Our friends over at Comments From Left Field have joined with Conservative Thinking in setting up a memorial fund in the names of Sgt. Omar Mora & Sgt. Yance T. Gray.
Mora and Gray, you will recall, were two of the writers of an op-ed in the New York Times which was highly critical of the Bush administration's conduct of the Iraqi occupation but which ended, even so, by saying “As committed soldiers, we will see this mission through.” A week later, both were killed in a vehicle accident in West baghdad.
All funds raised will go to the Fisher House charity, an organization which builds houses near military medical facilities where loved ones of those who have been injured in the line of duty can stay free of charge while their service member undergoes necessary treatment.
My good friend Kyle Moore has an eloquent explanatory post here. Kyle has been in contact with Kenn Duncan , Sgt. Gray's father, after Mr. Duncan left a comment on one of Kyle's posts.
You say it over and over again, that these numbers have meaning, that they are fathers and sons and brothers and sisters and mothers and members of their community with best friends and people praying for their safe return, but it took the father in law of a fallen soldier to bring it home to me.We at Newshoggers are happy to endorse this noble fundraiser, in memoriam.
Since, I’ve read the mournful remembrances of his closest friends, and have anguished over the photograph of him standing with his lovely wife and beautiful daughter. I have spent much time over the past week or so trying to piece together the lives of Tell and Omar, and while I can never say that I was their friend, I can not feel the grief their families must still burn with, I can say that I have somehow come closer to understanding, and knowing that the world lost two great Americans, soldiers, and men that day.
Further, their conviction and courage has impressed upon me most profoundly. While still serving in the military I grew politically active and started blogging, but fearing some sort of backlash or reprimand, did so anonymously, not revealing my true name until after leaving the US Navy.
These men stood proudly by what they had to say about how they felt and what they had seen. Without reservation they attached their names to their sentiments, and sent it to THE paper of record. I don’t think I’ll ever forget that.