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Andrew "G'Kar" Olmsted, RIP


One of the most consistently thoughtful milbloggers has died in Iraq. This is from his farewell post, which he delivered to a co-blogger last year to be published in the event of his death:

I do ask (not that I'm in a position to enforce this) that no one try to use my death to further their political purposes. I went to Iraq and did what I did for my reasons, not yours. My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side. If you think the U.S. should stay in Iraq, don't drag me into it by claiming that somehow my death demands us staying in Iraq. If you think the U.S. ought to get out tomorrow, don't cite my name as an example of someone's life who was wasted by our mission in Iraq. I have my own opinions about what we should do about Iraq, but since I'm not around to expound on them I'd prefer others not try and use me as some kind of moral capital to support a position I probably didn't support.


I suppose I should speak to the circumstances of my death. It would be nice to believe that I died leading men in battle, preferably saving their lives at the cost of my own. More likely I was caught by a marksman or an IED. But if there is an afterlife, I'm telling anyone who asks that I went down surrounded by hundreds of insurgents defending a village composed solely of innocent women and children. It'll be our little secret, ok?

Olmsted was perceptive, unpredictable, and funny. May he rest in peace.

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  1. Damn.

    I had never heard of Olmsted before today, but I feel the loss. It sounds like he couldn’t have chosen a better television character to use as his nom-de-blog, and his well-chosen quotes from B5 added to a beautiful, yet tragic, final post.

    RIP G’Kar.

  2. Loved the “Greg the Bunny” quote!

    “When some people die, it’s time to be sad. But when other people die, like really evil people, or the Irish, it’s time to celebrate.”

    Jimmy Bender, “Greg the Bunny”

    Sorry to see another decent one lost!

  3. He asked that nobody make a point with his death, and the final blog post wasn’t exactly weepy.

    That leaves us with only one option: Irish wake–booze, songs, and jokes all around!

  4. With all due respect to the man and his loved ones, he can’t stop me from thinking that war was a waste of his life.


  5. (If it turns out a specific number of tears will, in fact, bring me back to life, then by all means, break out the onions.)

    I feel conflicted that several parts of his final words made me LOL.

  6. Well, shit, that’s horrible.

    I didn’t know him at all, but a guy who quotes B5 can’t be all bad. I only wish I could go out in style as he did (not how he died but how he had prepared for it).

    His final post is an absolute keeper.

  7. One of his last posts:

    I may not agree with the assessment of the far left, but at least they’re honest. They think we’ve lost in Iraq and that we should get out now. Contrast that with those who see in Iraq a wonderful opportunity to win more seats for their party, like publius. It pleases me to no end that if I end up getting killed in Iraq, at least my wife can take comfort in knowing my death may help the Democrats win the White House in 2008. Really, that makes it all worthwhile.

    Ironic, and he really nailed what’s wrong with politics today. Good faith and decency are too often in short supply.

  8. Damn, what a decent sounding guy. To a life well lived!

  9. If I where to be KIA, I’d urge my readers to turn my death into a political clusterfuck and only ask that pundits don’t attempt to disguise politicizing my death my accusing others of politicizing my death. (“Look at all the anti-gun nuts who came out of the wood work to take advantage of the VA Tech killings, shame on them! I’m going to spend a half an hour telling them that they are wrong for taking advantage of the issue. while taking advantage of the issue!)

  10. RIP Andrew.

  11. Small, Dave.

  12. To our absent brother:
    Rest well. Your duty is done. Thank you.

  13. Sometimes when people go to Iraq, they go home to their mommas without any legs. Sometimes they don’t go home at all. That’s a bad thing. That’s all I have to say about that.

  14. What a guy. RIP

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