Marine Cpl. Jacob C. Leicht didn't survive his second encounter with a bomb this week. The death of the 24-year-old Texan born on the Fourth of July marks a grim milestone in the Afghanistan war.
Leicht, who spent two painful years recovering from the Iraq blast, was killed Thursday when he stepped on a land mine in Helmand province that ripped off his right arm. He had written letters from his hospital bed begging to be put back on the front lines, and died less than a month into that desperately sought second tour.
An Associated Press tally shows Leicht is the 1,000th U.S. serviceman killed in the Afghan conflict. The first death — nearly nine years ago — was also a soldier from the San Antonio area." By PAUL J. WEBER Associated Press Writer
In the 230+ year history of our country, over 1 million military servicemen and women have given their lives to further the cause of freedom and democracy. Marine Corporal Jacob C. Leicht was the 1000th soldier to die in a far off place called Afghanistan. A place most of us will never visit and many couldn't find on a map. Over 4,400 have died in Iraq. All current members of the military know the situation they face and everyone who has ever served in the military, said the oath knowing the danger they may find themselves facing.
I want to say thank you to all those who have ever served and are alive to spend this day with their loved ones. I also want to send out a prayer for everyone who made the ultimate sacrifice and one for their families as well.
Regardless of your political leanings, whether you think we should have our troops in harm's way around the world, they are there and need to know we haven't forgotten them. There is an old saying that if you can read this, you should thank a teacher (and you should). I say, if you have access to the internet in the luxury of your own home or on your phone or at work, and have the freedom to be expressing your own opinions, no matter the subject, thank a veteran.
So, even though those who have died can't read this, I'm thinking of you today. Especially you Brian R., my former shipmate who died in 1992.