Wednesday, July 25, 2007

July 25, 2005- No Regrets

Two years ago today, my son Joel and his friend Adam went out on a patrol in Samarra.

Joel came back. Adam did not.

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(CBS) PORTAGE, Ind. One of the youngest soldiers to fight in the Iraqi war was killed in the line of duty.

Adam Harting was barely old enough to legally drink. Despite his young age, he enthusiastically wanted to serve his country.

CBS 2's Suzanne LeMignot reports on a family trying to come to grips with his death.

"He believed very strongly in what he was doing. He loved his country and he loved his friends and family," said Adam’s father, Jim Harting.

Jim Harting says at the tender age of 11, his son, Army Spc. Adam Harting, wrote down his goals for his father. Enlisting in the military was one of them.

"Even in the fifth grade he pretty much had things planned out for himself. He knew exactly where he wanted to go,” Jim Harting said.

On Monday, Harting got word his 21-year-old son was dead. An explosive device detonated near his vehicle in Samarra, Iraq.

“There won't be a day that goes by that I won't think of him and miss him," Harting said.

Adam Harting was 19 years old when he was featured in Time magazine in 2003 as one of the youngest soldiers to arrive in Kuwait as part of the American invasion of Iraq. At 18, he had only been out of high school for six months when he was called to duty.

"He served proudly. He really and truly did," Jim Harting said.

Adam would have been home two months ago for good, but his tour of duty was extended. With that in mind, Adam's death is especially hard for his twin brother, Alex.

"They were one person that was split in two and, he was, he was a best friend," the boys’ father said.

Adam's father said, he feels blessed he was just able to see his son a few weeks ago. He came home for two and a half weeks and arrived to see his dad on Father's Day.

Adam Harting is the 13th member of the U.S. military from northwest Indiana killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Harting's death is also being mourned here at CBS 2. Two years ago on Mother's Day, Harting phoned home from Iraq on a CBS satellite phone.

CBS 2 cameraman John Truitt set up the call. They became friends when Harting guarded the perimeter for U.S. journalists in Baghdad.

He remembers a young Indiana kid amazed by TV news but who also was a grizzled veteran of the war.

“In this business, you meet a lot of people from all walks of life, heads of state, professional athletes, entertainers, extraordinary people. I don’t think I could think of anybody more memorable than him. He was polite, honest, engaging, very smart," Truitt said.

They saw each other just last month when Adam was on leave. At that time, Truitt gave him the CBS cap he'd worn in Iraq. The last thing he told Adam was to bring it back.

One thing I didn't know at the time was that the despicable shitheads from Fred Phelps' cult had shown up at Adam's funeral.

We told them that Adam Harting being blown up by an IED is the judgment of God and that all God’s judgments are righteous and we are to be thankful for all of God’s judgments and we are to wash our feet in the blood of the wicked. We told them that Adam Harting is not a hero; that he fought for a fag country and that God killed him in shame, and that his burial should be as the burial of an ass.

I would exhaust my monthly ration of curse words just attempting to respond to that abomination.

Two years later, Adam's death still has a profound impact on our family. I have told before that Joel has a tattoo for Adam on his arm. He also has a rear window sticker on his car for him, the soldier's memorial. I think in large part, that is why Joel re-enlisted. I can only hope that Adam's family knows that he is not forgotten, and never will be.


At 7/25/2007, Blogger Kat said...


At 7/25/2007, Blogger Richmond said...

Oh bless... We do not deserve such fine men as these.


At 7/25/2007, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I cannot think of one coherent, meaningful thing to say other than, he IS not forgotten. And my thoughts and prayers go to his family and yours....


At 7/26/2007, Anonymous Mrs. Who said...

I can't think of what to say, but if you can, tell Adam's family there are others thinking of him and are grateful.

And tell Joel thank you, too.

America's best, indeed.


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