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Two months after I came home from Vietnam, my closest friend was KIA when the mini-gun on a cobra gunship misfired and struck inside the small Ranger Team’s perimeter. Specialist Four Jaime Pacheco had, only moments before, rushed forward to throw 12-15 grenades and cover the withdrawal of his team mates. After Jaime’s death, the Company XO sent me a letter detailing how Jaime was killed, including the fact that it was friendly fire. This of course, took nothing away from Jaime’s earlier actions to save the team, actions that resulted in award of the Silver Star (Posthumously).
Not until I met Jaime’s family in 1998 did I see his Silver Star citation, which was presented to his family after his death. Like the Tillman case, there was no mention of the friendly-fire cause of death. With some unknown “sixth sense,” Jaime’s mother and siblings, as well as his son, always suspected there was something amiss.
I thought they were aware of the true circumstances of Jaime’s death and, after visiting with them and “spilling the beans” I felt quite guilty. Surprisingly, finally knowing the truth after more than 25 years actually brought closure.
Friendly fire deaths are facts of life in combat. The same cobra that took Jaime’s life may well have previously saved his own, as well as countless other soldiers. I’ve always had great sympathy for that pilot, and a proud respect for Jaime’s actions. I only wish the Army had told the family the truth in the beginning.p>Should anyone wish to read Jaime’s story, it is online here and there are copies of his Silver Star Citation and the letter from our XO detailing how he REALLY died ( here ). Those facts don’t take away from his service, his sacrifice, or his heroism. The same is true for Jaime’s fellow Ranger of a new generation, Pat Tillman. br> — Doug Sterner br> Pueblo, Colorado
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online