The Pentagon revealed today that a soldier from suburban Detroit died on Christmas Day in Iraq. Sgt. Peter Neesley, 28, was from Grosse Pointe Farms. The military says he died of an undetermined cause in a "noncombat environment" in Baghdad. The military, as usual in these (far too many) cases, says it's investigating the circumstances surrounding his death. As some may know, I have written often about "noncombat" deaths in Iraq for over four years.
In the photo, Neesley is shown on a recent visit to his nephew's 4th grade classroom in Grosse Pointe Farms. The school's newsletter described it this way: "Sergeant Peter Neesley, uncle of Patrick D., visited Richard Elementary while home on leave from Iraq. Sgt. Neesley led the school in the Pledge of Allegiance and visited several classrooms answering questions from our inquisitive students. Thanks for spending valuable time with us Sgt. Neesley and don’t forget to write and keep in touch. Thanks to all the men and women in the armed forces. We are so proud of you!"
Update: There is a followup item now at the top of the home page for this blog, with more comments. It links to my new E&P article on the reaction to Peter's death, at: http://www.editorandpublisher.com/eandp/news/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003689713