First LT. Andrew Bacevich, RIP

First Lt. Andy Bacevich, son of Boston University professor and war critic Andrew J. Bacevich, was tragically killed by an IED in Iraq on May 13th. Lieutenant Bacevich was stationed out of Fort Hood, Texas, and although his asthma kept him from joining ROTC, the Army accepted him after he graduated, and he joined willingly. His sister, Jennifer, tells us what Andy was like:

Bacevich’s sister, Jennifer Bacevich, 34, said her brother joined the Army after he wasn’t able to enroll in ROTC because of his asthma. When the military eased its restrictions, he went on to train to be an officer.

Despite his asthma, Jennifer said her brother was active and athletic.

“He was a guy who liked to run marathons,” she said. “He liked to be with his friends. He was a real funny guy.”

“He liked to run. He liked to play soccer.”

Her brother was single at the time of his death, she said.

Andy’s sister Katy also helps us get to know her brother:

Katy Bacevich, 22, one of the soldier’s three sisters, recalled her brother as a born leader who answered a calling to serve his country. Andrew Bacevich joined the Army in July 2004 and had been stationed in Iraq since October with the Third Brigade Combat Team, First Cavalry Division.

“He felt it was an important thing to do, regardless of the war that was going on,” she said. Despite her father’s strong feelings about the conflict, Katy Bacevich said, “he never would discourage my brother from doing what he wanted to do.”

The sacrifice Lieutenant Bacevich made is one of which I will always be in awe. What was it about his character that compelled him to put his life at risk for millions of Americans he would never meet? I didn’t know Lieutenant Bacevich, but he willingly risked and ultimately sacrificed his life for me and my family. How do I say thank you? Words are simply not enough.

Now Professor Bacevich and his family will begin planning Andy’s funeral, and it will be the hardest thing they will ever do. My thoughts and prayers go out to the Bacevich family as they begin the process of saying good bye.

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