by Andy Weddington
Friday, 05 December 2014
"People sleep peaceably in the beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." George Orwell
Michael Brown and Eric Garner, Americans, are household names.
"Leaders" who cannot lead, hustlers, protesters, and media have made certain of it.
Because both men, though the circumstances with each differ, died at the hands of police officers carrying out their duties.
Oh, and there's one more common element - it just so happens the men violating law were black and the police officers white.
Thus America is saturated with news coverage - around the clock - second-guessing, quarterbacking, and sensationalizing both stories; turning these men into martyrs. And in Mr. Garner's case the Grand Jury work has yet to be released. No matter, it's the story not facts that matter.
And another American died a couple of days ago. An alert on my computer so signaled yesterday and he's been on my mind since.
The "leaders" who cannot lead, hustlers, protesters, and media are not sensationalizing his death. But they should be.
So let me tell you what I've been able to find out about him...
His name is Staff Sergeant Matthew R. Ammerman, U. S. Army.
He was 29 years old; hails from Noblesville, Indiana; was assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 7th Special Forces Group, Eglin Air Force Base, Florida; and was killed on Wednesday, 03 December - in combat while conducting a clearing operation in Zabul Province, Afghanistan - by enemy small arms fire.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman must have been one talented man and capable of doing whatever he wanted but he decided to enlist in the Army in 2004 (think about it, he was 19 - a post-9/11 volunteer).
In 2006 he deployed to Iraq - serving 14 months.
In 2009 he deployed to Afghanistan - serving 12 months in assignments as assistant gunner and fire team and squad leader.
In 2011, while stateside, he served as a senior sniper and squad leader.
In 2012 he volunteered for Special Forces graduating in 2013 as a Special Forces communications sergeant.
In the fall of this year, 2014, he again deployed to Afghanistan.
During 10 years of service he earned sundry personal combat decorations, awards, and campaign medals. He also earned and was authorized to wear the following: Special Forces Tab; Ranger Tab; Combat Infantryman Badge; Expert Infantryman Badge; Parachutist Badge; and Driver and Mechanic Badge.
Add the Purple Heart.
Michael Brown and Eric Garner were rough men but not rough in the sense of which George Orwell spoke.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman was a rough man and precisely in the sense of which George Orwell spoke.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman served Michael Brown and Eric Garner.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman served the "leaders" who cannot lead, hustlers, protesters, and media, too.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman served us all; selflessly. He is among the best of America.
Staff Sergeant Ammerman gave all. His family grieves. Friends, too.
Americans, coast to coast, should gather not in protest of any sort but to honor.
For tonight we sleep - while rough men will go about the necessary dirty business of doing violence on our behalf.
Why is not Matthew Ammerman, today, a household name?
Staff Sergeant Matthew R. Ammerman, U. S. Army
Please pass along today's commentary - Help make Staff Sergeant Matthew R. Ammerman, as representative of all who have died while in service to us, a household name. Thank you!
And Staff Sergeant Ammerman was not the only American to die in battle in recent days. I featured him today because the alert of his death came to me yesterday while watching news and the unavoidable tiresome coverage of Eric Garner (and Michael Brown). Matthew Ammerman represents many. We owe them. Public tribute at the least.