Washington Post obit:
Pvt. Benjamin L. Freeman
Hometown: Valdosta, GA
Date of Death: 10/13/2003
Incident Location: Near Asad, Iraq
Branch of Military: Army
Unit: K Troop, 3rd Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment
Unit's Base: Fort Carson, Colo.
Three days before he left for Iraq, Pvt. Benjamin L. Freeman was married in Colorado. "He looked forward to being a wonderful husband to his wife, April, and having children of his own," said his mother, Vicki Freeman. Freeman, 19, of Valdosta, Ga., drowned on Oct. 13 in the Euphrates River northwest of Baghdad. He had joined the Army earlier this year and was based at Fort Carson. "He was only 19, but he was no longer just a teenager. He had become a determined young man, clear thinking and motivated," said his uncle, Lee Freeman. "He knew that we all recognized this, and he knew how proud we all were of him." Freeman was an accomplished guitarist who wrote his own music. A recording of one of his songs was played at the funeral.
I realize most would not consider Pvt. Freeman to have been killed in action, but he might very well still be alive if he hadn't been sent to fight an unjustified war. He was inspired to join the military because of the attacks on September 11, but he wasn't sent to bring those responsible to justice. He was sent . . . for what, again? Oil? Family Grudge match? WMDs? Well, the Iraqis have a huge surplus of cash from their oil profits, while we're facing an historically high deficit and spending billions to rebuild their country. There were no WMDs, and I just can't stand that Valdosta lost one of their bright hopes for the future because of the ridiculous excuse for foreign policy practiced by the Bush Administration. The occupation of Iraq must end. We must bring them home.
Related: Inspiration, Part One, Parts Two and Three, Part Four, Part Five, Part Six, Part Seven, Part Eight, Part Nine, Part Ten