Hey, I’m back! I know, I know, it’s been a while. But I promise I’ll be better about posting… maybe I’ll even start podcasting again… maybe I’ll clean out the garage… maybe the moon will rise instead of the sun. Baby steps, baby steps.

So of course the big story from the weekend was the number of U.S. troops killed in Iraq hitting the 4,000 milestone. Four thousand brothers, sisters, moms, dads, sons, and daughters. All of them heroes. All of their families my heart goes out to. These brave men and women raised their right hands and volunteered to go on a mission and made the ultimate sacrifice.

While I agree that the media needs to report the unvarnished truth about what is happening, the constant negativity and glee with which too many report this tragic milestone does nothing to help our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines.

Four thousand is a lot. But I want to try to give a little bit of perspective. It is a lot fewer combat deaths than any other extended war this country has been involved in. It pales in comparison to the sacrifices made during single battles during World Wars I & II (or Korea or the Civil War, for that matter).

In a similar five-year period, there were 1,232 deaths in 2003; 1,130 deaths in 2004; 1,257 deaths in 2005; 1,096 in 2006; and 974 deaths in 2007… 5,689 in all… killed on Missouri’s roads. With all due respect to my friends at MoDOT, what’s our exit strategy for Missouri’s highways?

Freedom is hard. Security means sacrifices. Let us not forget the 4,000 brave Americans whose lives were ended early, but let us honor them by making sure their deaths were not in vain.