By Brad Friedman on 9/12/2007, 11:52am PT  

Written "at the tail end of a 15-month deployment" in Iraq, seven U.S. service members filed a devastating opinion piece in the New York Times last August 19th, headlined "The War as We Saw It."

Their insightful, nuanced, and intelligent piece countered the simplistic "We're makin' progress!" message of the Administration, the Republicans, their Media Talking Heads, and General Petraeus. It began this way...

As responsible infantrymen and noncommissioned officers with the 82nd Airborne Division soon heading back home, we are skeptical of recent press coverage portraying the conflict as increasingly manageable and feel it has neglected the mounting civil, political and social unrest we see every day.

The troops on the ground concluded that "Four years into our occupation, we have failed on every promise," adding, "we have substituted Baath Party tyranny with a tyranny of Islamist, militia and criminal violence."

Yance T. Gray and Omar Mora of the 82nd Airborne Division, two of the service members who wrote the op/ed "at the tail end" of their 15-month deployment, were killed outside of Baghdad on Monday.

According to Editor & Publisher:

Mora, 28, hailed from Texas City, Texas, and was a native of Ecuador, who had just become a U.S. citizen. He was due to leave Iraq in November and leaves behind a wife and daughter. Gray, 26, had lived in Ismay, Montana, and is also survived by a wife and infant daughter.

They are now, indeed, "heading back home."

Another of the seven, "Staff Sergeant Jeremy Murphy, an Army Ranger and reconnaissance team leader, was shot in the head while the article was being written. He was expected to survive after being flown to a military hospital in the United States."

(via A.J. Rossmiller at AMERICAblog)