A reader writes about servicewoman Alyssa Peterson, whose story can be found here:
When the both of us were in the Defense Language Institute learning Arabic, Alyssa and I talked a lot, sharing the stresses of military training and learning a foreign language in 63 weeks. The most striking things about her were how earnest she was, and how honestly she wrestled with moral issues. She finished training before I did and indeed died in Iraq just before I graduated.
Of course we heard through the grapevine that it was suicide, but this never sat well with me, given that she was very devout and always cheerful except for when she faced injustice (something that one faces often, in Army training) toward herself or anyone around her. She was, I felt, too great a soul for her to have killed herself just because her unit's deployment had been extended as some - especially those who had been discomfited by her honesty - tried to imply.
It is this new story of objection to torture, however, that makes sense to me. I am glad it has come out.
I am glad too. When you think of American soldiers, remember Pat Tillman and Alyssa Peterson. The flag is still there.