A very sad milestone: The 2,000th American soldier killed in Afghanistan:
James Justice, 21, was shot in the head in Afghanistan and passed away at a hospital in Germany, family members told NewsChannel 36. Details behind the shooting have yet to emerge.
His family was at the airport Thursday preparing to fly to Germany when an Army doctor called to tell them their son no longer had any brain activity.
His wife made the decision to take him off life support because Justice believed a soldier’s mission is to save lives. She donated his organs to help save other soldiers at the hospital.
Spc. Justice joined the Army when he was 18; he leaves behind a wife and three stepchildren. He did what the American government asked him to do, and his loss diminishes us all. It's imcumbent upon our leaders to justify the loss of so many young men and women in a place so far away. Our current leaders have not done that.
One footnote: It was some excellent reporting by the New York Times to establish that Spc. Justice was the 2000th troop death. Shame on the rest of us for not noticing, and for not giving Afghanistan the attention this ongoing, never-ending war deserves.
You can learn more about the men and women we've lost in Afghanistan here.