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WHAT CASEY SHEEHAN DIED FOR


Watch the Video Tribute HERE

Filmed, Edited, and Produced by Buck Sargent

It is a worthy thing to fight for one’s freedom; it is another sight finer to fight for another man’s.
-Mark Twain

On April 4th, 2004 Army Specialist Casey Sheehan and seven fellow soldiers were killed during protracted combat with Shi'ite insurgents in Sadr City, Iraq. Sheehan, a Humvee mechanic, had volunteered for the rescue mission to relieve his besieged comrades only to be ambushed himself while en route. He had been in country for five days.

President Bush has made it clear that "America will not abandon Iraq" on his watch, yet he has acknowledged that the mission will likely continue on well past his presidency. And as in any long war, what is required most is a long lens and a long-run perspective in order to fully comprehend what is at stake and what we have to lose by declaring unconditional surrender. Such were the days when the American people demanded it of our enemies, not our own armies.

Ours has become an instant gratification nation, the countdown to ADD-Day stalking the horizon. Heading into its fourth year, the Iraq War has now lasted longer than most celebrity marriages. (Correction: Desert Storm lasted longer than most celebrity marriages). It has been said that the Vietnam War was lost on television, and that was when there were only three channels and they all screamed: RETREAT! But soldiers don’t watch the news, we make it. That is why the MSM refuse to tell our story, that is why they continue to poison the well back home, and that is why soldiers have taken it upon ourselves to “tell it like it is” on the internet.

Casey Sheehan's mother asks, “What did my son die for?” as she hops the globe with her traveling Cirque du Solemnity. His actions that fateful day provide the answer. Her son -- regrettably, now the second most famous Sheehan -- and the thousands of others like him, died for their brothers in arms. For their families at home. For their country. For a people they had little in common with other than a desire to live free from fear. For children that were not their own, but that reminded them of home. For the same thing forgotten Americans have long died for in forgotten places like Takur Gahr, Mogadishu, Hue City, Inchon, the Ardennes, Cold Harbor, and Bunker Hill.

They died not for "nothing," but for no thing. They died for a set of ideals, principles, a creed. Imaginary concepts impossible to “deconstruct,” yet born out of war and nourished by the blood of patriots in a long line of succession that remains unmoved, unbroken, and unmatched. Displaying the best known side of human nature: steadfast opposition to its worst. Becoming intimate with war, thus allowing others to know peace. Sacrificing their future progeny for another's in defense of the weak and the vulnerable. Avenging the ghostly remains left behind from a tyrant unburdened by conscience. To protect the right of lesser men (and women) to freely and openly ridicule their sacrifice.

“What did my son die for?” A question better left to Iraqis themselves to answer. Take the mayor of Tall’Afar, Najim Abdullah Abid al-Jibouri:

“To the families of those who have given their holy blood for our land, we all bow to you in reverence and to the souls of your loved ones. Their sacrifice was not in vain. They are not dead, but alive, and their souls hovering around us every second of every minute. They will never be forgotten for giving their precious lives. They have sacrificed that which is most valuable. We see them in the smile of every child, and in every flower growing in this land. Let America, their families, and the world be proud of their sacrifice for humanity and life.”

Casey Sheehan was killed defending freedom on Palm Sunday.

Cindy, says Mayor Najim, let not your heart be hardened. Be not bitter, but proud. None that walk among us are immortal, and to bury a child is forever a tragedy. Yet your son lost his life in the most honorable manner possible. He died so that others may live.

I’d say that puts him in pretty good company.

COPYRIGHT 2006 BUCK SARGENT



I wish I had words for the video, but I don't.

So, I suppose I will just say, "Amen."

Oh, and "thank you."

Darling, I am proud of you beyond words. Your tribute is stunningly poignant and beautifully composed. What a blessed opportunity you have given us to see Iraq through honest eyes and to see the children and environment you and the others are surrounded by daily. That we will never, unfortunately, see on the news. Well done, my Dearest. Well done.

I'm with your ol' lady (just kidding, Kel), Buck. That was fabulous, as always. Too bad Cindy Sheehan will never see it through her hatred of America, democracy, and freedom.

How does this sound: Clinton Sheehan in '08? How 'bout Kerry Fonda in '08? Sounds like incentive enough for further exploration into sustaining life on Mars if you ask me.

Keep on keepin' on, Sarge. Stay safe keep telling the truth.

Always a fan,
Em Green

very, very well said. Thanks.

As a military brother-in-arms I give you a gratuitous slap on the back. This is a very well written blog and your insights are refreshing. Your writing style would never suggest your a "grunt"- a term of endearment from a bubblehead.

People like Cindy Sheehan will never understand the sacrifices military men and women make. You hit the nail on the head when you called her son the 'second most famous Sheehan'. She is consumed by bitterness, anger and sorrow and fueled by supporters who cater to her media coverage. She is looking for any reason she can to be able to blame her loss on someone. Instead of taking some kind of comfort in the sacrifice her son made for the people of Iraq and for the United States she takes refuge in a cloud of contempt for our president.

Every time I see Cindy Sheehan I can't help but to see that cartoonish fizzle symbol above her head.

The video is beautiful. Thank you so much... for everything.

Wow! What a video! Thank you for your service and for witnessing to what is really happening. What would we do without the Internet these days?!

Prayers for you and your unit,
W.

Wish i could see the video, but can't get past the visitor password.

Sorry, looks like all the attention crashed the server. I received this email from Neptune customer service:

Just watched your new Mosul video with the kids… it Rocks!

But you've done about 8GBs already today in bandwidth… at this pace you might hit 20GBS. That's a little over a thousand people downloading your video.

So we had to stop the bleeding, we put a visitor password on your site (overlimit). Please keep that Security password there for a few days, until all that bandwidth cools down. You can still get into the site, and you can give out that visitor password to a "few" people to watch the videos… just not a thousand people:)

Thanks for being a Neptune customer, and thanks for serving our country!

Neptune Support


I'll try and unblock again, but if the password's back up, just bookmark and try back later.

Sorry for the tease.

That kid's gonna be a heartbreaker when she gets older. Man, you're doing a wonderful service by giving us real-time news. I've been hearing you on Hugh Hewitt, and it's a real honor to give you a "hello" from California. Keep it up, sir!

Rudy

God bless you and protect you from harm. Thank you for your service to our Country, and your gifted skill with words.

No one who has read and seen what you have shared with us or who understands what you have sacrificed for us will ever forget. I humbly join the chorus of those who thank you here.

My thanks to you for the post about Casey Sheehan and the reason our sons gave their lives. The video helped me more than you can know.

USMCPOP
Proud father of
LCpl. Karl R Linn
KIA 1/26/2005 Haqlaniyah, Iraq

Hey Buck!
If we ever start to forget you and the other people who sacrifice your time and lives for us, you have my permission to come to Buffalo and kick my a**!

Really, thank you for everything all you guys are doing right now.
You make us all proud to be Americans.

Keep it coming!

Thank you to You for your work and calling and to your loved ones who share You.

You are amazing Buck! Thanks!

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Well said.

It looks like Hugh Hewitt's readers finally broke the camel's back. Neptune Mediashare apparently frowned upon so many people downloading my video that they unilaterally decided to remove it from my site.

But I don't roll over that easy. I'll work on getting it back up as soon as possible. It would have been nice when they gladly took my money for their webhosting services if they had bothered to inform me of any bandwidth limit for viewer downloading. My previous videos are still up for now. In the meantime,

Neptune... you suck.

I am very impressed and it is so nice to see what really goes on in Iraq as compared to what our media here shows us. My family and I are fully behind all of you and pray for you. You are all our heroes! Thank you for your service!

It is a question that has a number of answers. Most rational folks come up with very similar ones.

I addressed it last year here:
http://rofasix.blogspot.com/2005/08/what-your-son-died-for-ms-sheehan.html

Dear SGT Buck,
Thank you for sharing your wonderful tribute to Casey with us.Thank you for your Service and Sacrifices please Know that each and every one of you and your families are held in thoughts and prayers daily.I think the greatest gift will come in the future through the eyes of the children of Iraq,The "hope" each one of you has given them to dream of a better life and "Freedom"is priceless and something they have never known before!
May God continue to keep each one of you in the palms of his hands.
Sincerely
Cathy
Massachusetts Soldiers Angel
P.S.
Sgt
If you don't mind

USMCPOP
My heartfelt deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved son LCpl Karl R Linn
His ultimate sacrifice will never be forgotten thank you for raising such a brave,courageous,selfless Hero
I'm sure he is watching over you with much pride...

Finally got to see the video and wasn't disappointed. I have directed some of the 1/25th to see it as well.

I would also like to second the words above of condolence and appreciation for the sacrifice of LCpl Karl R Linn and of his brothers and sisters in arms in behalf of our nation and the generations to come in Iraq.

I'm another Hugh Hewitt listener. God bless you and the important work that you do! The sacrifices of our military and their families are not lost on the rest of us. What you are doing is amazing and America is deeply proud of all of you!

The video was beautiful, and I'd like to blogpost it. If you get a chance, check out my video at the top of my blog page.

Sargent Buck,

First of all, "Thank you for your service." Secondly, I would like permission to repost this at my site. I will do so in it's entirty and give you full honors with a link to your site.

One of my co-contributors reprinted that great email that you sent to Hewitt on our site along with the link to that video.

I would like to run some of your articles starting with this article about Casey. Thank you for your consideration.

Respectfully,
Bosun

Technical note: Neptune ended up punting on me, so I moved the video on over to You Tube. The picture’s a lot grainier, but it’s the best I can do for now. I’ll probably try and do the same for the older videos as well at some point.

Thank you everyone for your kind words of encouragement, but I haven’t done anything special. I’m just trying to shine the spotlight as best I can on what it is we do over here and what kind of changes are taking place. The media won’t do their job, so we’ll just step in and do that for them too. But I’m in the infantry, we’re used to having to do everyone else’s jobs for them.

Anyone may repost, reproduce, or reprint any of my videos or work for mass distribution at any time. In fact, I encourage it since I don’t have much time to spread the word as I’d like. I count on you all to do it for me. [A huge hat tip to Hugh Hewitt for laying it out there]. My only concern is to get these messages out there, to counter distortion with truth before the American public gives up on this place and these kids. They’re the last best hope for the future of the Middle East. I won’t abandon them, and neither should the American people. American has never been just a “ME! ME! ME!” country, that is what’s so great about it, and that is why I would die for it if need be.


B. Will Derd,

I’m sure the 1/25th would appreciate to know what their sacrifice has amounted to. If this isn’t prima facie evidence of that, I don’t know what is. The Mosul of spring 2005 and that of spring 2006 are worlds apart. We’d like to think we had a little something to do with that as well.

To USMC Pop, proud father of Lcpl. Karl R. Linn (KIA 1/26/2005 Haqlaniyah, Iraq),
And proud dad of SGT Mike Stokely (E Troop 108th CAV 48th Brigade GA Natl Guard
KIA 16 AUG 05):


Sirs, if I may be so bold, allow me to offer a few words taken from the excellent book by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, “On Combat: The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace.” I highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered loss in this war or any other, or currently has loved ones forward deployed.. It gives great insight into why it is we do what we do.

From ON COMBAT:

“Pain shared is pain divided, and joy shared is joy multiplied; that is the essence of the human condition. Historically, we have always gathered together after a traumatic event to divide each other’s pain, and to multiply our joy. We do this in wakes and in funerals, and we have always done it after battles to lift up, multiply and amplify the valor, the sacrifice and the professionalism of the living and the dead.

There has always been time for a remembrance, a time to touch on that which was good and fine about a fallen comrade. Across the centuries, in funerals, wakes and around the campfire, warriors would tell of their fallen comrade: the noble deeds that they had personally witnessed, the lessons in life that had been taught, and how their lives had been shaped by the life which was now departed.

They also found humor in what happened: a strange, twisted, dark humor at times; simple and childlike at other times; but always they found the peace and healing of humor in what they did, and this was an important part of multiplying the joy. At the same time they also shared and divided the suffering, the grief and the pain, breaking it into manageable chunks, grieving intensely and briefly so that they could bear it and get on with life.

We conducted these debriefings every night around the campfire throughout history. You see, up until the twentieth century, warriors almost always took the nights off. After Agincourt, Waterloo, Picket’s Charge, Bunker Hill and San Juan Hill, the winners and the losers sat around their separate campfires that night and debriefed. After ten thousand battles across thousands of years, warriors have always gathered to put together the pieces and figure out what happened.

Combat is a corrosive, toxic environment, but someone has to do it. Just as surely as someone has to go into blazing buildings, toxic waste sites and hospitals full of infectious diseases, so too does someone have to go into combat to confront those who would do us harm. George Orwell said, “We sleep safely in our beds this night, because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.” Someone has to do it. So, across the centuries, over thousands of years, slowly, painfully, we found a way to be able to live with ourselves after combat and then go back into the heart of darkness again, and again.”

--Lt. Col. Dave Grossman


One of my favorite films is Ridley Scott’s “Gladiator” with Russell Crowe. In it, Roman General Maximus gins up his legions on the cusp of battle by telling them, “What we do in life echoes in eternity.”

Grieve the loss of your sons, but do not mourn their memory. Celebrate it. Celebrate what they stood for, what they lived for, and what they were willing to die for. Celebrate that were it not for men such as them, warriors willing to protect the flock, our civilization as we know it would likely wither and collapse within a single generation. The wolves would take over and prey on the sheep without mercy. Men like your sons are what stand in their way. Honor their memory and their lives. Let no one in your family grow up without such knowledge of who their ancestors were, what they stood for, and what they were ultimately willing to give up to secure their futures. If I were to be struck down before my time in this noble effort, I would expect and demand nothing less.

God bless you, and Semper Fi.

Buck Sargent
Mosul, Iraq

I salute the job you are doing both on the ground in Iraq and on the internet in getting the other side of the story out. Email me if you would like some space to host some of your videos. I'm sure there must be numerous others out there that would be willing to share some webhost space and bandwidth in order to support your efforts.

You may or may not read this.... you wrote that Casey Sheehan is now the second most famous Sheehan... I beg to differ, I had a Platoon Leader named Sheehan who had won Best Ranger (i forget the year, but I'll find it for you if you ask me offline). LT Marshburn.

That is beautiful, great work

Thank you

Buck Sergeant;

Thank you for your video. My wife and I watched with tears in our eyes. It reinforces what my father is always saying; "The best references America has are her soldiers and sailors."

It was true during the Korean War, and as your video illustrates, it's true now in Iraq.

Thank you for your service.

Dan & Kris

Absolutely inspirational post and video. I am only sorry I have found your blog at this late juncture. However, you have gained another loyal follower for as long as you continue to post.

If I may steal a moment...These milblogs offer the greatest opportunity for "regular folk" like me to say things to our men and women in uniform that I might otherwise never get the chance to say. Things like I believe in you, am grateful for you and to you, and proud of you. It also offers me the opportunity to "talk with" the families of the fallen. I am able to communicate to them that I am sorry for their loss, grateful for their loved ones' service, and that because of the type of people their loved ones were, I am proud be an American.

Sincerely grateful to all and celebrating those lives given so that others may live. God speed and God bless.

Buck Sargent...

Your last comment was quite profound, worthy of a whole post in itself. I read Lt. Col. Dave Grossman's book "On Killing" back sometime in the 90's. The book you quoted from sounds equally fascinating. I do believe Grossman was featured in a PBS special as well, which I missed, but which was up on their website for a while.

I watched/listened a number of times and it is beautiful and incredibly moving. The faces of the children are the future of Iraq. Additionally, let let me commend you on the power with which you write. Just sign me, another...

Patriot

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE AND SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCE. THIS AMERICAN IS ETERNALLLY GRATEFUL.

Let the smear campaign begin:

http://boards.billmaher.com/showthread.php?t=44739&page=1&pp=10

Man, I love having personal access to those NSA wiretaps. Let's you spy on anyone!

Read through the whole thread, it's quite entertaining, really. Apparently, I am now a career Marine "who has trouble admitting that his life's work is being misused by the greedy, bigoted, warmongering Bush."

Man, I love unhinged, moonbat lefties. They always make me smile. But I was shocked to read that repost about CSM Eric Haney (formerly of Delta Force, now a writer for the tv show "the Unit.") I'd admired him ever since I read his book years ago. If that interview is for real, he's clearly lost his mind. His words are indistinguishable from Michael Moore's. Just makes me sad.

Buck Sargent,

How come I missed your site for sooo long? I am very proud of you and everybody in the military trying to bring hope, a choice to the world!!!! I am a half-arab southamerican woman married to an american. I have been living in the states for some time now. I love the US GUTS as my own.

Thank you America and Americans. THANK YOU FOR MAKING A DIFFERENCE, specially to those kids in Iraq. Thank you for making the move. Thank you for stepping up againt the corrupted UN. Thank you for taking the psyco-tyrant out of Iraq. Thanks Buck Sargent to prove to me that I am not crazy, that people like you really exist.

You are quite the video director as well! Congrats :)

Holy crap, Buck! I checked out the Bill Maher message board and almost jammed a fork in my eye after reading about 10 of the comments posted by the Crazies there. Also, I'm sorry to say it but its really too bad that, although his intentions are true, Naitch did not represent you very well. He was the first to make the mistake in identifying you as a Marine and none of the other mental midgets seemed to catch the mistake, not to mention that some referred to your service in the past tense.
In essence the Bill Maher message board was a disapointment that amounted to nothing more than playground name calling from all sides. But really, what can you expect from the left? They can't think of an intelligent comeback so they just call you an A-hole.

~Em Green~

Em,

Yeah, those are the same type of crazies I went to college with and had many an argument (or in their case, screaming match) with. I'm pretty used to that kind of complete irrationality.

One of them makes a big point about my alleged "political bias," but really, I freely admit my political leanings up front. It's in my profile for a reason. Unlike "objective journalists", I don't try to claim to be an disinterested party in this war. I freely admit to having an agenda. My agenda is TO WIN THE WAR. Nothing more, nothing less. I don't care who gets the credit. But I do know who is more likely to get the job done, and I'm not about to pretend otherwise.

People always claim soldiers don't care about politics, and for the most part that's true. Just like it's true that most people in general don't care about politics. But to think that politics can somehow be divorced from war is absurd. Clausewitz said "politics is war by other means," but the opposite is also true. War begins because of political issues, is fought politically, and is either won or lost politically.

To say a soldier just "does his duty" without regard to the politics behind it is silly. Most may not be as into the nitty gritty of the issues as I am, but my background in that precedes my Army service, and will likely continue on after it is over. I am not career military, nor did I ever set out to be. I gave 5 years to my country after 9/11 to give back at least a fraction of what it has given me. If I were as big a patriot as I seem to think I am, I would give more. But I'm selfish too, I want to have a normal life and a family and friends and some actual roots.

That's the biggest sacrifice military servicemembers make, the ability to enjoy a comfortable, regular existence that most of you likely take for granted. And that is what you should be grateful for your military for giving up. Not just being over here, but serving PERIOD, in war or in peacetime.

I know that my talents lie more in holding a pen than a gun, and that I can better serve my country and my family in that aspect than this one. I don't think you have to join the Army and fight in Iraq personally in order to support the war or advocate the liberation of 50 million people from abject slavery. The Abolitionists were not discredited simply because they did not join the Union Army. So why this bogus "chickenhawk" argument now? Only moral cowards would put forth that flimsy line of reasoning.

I will leave the Army in roughly a year and a half, and I will be proud of where I have been and what I have done for the rest of my life.

And to answer those jackasses on that message board, who are factually incorrect in nearly every single assertion they made, we have a lot more access to information over here than one would think. (Certainly a lot more than I had in Afghanistan two years ago). We have access to all the same information you do. Whether or not we choose to keep up with it is up to us, and admittedly most are concerned just with relaxing and communicating with family when not working. But some of us are determined to participate in the national dialogue while we're over here, because we see it being highjacked by reporters without a clue and pundits without a conscience.

Wasn't Katrina enough to wake everyone up that the MSM cannot be trusted to report ANYTHING in a sober, responsible, or especially factual manner? How many bogus reports by breathless ratings whores like Anderson Cooper and the like are likely still believed by a majority of Americans? All those bogus rumors that flew yet were reported on air as fact remind me of the Iraqi culture here. Iraqis are world famous for their propensity to wildly exaggerate (and that's putting it respectfully) about events over here. And the problem is, journalists aren't on the ground chasing these leads themselves. They rely on paid Iraqi locals to gather them so they don't have to venture out into Indian Country too often and risk death or kidnapping. I don't blame them, they are a prime target. But this knowledge should moderate their coverage some and instinctively rachet up their BS meters. Yet instead, it's somehow had the opposite effect. I'll go into this more in a future post. I've rambled enough for one comment, I think.

-Buck

Buck,

You are a work of art, man!

Thank you for all that you are doing, bro.

We, back home, are very, very proud of you.

God bless ya Buck Sargent. I'm enjoying the hell out of your blog and the comments too. Stay safe and know you have my gratitude for your service to our Country.

It's hard to speak to how PROUD you make us back home; the feeling is just that powerful. God bless you and keep each and every one of you safe! You are doing work daily that is needed and will continue to improve thousands of lives. Then, YOU have to go online and as you said, do others work for them in reporting about it. Good thing you are indeed, used to doing just that! ;-) A very hearty 'Well done, press on, and THANK YOU' from here.
P.S. Your comment on loss leading with 'pain shared is pain divided' - beautifully put.

Thank you so much for your eloquent, touching post - I wish these words were out there for more of America to see. But, like you said, MSM does't want to put this out there (for whatever reasons they may have). But know it is appreciated by those of us who wholeheartedly support your efforts - we're witnessing the "media bias" here at home and it's discomforting. I committ to doing whatever it takes to get your message to the most people as possible - your voice speaks volumes! Thank you and all of our troops for their sacrifices...

Sir, you make me feel so humble and proud. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your touching accounting of the War in Iraq. Your sacrifices and courage will never go unnoticed by me. God Bless you and all our troops. Thankl you for all your sacrifices.
Semper Fi.

May God bless and keep you and you brothers and sisters in arms, not only in Iraq but in all parts of the world. It may not be said often enough, but we are very proud of you. Not all of us believe or even listen much to the MSM.

This post wasn't for Cindy or for Casey; this post was to make the rest of the soldiers in Iraq feel better about a ridiculous and indefensible situation.

"He died so that others may live."

Right. Who may live? Iraqis? Americans? What mortal danger was Casey fighting against? What threat was he confronting when he died?

This patriotic pap does little to assuage the anger and frustration families feel who now know that the invasion of Iraq (and continued occupation) is nothing more than a corporate swindle.

There is no defensible moral justification for this invasion. There are far worse tyrants in the world than Saddam Hussein; there are countries far more involved in terrorsim; and there are greater threats from WMDs elsewhere in the world. There is no reason--except to exert control over the world oil market--that makes any sense at all. And to say that dying in a conflict based on the control of oil markets is honorable is just plain naive.

Much as I support our military and much as they want to believe they are not being led astray, there comes a point when you have to draw the line.

You cannot justify continued support of anyone who is knowingly doing the wrong thing.

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"Public sentiment is everything. With public sentiment, nothing can fail; without it, nothing can succeed." -- Abraham Lincoln