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Robert Greenwald

Robert Greenwald is a producer, director, political activist, and Brave New Films founder and president.

May 30th, 2011 12:56 PM

Memorial Day: Remembering Those Who Didn't Have To Die in Afghanistan

Written by Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe

Memorial Day is a national holiday dedicated to remembering Americans killed in wartime. This year, unfortunately, we remember war dead who didn't have to die, and unless Congress and the president act, we'll remember more needless deaths next year. As of today, 1,516 Americans have died in the Afghanistan War, a conflict that the American people oppose and the continuation of which makes no sense.

Hidden from the front pages of newspapers and other media who can't be bothered to devote significant coverage to the longest war in U.S. history, these dead troops had names and lives before our national policies forced them to give them up.

For example, 23-year-old Army Pvt. Thomas C. Allers from Plainwell, Michigan, was remembered as a "great kid, very sweet," who enjoyed fishing with his parents. He died this week alongside Staff Sgt. Kristofferson B. Lorenzo, 33, of Chula Vista, California; Pfc. William S. Blevins, 21, of Sardinia, Ohio; and Pvt. Andrew M. Krippner, 20, of Garland, Texas.

These men didn't have to die. They died because our politicians sent them to Afghanistan over the continued objections of their countrymen. Their comrades will continue to die until those politicians bring them home.

In a bitter moment of irony this week, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly failed to agree to amendments that would have reined in the brutal, futile war on the same day U.S. troops were suffering their worst losses in Afghanistan since Bin Laden's death. But, as Robert Naiman points out, even though McGovern/Jones amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act failed, the vote margin was so narrow (204-215) that it sent a strong signal to the president that Congress' patience with the constantly deteriorating and resource-hungry war was running out. As U.S. Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) put it, "[W]hen somebody comes up with the right amendment, it's going to pass."

The American people's patience ran out long ago, however. For months, poll after poll has shown rock-solid opposition to the Afghanistan War. Since last December, for example, Pew Research Center's polling has consistently shown that at least a plurality (hovering around 50 percent) want to "remove troops ASAP." With Osama bin Laden dead and al Qaeda driven from the country, it's time Congress and the president listened.

Today, we remember Americans killed during the Afghanistan War. Below are the names of the troops who died in that conflict just since last Memorial Day. Congress and the president need to act to end this war immediately so that next year's list is drastically shorter. Please take a moment to sign our petition to bring the troops home.

  • Abbate, Matthew
  • Aceves, Omar
  • Acosta, Rudy A.
  • Adams, Christian M.
  • Adamski III, Frank E.
  • Adkins, Charles L.
  • Adkinson III, Vinson B.
  • Aguilar, Amaru
  • Ahmed, Shane H.
  • Ainsworth, Jesse W.
  • Alcaraz, Raymond C.
  • Aleman, Nicholas J.
  • Allen, Justin B.
  • Allers, Thomas C.
  • Ambard, Philip D.
  • Amores, Jason G.
  • Anderson, Brian M.
  • Andrade, John E.
  • Andrews, Scott A.
  • Antonik, Christopher J.
  • Arizmendez, Marc A.
  • Arrechaga, Ofren
  • Ashlock, Vincent W.
  • Atim, Paul J.
  • Ausborn, Jeffrey O.
  • Ayube II, James A.
  • Bailey, Michael C.
  • Balduf, Kevin B.
  • Baldwin, Robert F.
  • Balthaser, Jesse M.
  • Bartelt, Justus S.
  • Barton, Robert N.
  • Bauer, Joseph A.
  • Beckerman, Michael J.
  • Benitez, Carlos A.
  • Bennedsen, Robert N.
  • Billingsley, Tramaine J.
  • Bishop, John C.
  • Bitner, Benjamin F.
  • Blevins, William S.
  • Board, Cody A.
  • Bock, Michael A.
  • Boelk, James D.
  • Bohall, Thomas A.
  • Bolen, Edward H.
  • Bovia, Joseph A.
  • Boyd, Christopher J.
  • Braggs, Randy R.
  • Brodeur, David L.
  • Broehm, Matthew J.
  • Brown, Tara R.
  • Brummund, Gavin R.
  • Bryant Jr., Frank D.
  • Bubacz, Andrew S.
  • Buenagua, Ardenjoseph A.
  • Buffalo, Loren M.
  • Buras, Michael J.
  • Burgess, Bryan A.
  • Burgess, Scott H.
  • Bury, Brandon C.
  • Buzinski, Keith T.
  • Byrd, Jordan
  • Cabacoy, Christopher F.
  • Cain, Justin J.
  • Calhoun Jr., Marvin R.
  • Callahan, Sean T.
  • Calo, Jason D.
  • Campbell, Joshua R.
  • Campbell, Karl A.
  • Carazo, Mario D.
  • Carpenter, Andrew P.
  • Carroll, Jacob C.
  • Carroll, Patrick R.
  • Carron, Paul D.
  • Carse, Nathan B.
  • Carver, Jacob R.
  • Carver, Ross S.
  • Caskey, Joseph D.
  • Castro, Andrew J.
  • Castro, John P.
  • Catherwood, Alec E.
  • Catlett, Matthew R.
  • Cemper, Joseph B.
  • Ceniceros, Irvin M.
  • Chapleau, Kristopher D.
  • Charte, Philip G. E.
  • Chihuahua, Shannon
  • Childers, Cody S.
  • Chisholm, Benjamen G.
  • Ciaramitaro, Dominic J.
  • Clark, Ryane G.
  • Clements, Chad D.
  • Coleman, Chad D.
  • Collins, Sean M.
  • Cooper, Keenan A.
  • Cornelius, Kevin M.
  • Corzine, Kenneth A.
  • Cox, Nathan W.
  • Craig, Adam D.
  • Creamer, Zainah C.
  • Creighton, Andrew J.
  • Crouse IV, William H.
  • Crow, Robert W.
  • Cruttenden, Aaron B.
  • Cueto, Kevin A.
  • Culbreth, Justin E.
  • Cullins, Joshua J.
  • Curtis, Jonathan M.
  • Cutsforth, Sean R.
  • Cuzzupe, Paul O.
  • Dawson, William Brandon
  • Day, David P.
  • Deans, Patrick D.
  • DeBoer, Daane Adam
  • Deluzio, Steven J.
  • Dennis, Jacob A.
  • Dennis, Preston J.
  • Dew, Victor A.
  • Deyoung, Matthew J.
  • Dickmyer, Adam L.
  • Dimock II, Joseph W.
  • Donahue, Max W.
  • Donnelly IV, William J.
  • Dumaw, Joshua R.
  • Dupont, Steven L.
  • Durham, Patrick K.
  • Eastman, Christopher L.
  • Edgerton, Donald R.
  • Emrick, Jordan B.
  • Estelle II, Raymond G.
  • Fabbri, Ralph J.
  • Fahey Jr., David R.
  • Fannin, Shawn D.
  • Farley, Derek J.
  • Fastuca, Louis R.
  • Faulkner, Jeremy P.
  • Fedder, Daniel L.
  • Feldhaus, Dustin J.
  • Fike, Robert J.
  • Filpi III, Vincent A.
  • Fisher, Zachary M.
  • Flannery, Sean M.
  • Fleming, Scott J.
  • Flores, Michael P.
  • Forester, Mark Andrew
  • Freeman, Ronald D.
  • Frison, Demetrius M.
  • Gammone III, Vincent E.
  • Gartner, Ryan A.
  • Garvin, Nathaniel D.
  • Gassen, Jacob A.
  • Geary, Michael E.
  • Gentz, Joel C.
  • George, Matthew Eric
  • Giese, Joseph R.
  • Gire, Joshua S.
  • Goeke, Christopher S.
  • Goetz, Dale A.
  • Goncalo, Ethan L.
  • Gonzalez, Edwin
  • Gould, Kristopher J.
  • Grady, Ryan J.
  • Green, Stacy A.
  • Greer, Kristopher D.
  • Grider, Ronald A.
  • Grochowiak, Casey J.
  • Hamilton, Adam S.
  • Hamski, Joseph J.
  • Hand, Andrew
  • Hardin, Ethan C.
  • Harley Jr., Willie J.
  • Harper, Andrew M.
  • Harris Jr., Larry D.
  • Harris, Devon J.
  • Harris, Todd M.
  • Harrison, Calvin B.
  • Harton, Joshua A.
  • Hennigan, Matthew R.
  • Hermanson, Matthew D.
  • Hermogino, Ken K.
  • Hernandez, Derek
  • Hernandez, Jose A.
  • Hess, David A
  • Hidalgo, Daren M.
  • High, IV, Charles M.
  • Hizon Rudolph R.
  • Holbrook, Jason E.
  • Holder, Kyle M.
  • Holley, Floyd E. C.
  • Holmes, David A.
  • Honeycutt Jr., Terry E.
  • Hoover, Bryan A.
  • Hotchkin, Gunnar R.
  • Howard, Abram L.
  • Htaik, Maung P.
  • Hughes, Bradley S.
  • Hunter, James P.
  • Huse, Dakota R.
  • Hutchins, Andrew
  • Ide, James R.
  • Infante, Jesse
  • Jackson, Francisco R.
  • Jackson, Joe M.
  • Jackson, Timothy M.
  • Jarrell, John H.
  • Jarvis, Barry E.
  • Javier Jr., Conrado D.
  • Jefferson, David
  • Jenkins, Gerald R.
  • Jirtle, Charles S.
  • Johnson, Daniel J.
  • Johnson, John C.
  • Johnson, Joseph D.
  • Johnson, Kalin C.
  • Johnson, Matthew J.
  • Johnson, Raymon L. A.
  • Johnson, Timothy L.
  • Jones, Adam D.
  • Justesen, Anthony T.
  • Justice, James, A.
  • Karch, Christopher N.
  • Kelly, Robert M.
  • Kennedy, Joseph A.
  • Kessler, Kevin J.
  • Kihm, John F.
  • King, Brandon M.
  • King, Jarrid L.
  • Kirspel Jr., Michael D.
  • Kirton, Brandon M.
  • Klusacek, Erick J.
  • Kramer, Aaron K.
  • Kridlo, Dale J.
  • Krippner, Andrew M.
  • Lammerts, Michael S.
  • Lancaster, Joshua T.
  • Land, Brett W.
  • Laningham, Ira B.
  • Lee, Roger
  • Lew, Harry
  • Lillard, Nathan E.
  • Lim, Daniel
  • Lindskog, Jameson
  • Locht, Gwendolyn A.
  • Looney, Andrew R.
  • Looney, Brendan J.
  • Lopez, Joseph C.
  • Loredo, Edwardo
  • Lorenzo, Kristofferson B.
  • Lugo, Martin A.
  • Lukeala, Joshua A.
  • Lutes, David C.
  • Lynch, Scott A.
  • Madden, Russell E.
  • Maher, Brent M.
  • Mahr, Michael C.
  • Malachowski, James M.
  • Maldonado, Alexis V.
  • Maldonado, Jose L.
  • Maldonado, Pedro A.
  • Marler, Donald M.
  • Martin, Shane R.
  • Martinez Jr., Rafael
  • Matteoni, Anthony D.
  • Mays, Chauncy R.
  • McAninch, Kenneth K.
  • McClellan, Jonah D.
  • McClimans, Joshua M.
  • McCluskey, Jason J.
  • McDaniel, Mecolus C.
  • McGahan, Michael E.
  • McGarrah, Clayton D.
  • McLain, Buddy W.
  • McLawhorn Jr., Willie A.
  • McLendon, David B.
  • McMahon, Jason T.
  • McNeley, Justin
  • Meari, Andrew N.
  • Meis, Christopher S.
  • Meletiche, Pedro A. Millet
  • Melton, Bradley L.
  • Mickler Jr., Donald R.
  • Mills Jr., Edward D.
  • Middleton, William K.
  • Miller, David T.
  • Miller, Paul J.
  • Milley, Scott F.
  • Miranda, Denis C.
  • Misener, Garrett A.
  • Mittler, Shaun M.
  • Mixon, Kelly J.
  • Moffitt, Thomas A.
  • Montoya, Diego M.
  • Mooldyk, Evan J.
  • Moon, Christopher J.
  • Moore, Benjamin G.
  • Mora, Conrad A.
  • Morrison, Donald Scott
  • Moses, Sonny Jade
  • Muhr, Shawn A.
  • Muller, Ian M.
  • Nagorski, Scott T.
  • Near, Robert J.
  • Necochea Jr., Kenneth E.
  • Neenan, Brendan P.
  • Negron, Carlos J.
  • Nettleton, Eric M.
  • Newlove, Jarod
  • Newman, Eric C.
  • Newman, Jaime C.
  • Newton, Robert J.
  • Nguyen, Tevan L.
  • Nichols, Donald L.
  • Nicol, Andrew C.
  • Novak, Adam J.
  • Noziska, Mark
  • Nylander, Nathan J.
  • O'Malley, Aracely Gonzalez
  • Oakes, Curtis A.
  • Officer, Justin A.
  • Oquin, James J.
  • Oratowski, Kevin E.
  • Ortega, William
  • Ortiz Rivera, Javier O.
  • Osborn, Benjamin D.
  • Osborne, Jerod H.
  • Ose, Joshua S.
  • Osman, Ergin V.
  • Osterman, Sean A.
  • Page, James A.
  • Pallares, Ronnie J.
  • Palmer, Benjamin J.
  • Pape, Kevin M.
  • Paranzino, Michael F.
  • Park, Benjamin J.
  • Park, Daehan
  • Patino IV, Claudio
  • Patton, Adam J.
  • Pearson, Brandon W.
  • Pedro, Brian J.
  • Peney, Jonathan K.
  • Peto, Jason D.
  • Petree, Jaysine P. S.
  • Pharris, Robert W.
  • Pickering, Brandon T.
  • Piercy, Brian F.
  • Pierre, Linda L.
  • Pietri, Jose M. Caraballo
  • Pilgeram, Jonathan A.
  • Plank, Michael G.
  • Plunk, Jared C.
  • Poulin, Dennis C.
  • Powell, Joshua D.
  • Powell, Matthew C.
  • Prentler, Joseph T.
  • Pressley, Cheziray
  • Pridham, Michael S.
  • Pyeatt, Lucas T.
  • Rabon Jr.,Luther W.
  • Ramirez, Joel A.
  • Ramsey, Matthew W.
  • Raney, Daniel G.
  • Rankel, John K.
  • Ransom, Charles A.
  • Rappuhn, Bradley D.
  • Rast, Benjamin D.
  • Raver, Bryn T.
  • Redding, Blaine E.
  • Reed, Jesse D.
  • Reeves, Jason A.
  • Reifert, Shane M.
  • Repkie, Robert K. L.
  • Richards, William T.
  • Ridgley Jr., Charles E.
  • Riley Jr., Brian D.
  • Rivadeneira, Juan L.
  • Roads, Tyler A.
  • Roberts, Cody A.
  • Roberts, Edgar N.
  • Robinson, David S.
  • Robinson, James C.
  • Rodewald, Joseph E.
  • Rodgers, Christopher B.
  • Rodriguez, Arturo E.
  • Rodriguez, Mario
  • Rodriguez, Ronald A.
  • Rogers, Jason A.
  • Rogers, John M.
  • Romig, Christian J.
  • Rosa, Anthony J.
  • Ross, Justin D.
  • Runkle, John M.
  • Rusk, Colton W.
  • Sadell, Charles M.
  • Saenz III, Jose L.
  • Salmon, Zachary S.
  • Sanchez, Daniel R.
  • Santiago, Anibal
  • Santos, Dave M.
  • Schlote, Robert C.
  • Schmalstieg, Justin E.
  • Schultz, Nathaniel J. A.
  • Scott, Lucas C.
  • Self, David D.
  • Senft, David P.
  • Serwinowski, Timothy G.
  • Shanfield, Derek L.
  • Shaw, Eric B.
  • Shoecraft, Justin B.
  • Silk, Brandon M.
  • Simmons, Anthony W.
  • Simonetta, Derek T.
  • Simpson, Mark A.
  • Sinkler, Amy R.
  • Sisson Jr., Robert C.
  • Smith, Adam O.
  • Smith, David C.
  • Smith, Jason T.
  • Smith, Jeremy D.
  • Snow, Deangelo B.
  • Snow, Jesse Adam
  • Sockalosky, Stephen C.
  • Solorzanovaldovinos, Diego A.
  • Solesbee, Kristoffer M.
  • Soltero, Omar
  • Southworth, Tristan H.
  • Sparks, John T.
  • Spaulding, Riley S.
  • Springer II, Clinton E.
  • Stack, James B.
  • Staggs, Austin G.
  • Standfest, Jeffrey R.
  • Stanley, Chase
  • Stansbery, Michael L.
  • Stanton, Jordan R.
  • Stark, Christopher G.
  • Stout, Christopher T.
  • Stout, Kyle B.
  • Swanson, Aaron M.
  • Swink, James Michael
  • Tabada, Brian
  • Tanner, Phillip C.
  • Tate, Jacob A.
  • Tate, Sheldon L.
  • Tawney, Ian M.
  • Taylor, Cynthia R.
  • Taylor, Johnathan W.
  • Theinert, Joseph J.
  • Thode, James E.
  • Thomas, Collin
  • Thomas, David W.
  • Thompson, Blair D.
  • Thibodeau, Christopher R.
  • Tilton, Jesse R.
  • Tompkins, Travis M.
  • Torbert Jr., Eric M.
  • Trueblood, Eric S.
  • Tucker, Lamarol J.
  • Turner, Eddie
  • Twigg, Joshua T.
  • Van Aalst, Jared N.
  • Vargas, Anthony
  • Vargas, Julio
  • Varnadore II, Terry L.
  • Vazquez, Frederik E.
  • Velazquez, Louie A. Ramos
  • Venetz Jr., Anthony
  • Vieyra, Barbara
  • Villacis, Jorge E.
  • Villanueva, Jonathan M.
  • Villarreal Jr., Jorge
  • Vinnedge, Phillip D.
  • Vogeler, Lance H.
  • Wade, Andrew P.
  • Wade, Chad S.
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  • Warriner, Christian M.
  • Weaver, Jason M.
  • Weaver, Todd W.
  • Weigle, Dave J.
  • Weikert, Matthew W.
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  • Welch III, Robert F.
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  • Whipple, Blake D.
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  • Winters, Leston M.
  • Wisniewski, David A.
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  • Wren, Charles J.
  • Wright, Christopher S.
  • Wrightsman, Joe L.
  • Wyatt, Derek A.
  • Yates, Eric
  • Young, James C.
  • Zaehringer III, Frank R.
  • Zimmerman, James R.

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