For the past five weeks, in this column, I have spotlighted the misreporting of American deaths in Iraq and among veterans of that war here at home. Over and over, the press -- and parents and spouses -- have been lied to about how young Americans in the military have died."Another Pat Tillman". Read the column and you see that Tillman, sadly, was just one of many - too many.
Now another case, this one involving Jess Buryj, a soldier from Canton, Ohio, who (it turns out) died in a friendly fire incident – shot in the back – has gained some attention.
The U.S. military has tried to blame Polish soldiers for his death, but a soldier who served with Buryi told his parents an American G.I. was actually at fault. Buryj’s father was so shaken by the alleged cover-up that he came to question whether the body they buried was even their son’s.
The Associated Press had announced the death of the soldier back in March 2004, asserting that he had died "while heroically trying to stop an attack on an Army checkpoint." Of course, they are at the mercy of the military for any information.
“Jesse Buryj, 21, of Canton, fired more than 400 rounds at a dump truck trying to crash the checkpoint near Karbala," AP related. "He shot the driver of the truck, which then crashed into the Humvee in which he was riding, an Army sergeant told his mother, Peggy Buryj, on Wednesday morning.
"The official U.S. casualty report said that Buryj had died of "a back injury" caused by "hostile enemy activity." Actually, the dump truck was filled with dirt or sand, not explosives, and was driven by civilians who had no weapons.
As I've written before, I really respect Greg's work. But you don't have to be a fan to find his series of columns focusing on the deaths - and the lives - of fallen soldiers riveting.
Like the war or not, these soldiers ostensibly "gave their lives" for the American cause. They deserve our attention. I'm very glad Greg understands that and presents it to us.