Last Tuesday Bill and Beverly Osborn got the news that any parent with a child serving overseas in a combat zone fears more than anything else. Their son, 26 year old Specialist Benjamin Osborn had been killed in action. Yesterday, they laid Ben to rest at The Gerald B. Solomon National Cemetery in Saratoga, NY.
Bill and Beverly feel that the Rules of Engagement that forced his son’s unit to delay their defense of an ambush until they were given order to fire contributed to his death.
The Obama RoE change basically limits when and how our soldiers can return fire when attacked, restricts when and how they can call for backup and generally restricting the use of firepower in general. All of this was done in the name of “reducing civilian casualties”. What is has done is given the Taliban a huge strategic and tactical advantage, one that they have exploited fully and used to make June of 2010 the deadliest month since the war started.
The grief stricken Mrs. Osborn summed it up with a profound statement.
“They’re laughing at us, the Taliban is laughing at us.”
Mr. Osborn then followed with a statement that I think more and more American’s are agreeing with every day.
“I think he’s the wrong man for the wrong job at the time, and I think he has things backwards I think that it’s a kind of touchy feely approach to war and it doesn’t work.”
Then here comes Mrs. Osborn with the final shot.
“We have to win the war first. The only way to do that is to have someone in charge who’s a warrior, not a flower child”
On a side note, the homecoming for Ben was amazing. His body was flown to the Warren County Airport by private jet and then the motorcade that escorted the hearse to the funeral home drove down streets lined with citizens welcoming Ben home for the last time. The scene was repeated on Thursday when the hearse traveled the 28 miles from the funeral home to the cemetery.
I never met Ben, even though he only lived a couple of miles from me. I can say that even though I never met him, I will never forget him.