Casualties, Not Victims
This is the best work of my generation, which I call the Trash Generation. (Why? Because some of us are trash, we've been treated like trash, and our generational mission will be to take out the trash and clean up the mess we've been left.) These men and women are my contemporaries, and I'm getting a little tired of all the condenscension how they're "kids" or "boys".
Those in uniform are definitely men, not children. They withstand hardships, work hard, and put themselves at risk for the highest of achievements. When our soldiers die, they are fallen heroes, not victims. I am increasingly frustrated with a media that refuses to respect them on their own terms but constantly filters them through the prism and prejudices of the Baby Boomers.
The men and women Ms. Friedman highlights in her article are the front-line soldiers in the other, larger war: civilized society vs. barbarism. They, too, are tremendously brave and good. The songs and sagas of our yesterdays were based on people like them. When some are killed as Nick Berg was, they too are casualties in the larger war, not merely victims of chance or malice. They, too, deserve the honor befitting fallen heroes.