There’s a strangely nonchalant line at the beginning of yesterday’s New York Times profile of the thousandth US troop to die in Afghanistan:

He was an irreverent teenager with a pregnant girlfriend when the idea first crossed his mind: Join the Army, raise a family. She had an abortion, but the idea remained. Patrick S. Fitzgibbon, Saint Paddy to his friends, became Private Fitzgibbon. Three months out of basic training, he went to war.

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