As usual I started my morning hunting across Cyber space for news which made mention of Hispanics and oddly enough it was at Iraq Today that I got my first clue for this post. It was a DoD notice ( Department of Defense ) posted below:
DoD Identifies Army Casualty
The Department of Defense announced today the death of a soldier who was supporting Operation Iraqi Freedom. Pfc. Edgar E. Cardenas, 34, of Lilburn, Ga., died Aug. 22 in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device. He was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, Fort Hood, Texas.
It is the sort of news that always saddens me in these times. I had recently posted an article which shows a list of Hispanics who have died this year in these wars that the U.S. has been engaged in, until then it was 63.
Just think of that, 63 families that have been torn apart over these insane wars.
Well, upon spotting the name of Pfc. Edgar E. Cardenas I thought I would check the stateside papers to see what mention there was of him. Most of the ones I ran across mentioned the same DoD notice and nothing more. What struck me as odd was that I checked the hometown news of Lilburn, GA at the town site: Lilburn,GA
A Past to Remember / A Future to Mold
and found no mention of Cardenas whatsoever! You would think that news of a hometown boy would make their paper. To be fair I even entered his name in their search engine and again no mention of him. Then again the site is not actually a newspaper.
I even made a search for local papers for Lilburn, GA, but apart from the above named site and the Gwinnett Daily Online there was really nothing else.
Somehow this did not surprise me. It is the sort of thing that we, as Hispanics have come to expect, as uncomfortable as it is, from our second class citizenship status in the Empire. The paper that came the closest to mentioning news about Hispanic soldiers was the Georgia Latino News which had the following article published there:
For some strange reason they had no search engine so I could not verify if they made mention of Pfc. Edgar E. Cardenas and two other Hispanic soldiers. The above named article was about Cristian Rojas, 24, and two other Hispanic soldiers. who was killed in Iraq.
The story is one that is all too familiar with many Hispanics. Economic needs, promises from the military, we all know the conditions. Yet I found no mention of Pfc. Edgar E. Cardenas.
As I said, the only mention of this soldier was the usual DoD that appeared on many national news sites, cold, impersonal, statistical. He probably would have gotten more coverage had he been killed on some street corner in some big city like New York or Chicago!
I even went as far as just entering his name, Edgar E. Cardenas, without the Army title, and still nothing. It was as if this mans 34 years of existence meant nothing whatsoever, as if he had never existed!
Sadly there is little else that I can add. Somewhere in Lilburn, GA there is a family mourning his passing, wondering what they will do now, how they will continue. And today, like every other day since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, more Hispanic soldiers will be recruited and more will continue to die.
Let me end with the words of Eduardo, brother of Cristian Rojas:
“ They promised that as soon as he finished his four years they would give him his citizenship and six months passed as a civilian and they did not give him his citizenship. Now that he is dead, what for?”
Tags: Army Pfc. Edgar E. Cardenas
Gwinnett Daily Online
Georgia Latino News