In Afghanistan: “Yes, That Was Your Son”

Eight U.S. soldiers were killed in three attacks in southern Afghanistan over the past 24 hours, per the LA Times. Thirty-five have died in July to date.

Fifty-nine American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan in October 2009, and Specialist Stephan Mace was one of them. ABC News reporter Karen Russo, embedded last fall with a medevac team in Afghanistan, writes about meeting Specialist Mace’s mother, Vanessa Adelson, after Adelson identified her dying son’s hand in Russo’s ABC News video clip and requested to see more footage.

Writes Russo:

Vanessa had seen the [ABC News] piece and somehow, in watching just a few seconds of video, glimpsed one of the medevaced soldier’s hands and knew it was Stephan. She connected with someone at ABC News who connected her with me.

Vanessa wanted to know if that was Stephan on the flight, and if so was there more video of him that she could watch? She needed to watch it. It was a way for a mother to connect with her son, a way for her to understand his death as much as she knew his life.

Yes, that was your son, I confirmed. And yes, I will get you the video, I said.

(Disclosure: Russo was my classmate at Columbia J-School, though it was a tweet from ABC New’s Yunji de Nies that linked me to Russo’s piece.)

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Liz Cox Barrett is a writer at CJR.