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Compare and contrast... the tales of two soldiers

 The media in general, and international media in particular, have been drooling over the story of accused murderer SSG Bales.  We've had media camped outside the gates at Fort Leavenworth, and a lot of ink has been spilled.

Much less has been spilled about another soldier, and an incident in which a soldier's actions resulted in a death.

Sergeant Dennis Weichel, Rhode Island Army National Guard

His own.

Saving an Afghan child.

Meet Sergeant Dennis Weichel, Rhode Island Army National Guard, courtesy CNN.


I know why the dichotomy.  I'm just doing our bit to do what we set out to do back in 2003... get out the stories that don't get told, but should.

Now is the time at Castle Argghhh! when we dance: In Memoriam 

H/t, the Castles favorite Canadian military shstorian, Dr. Sean Maloney


 Since I don't know all  of the facts, I believe, it is inappropriate for me to state an opinion on SGT Bales. I believe that we should have all of the aggravating and mitigating factors of his actions,  before stating an opinion.

In reference to SGT Dennis Weichel, it appears that he simply did the right thing. Sadly, it cost him his life.
This is very much a counter to Bales. A great positive story. All thanks to Sergeant Dennis Weichel.

I have noticed positive stories don't do well attention-wise. I think we all know this either consciously or subconsciously. There is an emotional gap. We feel more passionately about the negative stuff.

You know if you look here and back down the posts of the past this is repeated even here amongst people who I would consider the most likely to be supportive of a mil who's done well.

Perhaps it is because it's not clear what to say about a man who does well compared to one who does not.

All the same it disturbs me. And not just here or on similar mil posts of a positive nature. I see this pattern right across the interwebs on many topics and posts.

Many good people are invisible because we're all gaping at the sewer.

Grumpy: I agree. We don't know the facts in that case and I have plenty of experiences in AFG where children were used as an early warning system, agents of influence, intelligence collectors, suicide bombers and for various nefarious purposes by the enemy to sometimes wonder about them being 'combatants' or not... so who knows what the hell was really going on in Dag-e Bagh. Argent hits the nail on the head, though. I think North American society is negatively focused in part because of the perfectionism increasingly  demanded by all sectors so things that go wrong wind up getting excessive bad press/attention etc. I see a distinct asymmetry that Sgt Weichel's act in some ways re-balances even briefly before we dive back into the maw.
 Sad to lose such a man, yet I suspect he would still do it even knowing he cost. I hope someone is able to expalin to the girl and her parents and to thier village what he did.