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ANDREW OLMSTED

US Army Major and blogger Andrew Olmsted was killed Thursday in Iraq. Some months ago Olmsted wrote a piece to be published in the event of his death; that remarkable, inspiring and hilarious post is here.

Now, as Maj. Olmsted wished, let’s crank up some ‘80s music.

UPDATE. Further background:

Small-arms fire took the life of a Colorado Springs soldier in Iraq this week.

Maj. Andrew Olmsted, 37, died Thursday in As Sadiyah, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit. Also killed was Capt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque.

Olmsted deployed in July and served as a reservist with the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.

Olmsted is survived by his wife of 10 years, Amanda Wilson of Colorado Springs.

She was having trouble with the news on Friday. She said her mother, who flew in Friday to help, was “trying to be brave.”

UPDATE II. Maj. Olmsted and wife Amanda in Colorado last June:
image

Posted by Tim B. on 01/05/2008 at 05:19 AM
  1. Link not working. Sat 8:45pm

    Posted by Steve C. on 2008 01 05 at 05:49 AM • permalink

  2. Sorry; the “here” link isn’t working but the “killed” link has it all.

    Posted by Steve C. on 2008 01 05 at 05:51 AM • permalink

  3. I would like to write something meaningful, but forgive me if I a shed a tear for the loss of Andrew to his family, and us all.

    Thank you Andrew for all you have given and I hope & pray we are worthy of your sacrifice.
    Vale Andrew and God bless your loved ones at this time.,

    Posted by Hillyminx on 2008 01 05 at 05:53 AM • permalink

  4. What a very decent human being he was.  What a terrible loss for his wife and family to have to bear.
    We’re all the poorer for his death.

    Posted by Janice on 2008 01 05 at 06:01 AM • permalink

  5. I’m shocked and saddened. I don’t have anything else to say.

    Posted by John A on 2008 01 05 at 06:31 AM • permalink

  6. Vale Major Andrew Olmsted.

    Salute.

    Posted by surfmaster on 2008 01 05 at 06:33 AM • permalink

  7. It is not just the other side that is prepared to die.

    Posted by blogstrop on 2008 01 05 at 06:38 AM • permalink

  8. Have one on us up there Major Olmsted.

    Your taste in music rocks. I’m going to get out my vinyls and crank up the stereo. I hope you can hear it from up there.

    Tim, Talking Heads, tremendous choice, thanks.

    Posted by Pogria on 2008 01 05 at 06:38 AM • permalink

  9. Many say the West is in decline. That we produce men such as Andrew Olsted makes me beg to differ.

    My deepest condolences to family, my unrestrained thanks to him.

    Posted by Penguin on 2008 01 05 at 06:41 AM • permalink

  10. Vale Andrew, and may God go with you wherever you may walk.

    Sacrifices like yours shall never be forgotten.

    Thank you.

    Posted by Ash_ on 2008 01 05 at 06:43 AM • permalink

  11. Following Tim’s lead, here’s one I hope helps to speed your way to the place we all hope to earn a spot in one day.

    Posted by Pogria on 2008 01 05 at 06:47 AM • permalink

  12. My condolences to the wife and family of a brave and honourable warrior.
    RIP, Major Olmstead.

    Posted by SwinishCapitalist on 2008 01 05 at 07:19 AM • permalink

  13. Vale, comrade.

    Your family is in my prayers this night. That Major Olmstead himself is in the company of his comrades and family who have gone before is not something that can be doubted. Rest well, there in Heaven, for tasks well done, and a life well lived.

    MarkL
    canberra

    Posted by MarkL on 2008 01 05 at 07:53 AM • permalink

  14. God bless you Andrew Olmsted for your magnificent bravery and service to God and country.
    God bless all the Andrew Olmsteds.
    To hell with the death cult Islam.

    Posted by Mike_W on 2008 01 05 at 07:58 AM • permalink

  15. “...those who were beloved and pleasant in their lifetime are not parted in their death.
    They were quicker than eagles and stronger than lions to do the will of their Creator’s will and the wish of their Rock.”

    Andrew has given us much to be thankful for, much to be proud of, and much to consider in weighing up our own lives.

    My deepest sympathy to his family and friends.

    Vale, Andrew Olmstead…

    Posted by MentalFloss on 2008 01 05 at 07:58 AM • permalink

  16. The flame that burns twice as bright burns only half as long, and yours has burned so very, very brightly Roy Andrew

    (cant find what Im after so an 80’s film clip will have to do.

    Posted by thefrollickingmole on 2008 01 05 at 08:02 AM • permalink

  17. Rest well, there in Heaven, for tasks well done, and a life well lived.

    A short life.
    A worthwhile life.

    Do not stand at my grave and weep
    I am not there; I do not sleep.
    I am a thousand winds that blow,
    I am the diamond glints on snow,
    I am the sun on ripened grain,
    I am the gentle autumn rain.
    When you awaken in the morning’s hush
    I am the swift uplifting rush
    Of quiet birds in circled flight.
    I am the soft stars that shine at night.
    Do not stand at my grave and cry,
    I am not there; I did not die.

    Vale Andrew.

    Posted by kae on 2008 01 05 at 08:24 AM • permalink

  18. One of the good guys..Well done pal..you are a hero in the truest sense of the word…I can’t say the rest of what I’d like to but it has something to do with those scumfucks who may demonise his name.. Lavatory P..Dem U…know what I mean!! so STFU..yeah it’s late in Melbourne Vic but I cannot get over the fact that when a good guy goes who contributes so much good…There is silence

    Posted by mindfree on 2008 01 05 at 08:27 AM • permalink

  19. #18 Tell me, do you think Melbourne is truly ignorant, or does your brain just switch off after dark?

    I live in Melbourne mate, and many of us aren’t ignorant, and many of us have so much support for the military. But, a grand ole’ GROW UP for you, who seems to think that because our fellow Melbournians can’t get online late on a Saturday night means that they don’t support the military.

    Now, take note of this, and I’ll even put it boldly… If I’m wrong, and you support our military, I will apologise for my assumption that you don’t. Providing you apologise for your assumption that your fellow Melbournians do not support the military.

    Your call, mate.

    Posted by Ash_ on 2008 01 05 at 08:53 AM • permalink

  20. Ash_

    Read #18 again.

    Posted by armageddon on 2008 01 05 at 09:04 AM • permalink

  21. #17

    Well said by all.

    Thanks kae - I always think those words are the most appropriate ever written to bring death into a real perspective!

    No-one really knows what death brings.

    But like so many before him - Major Andrew Olmsted was fighting for something that way too many in western civilisation take for granted - freedom and democracy.

    In the history of this planet, he and others like him will always be remembered, as they should.

    Posted by Dave Wane on 2008 01 05 at 09:08 AM • permalink

  22. #20 I read it, but to me it read as though no one else in Melbourne feels badly about the death of such a good man, and that no one else in Melbourne will feel badly about such a loss. Thus, my post. And as I said, I could be wrong.

    Posted by Ash_ on 2008 01 05 at 09:09 AM • permalink

  23. There are no words…
    Thank you, Maj. Olmsted, and Godspeed.

    Posted by Not My Problem on 2008 01 05 at 09:24 AM • permalink

  24. #17 Kae. Beautifully put.

    Posted by BJM on 2008 01 05 at 09:26 AM • permalink

  25. This is one thread where I believe we could remain on topic and pay tribute to a soldier’s sacrifice. This is NOT the place to rail at a perceived insult and turn the spotlight on oneself.

    Posted by Pogria on 2008 01 05 at 09:31 AM • permalink

  26. #25 Quite so Pogria. I do so apologise, Mindfree, and allow me to apologise in the humblest of terms.

    My short temper during my daughter’s teething should not have made me snap at you. I truly apologise, and do so wish that you have the best of years.

    Posted by Ash_ on 2008 01 05 at 09:42 AM • permalink

  27. I believe that Maj. Olmsted specifically asked that his death not be politicised, and most people on the blogs I have read have done pretty well at respecting that. 

    Frater, ave atque vale.

    My deepest and most heartfelt sympathy to his wife and family, and my most sincere thanks to all of the selfless men like Major Andrew Olmsted over there in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    Now, as per his suggestion

    So if you’re up for that, put on a little 80s music (preferably vintage 1980-1984), grab a Coke and have a drink with me. If you have it, throw ‘Freedom Isn’t Free’ from the Team America soundtrack in; if you can’t laugh at that song, I think you need to lighten up a little. I’m dead, but if you’re reading this, you’re not, so take a moment to enjoy that happy fact.

    ... throw me another Coke and turn up that 80’s music!

    Posted by spot_the_dog on 2008 01 05 at 09:55 AM • permalink

  28. I just sobbed like a baby when I read that last night.

    Posted by Mr. Bingley on 2008 01 05 at 10:05 AM • permalink

  29. It is always a waste when a good man goes. Sympathy to his wife and RIP.

    Posted by carpefraise on 2008 01 05 at 10:10 AM • permalink

  30. God bless him and his family. A noble soul.

    Posted by paco on 2008 01 05 at 10:23 AM • permalink

  31. May God bless this brave man who gave his life for his country and for those of Iraq.

    Posted by wronwright on 2008 01 05 at 10:30 AM • permalink

  32. For God knows what reason he always felt he didn’t measure up. Always self-deprecating, even in his last post, which I read earlier this evening. I was in tears then, and in tears again.

    God bless his loved ones in their grief.

    Vale, Major Andrew Olmstead.

    Posted by SandiM on 2008 01 05 at 11:09 AM • permalink

  33. Such an outstanding man,now lost to his family, his country and the world. May his people and his comrades know this is noted with anguish in this home.  Damn and blast the murderous bastards who brought this about.  RIP.

    Posted by Olrence on 2008 01 05 at 11:11 AM • permalink

  34. This is one of the many beautiful tributes at
    Link

    When I’m Gone
    by Mrs.Lyman Hancock

    When I come to the end of my journey
    And I travel my last weary mile
    Just forget if you can, that I ever frowned
    And remember only the smile
    Forget unkind words I have spoken
    Remember some good I have done
    Forget that I ever had heartache
    And remember I’ve had loads of fun
    Forget that I’ve stumbled and blundered
    And sometimes fell by the way
    Remember I have fought some hard battles
    And won, ere the close of the day
    Then forget to grieve for my going
    I would not have you sad for a day
    But in summer just gather some flowers
    And remember the place where I lay
    And come in the shade of evening
    When the sun paints the sky in the west
    Stand for a few moments beside me
    And remember only my best.

    Posted by SandiM on 2008 01 05 at 11:22 AM • permalink

  35. I have to concur with the Major. You do read some very interesting and thought provoking stuff via blogging. His last blog may not have been his best, - certainly he made it clear it was one he hoped that was not read, but it must have been right up there.
    It’s 5 am Sunday here Sydney time as I write this and the few minutes I took to read his piece were ones I will remember as very worthwhile and while it may superficially seem innapropriate to say it - satisfying.
    I am sure the Major would understand the implication .
    Congratulations to Major Andrew Olmsted, his wife and family . Deserving of much pride.
    P.S. And borrowing the vernacular popular with my teenage kids ; “Early 80’s music Rocks !”

    Posted by Wacko on 2008 01 05 at 02:49 PM • permalink

  36. I leave heaven to heaven but I can say this:  Though the fallen may be beyond our reach, we are not beyond theirs.

    By dedicating ourselves to be better people in their honor, their lives continue to have genuine consequences in the here and now.

    Posted by Tai Chi Wawa on 2008 01 05 at 03:17 PM • permalink

  37. Anyone else note (from the photo) of Andrew and his wife that there may have a few jibes between the two due to their likely opposing views when the Baseball World series was played in Oct. ?

    Posted by Wacko on 2008 01 05 at 05:17 PM • permalink

  38. We should not ask God why such good men die. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.

    Posted by mr creosote on 2008 01 05 at 06:07 PM • permalink

  39. Ash

    This is a bit late but I’d like to say my bad, I had just read Tim’s post and jumped on the keyboard. I probably could have been a bit more careful with the wording.

    I read Andrew’s blog regularly and this is a tragedy as another soldier is fallen and a good man who called it for what it is without spin but without the MSM BS.

    I guess that frustration contributed to the previous post.

    Apology most certainly accepted and I hope the bub’s cold clears up soon.

    MF

    Posted by mindfree on 2008 01 05 at 08:37 PM • permalink

  40. Good words/thoughts from all of you and this thread is one of the best honoring Andrew.
    Some of the others seem to feel the “f” word is an appropriate memorial for a good guy, gone from us in “harms way”.

    Posted by Mike on 2008 01 05 at 09:43 PM • permalink

  41. This is terrible news. May his friends and family find peace.
    A popular phrase about the 1st. infantry division goes"If you want to be one, be a Big Red One.“Major Olmsted definitely was One. The First infantry division was my dads old outfit. I hope they’re sharing a drink on the other side.
    Rest in Peace sir.

    Posted by greene on 2008 01 05 at 10:13 PM • permalink

  42. Vale, Major Olmstead.  You have carried out your duties well.

    Posted by The_Real_JeffS on 2008 01 06 at 11:51 AM • permalink

  43. Andrew: I made a best of 82-84 in your honour and whacked it on the iPod.  I’ll be wearing pastels and gelled hair all week.  My wishes to his loved ones.

    Posted by Mr Hackenbacker on 2008 01 06 at 07:07 PM • permalink

  44. War is always a bad thing (though not necessarily the worst option), and one of the worst things about war is that we lose some of our best people. Major Olmstead was certainly one of them.

    (It’s taken me days to be able to write about this without expletives.)

    Posted by Chris Chittleborough on 2008 01 06 at 11:35 PM • permalink

  45. War is always a bad thing (though not necessarily the worst option), and one of the worst things about war is that we lose some of our best people. Major Olmstead was certainly one of them.

    (It’s taken me days to be able to write about this without expletives, so please excuse the sententiousness.)

    Posted by Chris Chittleborough on 2008 01 07 at 12:28 AM • permalink

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