The Other Side Of The Story - Pilot Refutes SFTT Story
Friends of Democracy


Yesterday was Australia Day, India Republic Day, and a certain blogger's birthday.

In the midst of celebrations (and I was live blogging from Dublin's Pub and moving to a certain Owl-themed restaurant), I received this information from Amy and Seamus:

A message from the Commanding General of the 1st Marine Division:

    The 26th of January 2005 was a tragic day for the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, and Airmen of the 1st Marine Division.  Thirty-one of our brothers in arms perished in a helicopter crash while conducting security and stabilization operations in the Al Anbar province.  Although our mission is dangerous and we understand the risk associated with our task, losses of this magnitude remind us all of how fragile life is.  Our Division has reflected on the sacrifice of these brave warriors and said a prayer for their families and friends.  Although our hearts are burdened by this loss, we continue to march toward our goal of a free and democratic Iraq.  We will honor their sacrifice with our deeds.  The first free election in Iraqi history will occur in no small part due to the efforts of the members of the 1st Marine Division who have sacrificed for this historic day.

    We also send our condolences to the families and friends who lost loved ones from the 3d Marine Aircraft Wing.  We often talk about the Marine Corps being a family.  Whenever a family loses one of its’ own, it comes together to find the strength and courage to persevere.  Today we are not separated by unit, occupational specialty, or rank; but rather joined by the bonds forged of 229 years of brotherhood.  Together we will carry on. We honor all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the service of our nation.

    May God bless all those who we have lost and the Marines, Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and families of the 1st Marine Division.

I deleted the only post yesterday in mid-revelry because, obviously, I didn't think it appropriate anymore.  Many toasts were made to the Marines (and one Sailor) yesterday.

Edd Hendee is an embed with the Lone Star Times and wrote about the tragedy.

Thanks to the few commenters from yesterday - I'm sure you understand.