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IED Spelled Another Way Is DIE

By now, most every American who reads a newspaper or watches the news on TV knows what an IED does.  It kills.  These Improvised Explosive Devices, or makeshift bombs, are "constructed and deployed in ways other than in conventional military action".  Also known as roadside bombs, they are responsible for a lot of American and Coalition casualties in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  

The Washington Post each month lists in the front section of their paper the "Faces of the Fallen".  In today's edition, between May 23 and June 15, a total of 99 individuals had died in activities relating to these two on-going conflicts.  Of the 99, sixty-one people died from some kind of IED.  Suicide bombers driving explosive-laden vehicles or wearing explosive vests at least take out a terrorist during the attack, but more often, it is a remotely-detonated device which kills.  In the roadway, near the roadway.  IEDs take out people and machinery, turning the vehicle that is being blown up into life-taking shrapnel.

I almost turned the page, but this time I stopped to look at each face on those two pages.  Why?  Because I finally heard IED as DIE.  Also because these people died.  In this instance, I struggle with the notion that they died for us.  US?  The United States?  For me?  For you?  I am not questioning their sacrifice.  I do question why we are losing so many in these wars.  Over there!  Each person who died likely has someone here in the states who weeps over their picture.  Parents, spouses, siblings, extended families, friends, neighbors, communities, and so on. The youngest was 19, the oldest was 52.  By any measure, these are lives cut short.  They are lives that did not realize their fullest potential.

I mourn them.  And while I hate the war(s), I will not hate the warriors.  I can direct that anger at others who placed them in harm's way, and then lost them.  I am fortunate that my father, brother, uncle and cousins, father-in-law and brother-in-law all served in the military and were not lost in war.  Being entirely selfish, I hope I never personally know someone who dies in either one of these wars.  That just might kill me.