A respected member of the blogging community who also happened to be serving our nation was killed in Iraq Wednesday.
Frank Salvato, editor of The New Media Journal, sadly e-mailed his readers:
It is with a very heavy heart and swollen eyes from the tears that I inform you all that one of our fellow writers, Sgt. Eddie Jeffers who was serving in Ramadi, Iraq, was killed today. He was patriot, humble, kind and dedicated to his mission, his country, his family and his faith.
Many of you might be familiar with Sgt. Jeffers's piece "Hope Rides Alone" posted on February 1, 2007:
But even thousands of miles away, in Ramadi, Iraq, the cries and screams and complaints of the ungrateful reach me. In a year, I will be thrust back into society from a life and mentality that doesn't fit your average man. And then, I will be alone. And then, I will walk down the streets of America, and see the yellow ribbon stickers on the cars of the same people who compare our President to Hitler.
I will watch the television and watch the Cindy Sheehans, and the Al Frankens, and the rest of the ignorant sheep of America spout off their mouths about a subject they know nothing about. It is their right, however, and it is a right that is defended by hundreds of thousands of boys and girls scattered across the world, far from home. I use the word boys and girls, because that's what they are. In the Army, the average age of the infantryman is nineteen years old. The average rank of soldiers killed in action is Private First Class.
This piece was so popular that Fox News's Bill O'Reilly reported it (audio available here).
If you hadn't seen this spectacular article before, please do yourself a favor and read the entire thing.
Moving forward, according to Salvato:
[Sgt. Jeffers] was a humble kid. He thought it was huge that we published him and his Dad even said he admired those of us who do this. Go figure. Here's a kid clearing houses in Ramadi in the bad days admiring those of us sitting back here in air conditioned rooms typing.
He was married and he was slated to come home, I believe for the holidays. He died at 7am this morning in an accidental vehicle roll-over as his group was traveling to fight the bad guys. Just like Patton, I guess.
He was Evangelical and devout. He was always looking out for his men, checking on them, caring about them, making sure they were ready for battle. He was a good leader and took his gig seriously.
Most of all, he believed in his mission. Believed in the war effort and couldn't fathom the mindset of Murtha, Reid, Pelosi and Kennedy. He was worried that when he came home he wouldn't recognize the country he was fighting for.
Some of us share his concern regarding recognizing the country he was fighting for, and will take a moment to say a prayer for him and his family.
Sgt. Jeffers was only 23.
For those interested, Jeffers also published "Real Deal in Ramadi" back in April.