Soul Sisters


Michelle Witmer, 20, was KIA last week in Baghdad. Her two sisters serving in Iraq came home with the body for Michelle's funeral.

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  1. While it is sad to hear about any soldier’s death in Iraq, what the hell did these women expect to do in the military? Soldiers fight thier countries battles, regardless of what they feel personaly about the conflict. All 3 ladies signed up for military duty, if they did not expect to encounter combat they should not have enlisted.

    As far as not returning, why should they recieve special treatment, there are hundreds of families that have multiple members in Iraq, some of them have already experianced a loss. This isnt saving Private Ryan. Im sad to hear about any loss, but I cannot concede to thier father’s statment about unbearable loss, they should have thought about that when all his daughters decided they wanted to play GI Joe.

    And why is this news?? 600+ dead soldiers in Iraq and this is the first post about any individual death I have seen here on Reason, what makes this particular death post worthy?

  2. late: While it may not be Pvt. Ryan there is a tradition involved which goes something like this: Any family who has been called upon to endure the suffering involved in having lost a family member in service to their country deserves to NOT be called upon to make that same sacrifice again. As an ex-serviceman who has seen combat, I am apalled at the possibility of more than one family member being in a combat zone at any given time. There simply is no need for it. Re-assign them somewhere else.

  3. and why Soul Sisters?

  4. >what makes this particular death post worthy?

    They are three pretty blond girls from the Midwest. What’s not for the media to love?

  5. MALAK, you answered it yourself, tradition, a very recent tradition I might add, WWII, and a very losely applied tradition as well. Here in Colorado Springs we have many families who have multiple sons/daughters who are currently serving in Iraq, not to mention numerous Father and Mother deployed in Iraq. Hell, January’s issue of Time magazine featured a married couple sitting in the back of a Deuce and a half, husband cleaning his wifes weapon.

    Recently a local mother here in Colorado Springs was in danger of having the state take her children away because her and her husband were both deployed and her mother was caring for the children, apparently a big no no to the state of Colorado. The pentagon steped in on her behalf and the state droped the case.

    Im sure I could find many more instances of husband/wife deployments in Iraq, one could argue rather convincingly that a situation like that is much more detremental to a family then a loss of siblings. Siblings I might add who voluteered for military service…. did the thought not cross thier mind that they might be pressed to combat, they are soldiers after all, soldiers fight wars.

  6. While I concede your point, late, I will again state the obvious: This is nuts! The idea that the government which these people serve would be so callous as to put them in these sorts of predicaments is most likely the prime reason, after tour extensions, that enlistment will see a big decline in the near future.

  7. While I concede your point, late, I will again state the obvious: This is nuts! The idea that the government which these people serve would be so callous as to put them in these sorts of predicaments is most likely the prime reason, after tour extensions, that enlistment will see a big decline in the near future.

  8. MALAK,

    I agree, its nuts, but as long as I have been alive its been the way it is in the military. One major reason I broke my father, grandfather and greatgrandathers hearts by not enlisting myself after HS and decided to pursue a career in the civilian world.

    As far as reenlistment is concerned, its been widely reported that the number of reenlistments has declined sharply since the Iraq conflict, resulting in stop orders across the country. I have a number of friends in the reserves who have had stops put on thier departure from service.

    Living in a military town you get to see alot of the fallout, everyone living around me had DOD stickers on ther windshields, conversation gets interesting around the barbque pits let me tell you.

  9. The 82nd doesn’t appear to be having problems.

    “Retainment of troops remains high”

    I hear this claim frequently, but than see reports that show the numbers staying solid. Perhaps this is why…

    “Johnson said there are always rumors during long deployments like the recent ones in Iraq and Afghanistan that soldiers are going to get out when they get back.

    “Soldiers will always tell you they’re not going to re-enlist, especially initial term soldiers in their first enlistment,? Johnson said. ?They will always say they’re not until the last minute, and then they change their minds.”

    The 101st and 4th infantry also are having no numbers problem.

    Most of the stories I find stating a coming re-enlistment problem usually refer to polls rather than actually activity. Furthermore, they often poll the family rather than the folks actually making the decision.

    The special forces are more of a worry, with the lure of big money from private security firms drawing many of the best away. Two routes to deal with this, a)get congress to authorize more money for these guys to keep them in, or b)privatize their positions and hire them through companies like Blackwater.

    Any good libertarian would be happier with the privatization choice of b, right?

  10. On a purely emotional response to this article: speaking as an identical twin, I can’t think of anything more heartwrenching than losing my identical twin sister. My heart ached for the man who lost his twin brother in the World trade center, and my heart goes out to Michelle’s twin sister, and to the rest of her family.

  11. You need not worry about the 82nd; I know them well.


    I believe it is more of an issue of reserve units being filled (the backbone of America’s support system).

  12. While you guys knock yourselves out over there in the sand, we’ll just continue our buildup here in the Taiwan Straight.

    Bye bye. See you soon.

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