Two young men from Shreveport were among the fallen heroes in the deadly attack on a Chinook helicopter in Afghanistan, fellow graduates from Caddo Magnet High School.
Robert James Reeves and Jonas Kelsall played soccer together before joining the military, although Reeves, 32, spent a year first at LSU. Both became part of elite Navy SEAL units. Their memory is cherished not only among family and friends but among their fellow Louisianians, who have seen many of our young people off to war during the past decade.
Gov. Bobby Jindal ordered flags flown at half-staff in memory of Reeves and Kelsall.
The crash killed 30 U.S. soldiers and eight Afghan military personnel. The latter also should be remembered with honor.
While the pain of loss is considerable, we have little doubt the veterans among the victims in the crash would have approved of the following words from one of their superiors.
“The incident, as tragic as it was in its magnitude, will have no influence on the conduct of operations,” said Gen. Carsten Jacobson, a German general who is spokesman for the coalition forces.
“It was a tragic day. It was a tragic loss,” Jacobson said. “The campaign is going to continue. We will continue to relentlessly pursue the enemy in the fight that we are taking to them.”
That is the spirit that motivated our young people and should be an inspiration to those who remain.