October 21, 2008
Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato,Killed Tuesday in Afghanistan, Tells Why He Served
SPC Fortunato was serving in the US Army’s 26th Infantry Regiment and worked as a gunner on a Humvee.
The following is a blog entry written on Aug. 30, 2008, by Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato, who was killed Tuesday in Afghanistan when the vehicle he was riding in was blown up by an improvised explosive device. This entry was forwarded to the Globe by his mother, Elizabeth “Betty” Crawford.
If I may …
I’d like to say something….Just to get it out there so it is clear.
To all the pampered and protected Americans who feel it is their duty to inform me that I am not fighting for their freedom, and that i am a pawn in Bush’s agenda of greed and oil acquisition: Noted, and [expletive deleted] You.
I am not a robot. i am not blind or ignorant to the state of the world or the implications of the “war on terrorism.” i know that our leaders have made mistakes in the handling of a very sensitive situation, but do not for one second think that you can make me lose faith in what we, meaning America’s sons, daughters, fathers, and mothers in uniform are doing.
I am doing my part in fighting a very real enemy of the United States, i.e. Taliban, Al Qaida, and various other radical sects of Islam that have declared war on our way of life. Unless you believe the events of 9/11 were the result of a government conspiracy, which by the way would make you a MORON, there is no reasonable argument you can make against there being a true and dangerous threat that needs to be dealt with. i don’t care if there are corporations leaching off the war effort to make money, and i don’t care if you don’t think our freedom within America’s borders is actually at stake. i just want to kill those who would harm my family and friends. it is that simple. Even if this is just a war for profit or to assert America’s power, so what? Someone has to be on top and I want it to be us. There’s nothing wrong with wishing prosperity for your side.
I am a proud American. i believe that my country allows me to live my life more or less however i want to, and believe me, i have seen what the alternative of that looks like. i also believe that our big scary government does way more than it has to to help complete [expletive deleted]-ups get back on their feet, a stark comparison to places where leaders just line their own pockets with gold while allowing the people who gave them their power and privilage to starve. I have chosen my corner. I back my country, and am proud to defend it against aggressors. Also, if you dare accuse us of being inhumane, or overly aggressive because we have rolled into someone else’s country and blown some [expletive deleted] up and shot some people, let me remind you of just how inhumane we COULD be in defending ourselves. Let me remind you that we have a warhead that drops multiple bomblets from the stratosphere which upon impact, would turn all the sand in Iraq to glass, and reduce every living thing there to dust. Do we use it? No. Instead we use the most humane weapon ever devised: the American soldier. We send our bravest (and perhaps admitably craziest) men and women into enemy territory, into harms way, to root out those whom we are after and do our best to leave innocent lives unscathed.
…One last thing…a proposal. i know it has been stated time and time again but i just think it is worthy of reiteration. If you find yourself completely disgusted with the way America is being ran, and how we handle things on the global stage, you can leave. Isn’t that amazing? No one will stop you! If you are an anarchist, there are places you can go where there is no government to tell you anything. That’s right…you are left solely to your own devices and you can handle the men who show up at your door with AKs in any way that you see fit. Just don’t try good old American debate tactics on them because you will most likely end up bound and blind-folded, to have your head chopped off on the internet so your parents can see it. However if you insist on staying here and taking advantage of privilages such as free speach and WIC, keep the counter-productive [expletive deleted] to a minimum while the grown ups figure out how to handle this god-awful mess in the middle east.
Wild Thing's comment..........
Rest in Peace Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato. Prayers for your family and loved ones.
Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato is one of our heroes and will never be forgotten.
Posted by Wild Thing at October 21, 2008 04:47 AM
Any day of the week, this is heartbreaking to read.
But after watching the video above of the hecklers at the M/P rally, it incites an anger in me that I'd rather not visit. Those people are so clueless and disrespectful, they are a scurge on society.
Army Spc. Stephen Fortunato, you were a Great American. My heart goes out to your family.
Posted by: Eden at October 21, 2008 05:58 AM
God Bless this Brave Rifle. My families thoughts and prayers will be with this brave man and all of those that loved him.
Posted by: James R McKennna at October 21, 2008 07:14 AM
Spc Fortunato, and those like him, are the reason why this is the greatest nation on Earth.
Posted by: BobF at October 21, 2008 07:14 AM
Our Founding Fathers would truly have been proud of this young man and yes.....Warrior. He clearly shines as an example all that is good and honorable in this Country and the World.
"Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life". - REV. ii. 10.
"Almighty and everlasting God, be with us as we bow our heads in honor of this gallant man who has gone on to that spiritual temple, that house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. Give us the strength to carry on his work, so that when our life's journey is over, we too may hear the welcome sound:
"Well done good and faithful servant, Well Done".
Spc. Stephen Fortunato understood what Freedom, Life and Liberty is all about!!! Which is more than I can say about those he addresses in his letter. How about us....Do we truly understand how precious and fragile Our Constitution and way of life really are? Do we all understand that Freedom isn't Free? Are we willing to pick up his banner and continue the good fight for the most precious gift we have ever been given....FREEDOM!?!?!?!
PLEASE.....Let not this young man have died in vain!!!! We must always be vigilant and strong against those that would want to destroy us. Let there be no misunderstanding....WE WILL NEVER GIVE AWAY OUR FREEDOM!!!!!!!!
Posted by: John at October 21, 2008 07:17 AM
Spc. Stephen Fortunato expressed just the way that so many of us in Vietnam felt. I guess each generation of soldiers serve for the same reasons. Stephen is gone now, but his message lives on. Thank you Sir for your sacrifice for me and all of America.
Posted by: TomR at October 21, 2008 08:18 AM
Dittos TomR... he said what I have always believed that if you don't like it here you can always leave, there are no fences holding you in and no one will stop you from leaving when you are ready to go. Just don't come back.
I might add and take Obama with you when you do leave.
Posted by: Mark at October 21, 2008 11:08 AM
Army Specialist Stephen Fortunato is a real American patriot and hero. I say "is" instead of "was" because he and others like him live on in the spirit and fabric of the country as fought for and documented in the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States. Stephen Fortunato's resume is thick with achievement, accomplishment, service, and sacrifice for country.
His blog entry is a combination of intelligence and feelings for others that is in sharp contrast to the chronic complainers who think that America is evil, needing of change, and are not proud of their country. Stephen Fortunato and the majority of the country is not evil, does not need to change, and couldn't be more proud of the country.
God bless Stephen Fortunato and God bless the United States of America.
Posted by: Les at October 21, 2008 03:36 PM
John 15:13 - "Greater no love than this, than a man who lays down his life for a friend." FREEDOM is not FREE and only a few of US get it RIGHT!
Posted by: darthcrUSAderworldtour07 at October 21, 2008 05:05 PM
Rest in peace Specialist Fortunato, your country and all of us military veterans salute you and wish the best for your family. HOOAH Stephen!
Posted by: cuchieddie at October 21, 2008 07:47 PM
Thank you everyone and thank you for your sharing. You are all so wonderful and very special to me.
Posted by: Wild Thing at October 22, 2008 12:14 AM