. I cannot help but think that those days in Iraq were the proudest days of my life. Days that I can retell my children and grandchildren with pride. I have served with the most noble breed of men and women – some are counted among the 2,000 deads. I will remember fondly the numerous convoys we were on together – on an IED ladden road between Mandali and Balad Ruz. The rides were terrified – but the companies were terrific. I will remember fondly the meals we ate together. It was the worst tasting food I ever had; but I could not have it with better companions.

Let them count the deads, I will count them too. But I will remember them with pride, not with shame. My proudest days was short live, their are eternal.

[Hat tip, Vietpundit]

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