And yet, thanks to the miracle of modern medical technology, he lives.

Brian Arredondo’s* heart stopped beating last month when he committed suicide seven years after his brother Alex#, a Marine lance corporal, was killed by a sniper in Iraq.  Their father, Carlos, bears the remnants of burn marks over 20% of his body from when he “lost it” after being informed of Alex’s death, and set himself on fire.  Both Carlos and his wife, Melida, have suffered repeated bouts of depression, some requiring hospitalization, in recent years.  Life hasn’t been easy for Brian’s mother, Victoria Foley, and his half-brother, Nathan, either.

All US combat troops left Iraq last month, but the casualties–or is “collateral damage” the proper phrase?–continue to mount from the war Vice-President Cheney and so many of his colleagues so eagerly–almost gleefully–started and prosecuted.

By all appearances, Mr. Cheney will go to his grave convinced of the rightness and righteousness of his actions.  When he does finally run out of medical miracles and die, I entertain the fond hope that the Arredondo brothers will be among the cloud of witnesses with St. Peter, waiting for Chaney at the gates of Heaven.  I wonder what they’d do.



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