Some people said it was a hoax.
It was most certainly not.
The Seattle Times has a story on Army Private Aaron Fairbairn, who was killed by a jihadi suicide bomber on his base in eastern Afghanistan over the weekend. Read the whole account here:
David Masters and his wife, Shelley, laughed in relief Friday when they learned their son, an Army private in Afghanistan, was just fine, busy working out and watching videos his family had sent.
Then, on Saturday, Fourth of July morning, an Army chaplain and soldier showed up at their Aberdeen house and told him Pvt. Aaron Fairbairn, 21, had been fatally injured in a truck bombing. Based on news accounts, Masters believes Fairbairn was one of two soldiers fatally injured when a Taliban insurgent drove an explosives-filled truck through the gates of a U.S. base in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktika province.
The Department of Defense has yet to confirm the identities of the two killed.
The news was devastating for a family that had come together a decade ago in a union mirroring the “Brady Bunch” clan: The marriage was the second for both Masters and his wife, who each had three kids roughly the same age. Fairbairn was Masters’ stepson.
“If there’s any day when you’re going to make that kind of sacrifice … ” Masters said, his voice tearfully trailing away. Finally, he said: “I realize Aaron’s just one guy coming home not sitting in a seat. Lots of other guys have made that same sacrifice.”
Indeed. Just in today:
Bombs and bullets killed seven American troops throughout Afghanistan Monday, officials said, as thousands of U.S. Marines continued with their massive anti-Taliban offensive in the south.
A suicide car bomber also blew himself up outside the gate of the main NATO base in the region, killing two civilians and wounding 14 other people.
In an effort to protect Afghans, American troops also recently received new guidelines limiting use of airstrikes in order to minimize civilian casualties that threaten local support of foreign forces’ presence.
The seven American deaths came as thousands of U.S. Marines continued with their major offensive against the Taliban in Helmand province, a southern militant stronghold and hub of the vast Afghan drugs trade. It is the biggest U.S. military operation since the ouster of the Taliban from power in 2001.
Four U.S. soldiers died when their vehicles struck a roadside bomb in Kunduz province in the north, said Navy Chief Petty Officer Brian Naranjo, a U.S. military spokesman. The dead were training Afghan forces, Naranjo said.
In comparison to the country’s south and east, northern Afghanistan is relatively quiet. But roadside and other insurgent attacks have been increasing in the last few years, as the militant’s step up their operations.
In the south, meanwhile, another explosion killed two more American troops, Naranjo said, without providing details of the exact location of the blast.
Another American soldier died of wounds sustained during a firefight Monday with militants in the east of the country, a U.S. military spokesman said, without providing other details.
Fox News noted the Internet support for Pvt. Fairbairn’s family this morning.
Pvt. Fairbairn’s stepfather continues to keep his memory and legacy alive on Twitter.