There was a lot of furor two weeks ago when a sucide bomber struck the front gate of Bagram Airbase while Vice-President Cheney was visiting. Most of the uproar was predictable about a resurgence of the Taliban, security lapses and so on. The truth about this incident is that it was an anomally. The Taliban do not have a base of support in the Bagram area and it is more likely than not a mere coincidence that the Vice-president happened to be there when the attack occured. Mr. Cheney was never in any danger and security was not breached, but what is being lost here as everyone grasps at straws as they attempt to validate their own point, is the sacrifices of those who perished.
PFC Daniel Zuzumbo was the U.S. soldier that was killed in this attack. He was a member of the 251st Cargo Transfer Company, a subordinate entity of my old unit, the 191st Ordnance Battalion.
I didn't know Daniel, he rotated to Afghanistan after I had returned to Germany and given the XO position. I didn't know Daniel, but I know that after serving 4 years in the Marines he struggled with civilian life in Chicago before joining the Army. I know that he was aware of the risks associated with his job and he accepted them. I know the job that he was doing in Afghanistan, and I have walked the ground where his life was taken from him, here where these children gather every day to talk to soldiers. I know that more than 20 other people died along with Daniel that day.
I know that Daniel was honered by thousands in Afghanistan as he began his final trip home. I know that he was honored by hundreds here in Germany in the chapel right across the road from where I work. I know that he was honored by thousands at home in Chicago.
I know that he was a hero. I know that he will be missed.