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September 01, 2005
I May Be Dead, But I'm Over 24 Years Old
An Editorial Ghostwritten by Army Spc. Casey Sheehan
Posted by Army Spc. Casey Sheehan at 11:27 AM | View blog reactions | Comments (12)

 Hey, Mom. Things don't always work out exactly as planned, and I certainly didn't think I'd have to be dictating a letter through an Ouija board. Originally, I just wanted to do my service in the Army and go on to other things, but we know how that worked out. Anyway, I have a few things to say, but I don't want you to take them the wrong way. A lot of people have been saying the nastiest things about you, but I know they're not true.

 First off, I'm sorry. I made you cry - a lot - and I didn't want that. Now you and Dad have split up, and you can't tell me that isn't my fault. Plus, I hear you're not speaking with a lot of the family because they supported Bush and the war. There has always been political differences in the family, but I know this wouldn't have happened if I hadn't gone off to Iraq and gotten killed. I never meant for all this to happen, and I'm feeling guilty.

 But here's the thing, I chose to go to Iraq. I re-enlisted in 2004, when all the arguments against the war there are now were already out there. I also volunteered for that mission in which I got killed. I was a grown man, and I made my choices. Maybe they were stupid choices and I got duped into this whole thing - I certainly didn't mean to die - but they were my decisions and I thought what I was doing was right.

 Now, I know we never saw eye to eye on the war, but you had always supported me. You and Dad even visited me while I was training in California. I really appreciated it; pretty much no other families did that. The thing is, I'd still like some of that support now.

 You know how back when I was a kid you used to spit on napkin and wipe my face in front of my friends and I'd get all embarrassed? Well, this whole "Camp Casey" thing is like that times a million. I know you don't mean it that way, but you make it sound like I was some dumb kid led by the pied piper to Iraq. I knew exactly what I was doing, though, and I wasn’t a kid. Now, through your camp, my name is associated with all this people I wouldn't want anything to do with - people I don't think are your real friends either. Then the media has all these statements from you and everyone is trying to make it sound like you're some nut when I know you’re just trying your best to do right by me.

 Now that you're heading away from Crawford and the hurricane has gotten the media attention away from you, maybe it's time to take a rest. I'm not going to argue politics with you, and, if you want to argue against the war, keep doing so... but maybe more low key. Still, I know you want to blame Bush for me dying, but, to be honest, then you have to blame me some too. It wasn't just his decisions that put we out there.

 Anyway, I met this Iraqi kid the other day; he was gassed by Saddam. When he found what I was killed doing, he gave me a hug and said, "Thank you." That's what I really want. I understand if you're not up to it now, but, maybe sometime in the future, you could go to my grave and say thanks to me... thanks for trying to do what I thought was right, at least, even if we didn't agree on it. That's all.

 I love you, Mom.

Army Spc. Casey Sheehan was killed in Sadr City, Iraq, on Palm Sunday, April 4th, 2004, after volunteering for a rescue mission of fellow soldiers. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star for valor.

Rating: 2.1/5 (24 votes cast)

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