Posted by: David | January 10, 2008

Rest In Peace Andrew Olmsted

I heard about this on NPR on the way home from work today.  A blogging soldier in Iraq, Major Andrew Olmsted was killed by a sniper on January 3rd.  He had written an amazing post to be published by a fellow blogger in the event of his death. In the radio story, his father commented on how difficult it was for him to read this post.


  1. David, this made me cry my eyes out. Thank you for posting it.

  2. This was so amazing; I’m crying too moonbeam!

    Thanks David, I don’t think I would have found this otherwise!

  3. I didn’t cry while reading this amazing post. I felt really plugged in to his whole mood and where his head was at. He was a good writer and conveyed it beautifully in his final written words. Having lost three family members in the past year or so, I’ve been forced to think about death a lot lately and I found great comfort in this soldier’s words. He really conveyed his bravery, his humor, his poetic nature, and an inner peace mixed with sadness and regret for leaving his wife and family and friends. But he wasn’t maudlin; he expressed it all with such command of both his life and his writing, it was inspiring.

    I wasn’t sure I’d be able to read it because I was afraid the poignancy of the whole thing would just rip me up. But in many ways there was a lot of joy in that post, Andrew Olmstead’s joy for life. In a sad situation, he wrote a love letter to everyone he knew. I’m sure he’s left a huge whole in their universe. Thanks for posting the link, David.

  4. You’re right, Wendy– it was a love letter to everyone he knew. The humor, love and intelligence in his post are unbelievably poignant. And he had the wherewithal to compose it and give it to someone he trusted to post for him, “just in case.” The kindness of that act alone left me bawling. That and the fact that our words have the power to reach others, even after we’re gone.

  5. @ MB – One can only imagine the letter he left for his wife. You just know he did, and it’s probably beautiful.

  6. Thank you for this, David.

  7. Thank you all for your comments, and you’re welcome. Most of my posts are light-hearted or comical, but when they (NPR) read some of the quotes that Olmsted had used in his post I was compelled to look it up. Like Wendy, I was a little afraid it might be too much, but it was so well written and thoughtful that I was further compelled to provide links to my thoughtful readers.

    Sure hope we can bring our troops home soon.

  8. That was hard to read yet I’m glad I read it. I feel so bad for the family who is left behind and has to deal with his death. I can’t imagine how you do that. I lost my father but he was 85 and had a long life and no one lives forever. But losing a son or daughter or brother or sister, I just don’t know. I don’t know if I could survive losing one of my children.
    He sounded like he had a good attitude about life. I’ll bet his parents will treasure that letter, knowing how brave he was. That’s when you sit back and take stock of your own life and be appreciative of what you have.

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