Guerra-Raul.jpg
Guerra
Every few years Seattle Weekly manages to run that headline . Unfortunately, there is always another body bag to provoke it, despite elections, political

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Dead on the 4th of July

Guerra-Raul.jpg
Guerra
Every few years Seattle Weekly manages to run that headline. Unfortunately, there is always another body bag to provoke it, despite elections, political promises and the arrival of a new hand-wringing Veterans Day, in which the President's solemn remarks and graveyard regrets are contradicted by the continued mayhem of flying body parts on the battlefield.

In 2007, it was Fort Lewis-based Army Chief Warrant Officer Scott A.M. Oswell, 33, killed in an Iraq chopper crash on the 4th of July.

In 2009, it was Army Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn, 20, of Aberdeen, whose anguished dad Tweeted on Independence Day, "They've killed my son!" referring to a Taliban suicide bomber in Afghanistan.

And today, as reported in SW's updated state War Dead listings, it's Army Staff Sgt. Raul Guerra, 37, of Union City, New Jersey.

A Joint Base Lewis-McChord intelligence officer, Guerra died under mysterious conditions July 4th in south Afghanistan, near the Pakistani border. He was killed on his base, in a non-combat situation. But details of his death remains under investigation, the Army says.

Guerra is among 17 troops with Washington state connections to die in Afghanistan since our last update in June, and the 37th of 2012. The U.S. body count in America's longest war passed 2,000 this year, and now stands at 2,151.

In his address today, the President optimistically noted that "This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq."

But in Afghanistan? Where, despite American sentiment, we continue to wage war in a country that wishes we'd just leave? More body bags are enroute.

 
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