Major Who Blogged For Newspaper Killed In Iraq

Maj. Andrew Olmsted Died In Insurgent Attack

An Army major from Colorado who wrote a blog from Iraq for the Rocky Mountain News was killed during an attack by insurgents.

The News reported the death of Maj. Andrew Olmsted Friday. A Defense Department release confirmed the death, saying Olmsted died Thursday with another soldier, Capt. Thomas J. Casey, 32, of Albuquerque when rebels attacked with small arms near Sadiyah.

Olmsted, who began writing for the News on May 21, asked a friend to publish a final posting on his Web site if he died in Iraq. In it, Olmsted, who described himself as a libertarian, warns against making his death an argument for or against the war.

"My life isn't a chit to be used to bludgeon people to silence on either side ... 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," read the final post on AndrewOlmsted.com.

He also quoted Plato as saying "only the dead have seen the end of war."

"If you think I wasted my life, I'll tell you you're wrong. We're all going to die of something. I died doing a job I loved. When your time comes, I hope you are as fortunate as I was," he wrote.

In his last post, he wrote that what he would miss most is blogging, which he's done for the past five years. He said it has given him the opportunity to meet smart people and live on in (virtual) history.

Olmsted leaves behind his wife of 10 years, Amanda Wilson, of Colorado Springs.

"The news is devastating," News editor John Temple said. "The major was a brave man who obviously thrived on sharing his experiences and thoughts on his blog. He provided a perspective on Iraq that would have been impossible for a journalist. Our thoughts are with his wife, family and unit."

The Department of Defense said Olmsted and Casey were both assigned to the Military Transition Team, 1st Brigade, 1st Infantry Division at Fort Riley, Kan. The Rocky reported that Olmsted was based at Colorado's Fort Carson and had trained at Fort Riley.

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