By ALISA TANG
KABUL, Afghanistan Apr 23, 2007 (AP)â€” An Army sergeant complained in a rare opinion article that the U.S. flag flew at half-staff last week at the largest U.S. base in Afghanistan for those killed at Virginia Tech but the same honor is not given to fallen U.S. troops here and in Iraq.
In the article issued Monday by the public affairs office at Bagram military base north of Kabul, Sgt. Jim Wilt lamented that his comrades’ deaths have become a mere blip on the TV screen, lacking the “shock factor” to be honored by the Stars and Stripes as the deaths at Virginia Tech were.
“I find it ironic that the flags were flown at half-staff for the young men and women who were killed at VT, yet it is never lowered for the death of a U.S. service member,” Wilt wrote.
He noted that Bagram obeyed President Bush’s order last week that all U.S. flags at federal locations be flown at half-staff through April 22 to honor 32 people killed at Virginia Tech by a 23-year-old student gunman who then killed himself.
“I think it is sad that we do not raise the bases’ flag to half-staff when a member of our own task force dies,” Wilt said.
Irony doesn’t even begin to express it. I take comfort in the fact that an active-duty soldier is expressing sentiments such as this. It gives me hope that the cause is not lost, and that we may yet salvage the republic.