U.S. soldier dies saving Afghan girl
March 28th, 2012
04:45 PM ET

U.S. soldier dies saving Afghan girl

By Larry Shaughnessy

After the news of a U.S. soldier charged with murdering Afghan civilians, mostly women and children, the story of Spc. Dennis Weichel of the Rhode Island National Guard bears telling.

The official Pentagon news release says he died "from injuries suffered in a noncombat related incident." But there is much more to the story. Weichel, 29, of Providence, died saving the life of a little girl.

According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan. Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel and other troops got out to move them out of the way.

Most of the children moved, but one little girl went back to pick up some brass shell casings in the road. Afghan civilians often recycle the casings, and the girl appeared to aim to do that. But a Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle was moving toward her, according to Lt. Col. Denis Riel of the Rhode Island National Guard.

MRAPs, as they are known, usually weigh more than 16 tons.

Weichel saw the massive truck bearing down on the girl and grabbed her out of the way. But in the process, the armored truck ran him over, Riel said.

The little girl is fine. Weichel died a short time later of his injuries.

"He was a big kid at heart. He always had a smile on his face, and he made everyone laugh," 1st Sgt. Nicky Peppe, who served with Weichel in Iraq, is quoted as saying in an Army story.

"But as much as Weichel was funny, he was also a professional. When it was time to go outside the wire for a combat patrol, he was all business."

Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee has ordered flags in the state lowered to half-staff until Weichel, who was posthumously promoted to sergeant, is laid to rest Monday.

Weichel is survived by his parents, his fiancee and three children. His family will be awarded a Bronze Star and other awards for his sacrifice.

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Filed under: Afghanistan
soundoff (443 Responses)
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  8. Clark


    April 7, 2012 at 11:19 am | Reply
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  10. Clark

    I have to withdraw my claim that the u.s. military is never used for humanitarian purposes.
    Occasionally, when not doing so would be damaging to public relations, the military is used [domestically] to help in emergency situations.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Reply
    • Vlado

      So If I understand it correctly, if the soldier would not jump in front of that Humvee, they would just drove over that girl mercilessly. He is the hero in the face of horrible atrocities committed daily. No wonder why Army is silent, they would have to report another mindless murder. This time of their own. Get out of all countries where we have been killing around the world!

      April 2, 2012 at 11:12 pm | Reply
      • psychokid001

        " ...they would just drove over that girl mercilessly." You do realize that in an MRAP (the vehicle they were driving) you can barely see the road ahead of ahead of you, and especially since that was a little girl who was most likely crouching down to pick up the brass. It would have just been a terrible accident.

        April 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  11. Clark


    April 1, 2012 at 11:40 pm | Reply
    • Clark

      oops, that wasn't exactly the video I planned to post, but it's still good info.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:42 pm | Reply
      • Clark

        One point of contention with the above video:
        I can't really blame sixties musicians for the drug culture.
        People who do drugs don't do them because a musician sings about it, they get it from their friends.

        April 2, 2012 at 12:03 am |
  12. lifecatsandotherthings

    You do not have to agree with why the soldiers are there, but I think that we are duty bound to support them. They are doing a job, and it does not always go to plan. By all means blame the politicians, including the Afghan government who has asked NATO troops to be there, but not the troops themselves. These young men and women are dying, not for oil, like in Iraq (and by the way was I the only person who knew Blair and Bush were lying) but to make sure the Tailban do not become strong enough to take over the country again.

    April 1, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
  13. CPT Jorge E. Vargas

    Reading the story of this brave soldier makes me proud of serving in todays Army. Perhaps his story is not going to be made into the next Hollywood hit at the box office, and why? It does not have sex, drugs or rock, it does not have the sensationalist elements usually required to have a good publicity campaign, the type that has political connections and complex characters that later in the development of the story would say something memorable, worthy of putting on the big screen; perhaps, as anyone browses thru post on this website this story may seem of little or not importance, however, I will argue that this story represents the fiber of today’s Soldiers, it represents the dedication, sacrifice, honor and high call to duty our Soldiers have.
    For many readers of this page, with little or not knowledge of who are today’s Soldiers, this may seem as an attempt to show a positive in the sea of negative publicity surrounding the military these days. Budget cuts, the Koran burnings, PTSD, human remains dumping, are among some of the topics the public has grown use to read regarding our military, why? Because it sells, because maybe, this is what the public wants to see, because unfortunately reporting the good actions in reality does not make the tabloid fare required to make impact at the opening of the seven o’clock news.
    Specialist Dennis Weichel, has shown the world with his actions, that the American Soldier has a duty to protect life not to take it, it shows that our military is willing to put their life at risk to protect a complete stranger, without expecting nothing in return and without expecting a book deal upon returning from serving his or her country in harsh conditions, a combat environment, with difficult tasks, sometimes protecting people who don’t want to be protected, and to top it all off “away from their families”. This is the reality of the American Soldier, this is the reality that we must show, the great value of the fabric that makes our country, and the good actions of these brave Americans, willing to lay their life on the line, willing to make sacrifices, willing to serve and protect; I am proud of serving with them, I am proud of being called an American Soldier and above all, I am proud of being a leader of America’s treasure, our American Soldiers.

    April 1, 2012 at 11:49 am | Reply
    • Clark

      When the things you've just mentioned happen, that's great.
      But my guess is that the stories that are mostly not getting told, is the stuff that we can only get from wikileaks.
      The media LOVES to tell stories like this one. Because the much of the media is owned by the same people who own the war. General Electric for instance. So I have to weigh your point of view against the stories of blasting "Blood Makes the Grass Grow" from speakers mounted on tanks and all of the secret torture prisons that STILL exist under Mr. "Change" Obama. But my guess is that the stories that are mostly not getting told, is the stuff that we can only get from wikileaks.
      I don't think the top brass worries too much about collateral damage if it means a strategic advantage, and that attitude tends to roll downhill. But again, I DO NOT BLAME THE ENLISTED PERSONNEL. They are pawns for people who COULD NOT CARE LESS about them.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Reply
    • Clark

      excuse the wiki redundancy.

      April 1, 2012 at 11:36 pm | Reply
  14. me!

    so what?
    what about all those kids US army have killed? what about all civilians they have murdered? why is US doing in afghanistan? they do NOT need u there, they dont need u to save them, just leave them alone and they will be safer!!

    March 31, 2012 at 4:19 pm | Reply
  15. Hameed

    if you think technically and logically It CAN never be one single Soldier who walked out from the military base and attack a village in Qadahar .. surely it was a team work . isnt it ?

    March 30, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Reply
  16. Clark


    March 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm | Reply
  17. Thinker

    I thinking but I can't remember for that 40000 post in this website about afghan civilians who were killed by US soldiers.

    March 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
    • me!

      look it up!

      March 31, 2012 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  18. Clark

    There's an old saying that has proven accurate throughout history:
    "The first casualty of war is the truth."
    [1918 US Senator Hiram Warren Johnson]
    One must take every story that comes from a war with a healthy dose of skepticism.
    Information is altered, invented, and adorned by all kinds of interested and disinterested parties.
    If this story is just as it is presented, then OF COURSE this man is to be considered heroic.
    All military personnel who believe they are protecting the Constitution and the U.S. borders should be applauded for their sincerity. The problem is, that's not what's going on. The evidence for this is everywhere. The wars are for real estate and resources. Why Iraq and not South Korea? Why Iran and not Bahrain? Why not Rwanda? Islam is not your enemy, the Military Industrial Complex is your enemy, my enemy, everyone's enemy, including the people who make up the Military Industrial Complex. It is a runaway train. The institutions and people who profit from it can't even stop it.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:40 pm | Reply
    • CPT

      I've actually agreed with alot of what you are saying until this post.

      1. South Korea is our ally. It is why we are not attacking them.
      2. Bahrain is our ally and we have bases there. Iran supports AQAP through intel and resources. (I dont want to turn this into a discussion on whether or not this is true, so we'll go with "percieved assistance"
      3. We did not commit troops to Rwanda due to America's disinterest in losing American lives in Africa following Mogadishu.

      The third point is actually a point of contention for me. The same demographic that criticizes a lack of support in Rwanda is the same demogrphic that criticizes military action in Iraq. I disagree with our war in Iraq, but "Hotel Rwanda" was made into a movie and Don Cheadle never did a movie about Uday and Pusay (joke).

      It seems as if we'll always run into two options:
      1) We take action and the military is imperialistic and a waste of American lives
      2) We dont take action. Hollywood makes a movie about it. Someone wins an Oscar and the military is criticized for a lack of action.

      We follow the guidance of our elected leaders.Unfortunately 99% of them have no business weighing in on military policy, and the .043% pays for it.

      18 yr olds with rifles are enacting more foreign policy here on a day to day basis with tribal leaders than any congressman.

      Allow me to be a killer, or allow me to be a peacekeeper and diplomat. Send me to do both and the consequences are tragic. I enjoy your rhetoric Clark and hope to recieve a response regarding the Rwanda subject.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:56 pm | Reply
      • Clark

        1. Well, of course I meant North Korea.
        2. Bahrain may be the Pentagon's ally, but it ain't mine or anyone who appreciates basic human rights.
        Bahrain, like Kuwait is a monarchy.
        3. Iraq was a threat to NO ONE. The inspectors were essentially kicked out by the U.N. only to keep them out of danger during the invasion. For all of his and his sons f'd up behavior, Iraq, before the U.S. goaded them into a war, was one of the most cosmopolitan, western loving nations in the middle east. Free education through college. Great medical schools. Then the U.S. [neo-cons] goaded Iraq into a war with Iran and armed both sides against each other....wow...how's that for diplomacy....I wonder which Government Connected Corporations benefited from that. [see Rumsfeld/Cheney] Then we gave Iraq the green light [see April Glaspie] to deal with Kuwait for angle drilling into Iraq. Then we appeared astonished that they would do anything so outrageous and hired Hill & Knowlton, a public relations firm, to coach the daughter of the Kuwaiti Royal Family to make up a sob story about incubators. [Not true look it up] So that Congress could get duped into fucking Iraq yet again. Then we sanctioned them to death. Hundreds of thousands dead, many more displaced, maimed. Depleted Uranium Dust blowing up into the atmosphere. It's utterly disgusting. But how many marines or soldiers or sailors or airmen consider the history of the conflicts before they join up?

        March 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
      • Clark

        As to when and how to intervene, Congress is supposed to decide that, not a bunch of Military Industrial War Mongers.
        The first thing we need to do is dismantle the Global Military Industrial Complex.
        They profit from war. That is why there is war. If you don't understand that, then anything else I have to say will be rejected by you as a conspiracy theory. I don't deal with theory, I like evidence. Follow the Money.

        March 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
      • Clark

        Unfortunately, as we can all see clearly now, Congress is owned by Wall Street, and more specifically a Global Banking Cartel. So Congress is no longer to be trusted with our government. I'm at a loss. I don't know what to do about any of this beyond talking about it. We are fk'd. Wars and Economic Growth are turning the planet into a toxic wasted dump.

        March 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
      • Clark

        Finally, I couldn't agree more about soldiers being sent to do an impossible job.
        That's because the whole thing is based on lies.
        Bin Laden, Saddam, Ghadaffi, Mubarek....every one of them was an 'ally' before they suddenly got possessed by Satan and became 'worse than Hitler'. Every one was clamoring before the Bush 2 invasion for a connection between Bin Laden and Saddam....well here it is: The both worked for the CIA in the seventies.

        March 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • ArmyWife

      Even though there may be corruption within the system that governs, you cannot blame the enlisted soldier or commissioned officer, nor can you chastise their decision to serve their country. They are merely following the orders of their superiors, who are doing the same. This negative rhetoric should be alternately directed at the true sources of corruption and greed, not the ones who, out of a sense of honor and duty to their families, communities, and country have volunteered for one of the most honorable and sacred ventures. These men and women defend our rights and our lives and stand on the shoulders of those that came before them. They have joined the ranks and along with their families, pay the price every day. Although you may believe the generalized actions of the military are not in your best interest, you must acknowledge and recognize the sacrifices made by the 1% of the United States population that serves to protect your right to have and voice that opinion. I have been married to a United States Army Soldier for the last 12 years and we have survived 3 year long deployments. We have been fortunate to have so few deployments, as my husband's peers have completed as many as 6 year long deployments in the same time of service. In my family, I have uncles, fathers, grandfathers and cousins that have served in every branch of the active duty, guard and reserve forces. As a cliche, you could say, I bleed red, white & blue. Yes, I believe in the true ideals of this country and I fully support my husband and his fellow soldiers, regardless of branch or time served. Military service is not simply reserved for those who enlist, but also for those that support them. I believe every citizen of this country should at the very least, support the military that serves it. If you do not agree and are not willing to serve in some capacity, then maybe you should find a new country to live in.

      March 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Reply
      • Clark

        Read what I wrote.
        I am NOT blaming the enlisted soldiers for anything beyond some willful ignorance.
        They are victims just like the people they've been sent to "protect".

        March 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
      • Clark

        You are right that my outrage should be directed at the people who put decent people into an indecent situation.
        I do that.
        But it is important that the enlisted people get a truer picture of why they are being used as pawns.

        March 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
  19. CPT

    I find most of the insulting comments towards the military humorous. The criticism is always welcome.

    It's difficult to be a diplomat in congress, much less in a war torn country and speaking a different language.

    Responding angrily towards a message board makes you feel that you have accomplished something. You haven't. Continue fighting your war on Internet Explorer.

    I respect the ANA, the AQAP, our military, and protestors. Because every one got up from the computer and attempted to accomplish something. I find humor when I read comments like these, because no matter how you judge the actions of others. They are out doing them. You are hiding behind a keyboard and commenting on them.

    The concerns you voice grow silent when you are in public and I feel sorry that you don't feel the confidence to express them in any other forum that doesn't require anonymity. I'm Captain Derrick Burks, dburks@utk.edu. You can look me up on FB. I don't get good wifi here in the desert. But I would enjoy continuing this conversation if you would like to voice negativity towards our young soldiers.

    March 30, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Reply
    • Clark

      Have you ever heard of Smedley Butler?
      When he left the military, he was the most decorated marine in U.S. history.
      You should look him up and see what he has to say about U.S. foreign policy.
      I understand that soldiers are doing a job and they don't question orders.
      But they might feel very differently about what they are doing if they knew more about who really benefits and who suffers during and after these invasions.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Reply
      • American

        As simply put as I can, Clark, you Sir are a PINHEAD......

        April 2, 2012 at 8:40 am |
      • Clark

        Did you look up Butler?

        April 2, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  20. vnvet

    you people that have never served your country have no say...huuuuuaaahhh to this young man for his bravery.this is what the media ignores,but plaster this looser martin all over the air.

    March 30, 2012 at 10:35 am | Reply
  21. prideworks

    You negative idiots have the right to make your stupid statements.....only because these men and women put themselves in harms way to protect your freedoms.

    March 30, 2012 at 9:06 am | Reply
  22. rika33

    A true American Warrior risking self to defend another.

    March 30, 2012 at 8:58 am | Reply
  23. kiss my fart

    it doesnt even mentioned when this happened i bet news outlets were looking for anything to make the u.s seem nice please he couldnt scream at the girl move your dumbass off the road let her get crushed then it would be Afgans against Afgans.

    March 30, 2012 at 5:28 am | Reply
    • Sally

      FTA: According to the Rhode Island National Guard and the U.S. Army, Weichel was in a convoy a week ago with his unit in Laghman Province, in northeast Afghanistan.

      March 30, 2012 at 7:20 am | Reply
    • brooklyn

      All those with negative comments, stupid much? It doesnt matter when this happenned. It doesnt take away from the sacrifice he made while your dumb ass sits on the sofa criticizing. Put aside the politics and focus on the bravery of this man and all of those, whether we belong there are not, that care about our country enough to put thier lives on the line for ALL people. We seem to forget sometimes that is who we are and what our country stands for.

      March 30, 2012 at 8:30 am | Reply
  24. Clark


    March 30, 2012 at 5:23 am | Reply
  25. RW

    Man chooses to SAVE child. Hero. End of story.

    March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am | Reply
    • Clark

      You were there at the scene!
      Wow, what exactly happened?
      Did he dive in front of the truck and knock her out of the way, or did he grab her and trip?

      April 1, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Reply
  26. Mrs. E

    I am the wife to a Soldier and proud of it... However I would be so angry if I were his family. He saved the life of a girl which is commendable. But, now HIS children are left without a father and provider. His fiance will never become his wife. And his parents had to bury their son.

    March 30, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
    • Chad

      Your comment turns my stomach. (OIF III)

      March 30, 2012 at 12:41 am | Reply
    • JJ

      To Mrs. E:
      Would your husband want you to be angry if he died doing his job? The good Sgt. chose to join the Army, knowing what the risks were. He knew full well what he had to lose. Creating relationships with anyone other than your parents and siblings is a choice people make...including having children. Anger comes with grief, but hopefully his family respected his decisions and will ultimately honor his life and his sacrifice with grace.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:28 am | Reply
    • James

      Your regrettable comment demeans the selfless courage and compassion of an honorable man and a great soldier. His children will someday know what an incredible father they had and be inspired by his bravery and goodness.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:32 am | Reply
    • Clark

      The poor decision that this soldier made was believing his government's lies about Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, etc etc.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:43 am | Reply
    • dp

      You are absolutely right, Mrs. E!

      March 30, 2012 at 10:36 am | Reply
    • Anonymous

      You are such a stupid, selfish piece of shit. The only thing that your comment radiates is "self-centered."

      March 30, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
    • Theresa Douglas

      Mrs E...
      last yr on 4-2-11 my son in law was killed in iraq doin his job, we are very proud of him and never angry, im only angry at President Bush for sending our troops to iraq, My son in law SSG Quadi Hudgins left behind a wife and a daughter and many family and friends who loved him. its been almost a year since he was taken away from us , we morn the loss of our family member, but we are not mad at him.. this man is a hero to all and his children will appreciate and love him even more . my prayers go out to the family and friends of this brave a caring soldier..

      March 30, 2012 at 11:16 am | Reply
    • DaveD

      If the story is true my guess is this soldier did not intend to leave family behind. It might have been difficult for him to witness a child getting crushed. For others posting here perhaps not so much.

      March 31, 2012 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  27. kunt

    puke puke puke

    March 29, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Reply
    • Curious

      Do you know any words that have more than 4 letters?

      March 30, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
  28. Paul

    John 15:13 (KJV)
    Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
    • ajcardsfan

      "Something in the heart of most human beings simply cannot abide pain inflicted on the innocent, especially children. Even broken men serving in the worst correctional facilities will often first take out their own rage on those who have caused suffering to children. Even in such a world of relative morality, causing harm to a child is still considered absolutely wrong. Period!" I think this is a more fitting quote 🙂

      March 30, 2012 at 11:06 am | Reply
    • Theresa Douglas


      March 30, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  29. Clark

    There would have been no need for her to be in danger, nor for him to die if the U.S. would stop invading countries for their resources.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:10 pm | Reply
    • exiledtexan

      Because Afghanistan was a safe place full of sunshine and happy thoughts before we got there.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:12 pm | Reply
      • afghanlady

        Afghanistan was a beautiful place until the UK, the US and the USSR decided to interfere. They funded extremists on both sides and destroyed a beautiful tolerant place and empowered the worst kind of nutjobs. Hope they reap what the sow.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:27 am |
      • James

        Afghanistan was not invaded to bring peace and justice to the country. Anyone who ever believed this is an astounding fool.

        March 30, 2012 at 1:34 am |
      • marik48

        Afghanistan has be a place of conflict for hundred of years or more, not just the in the 20th and 21st Centuries. It has always had strategic importance due to its location and various mountain passes(Khyber for one). There are at least 5 different ethnic groups that do not generally interact well with each other. Afghanistan has been a turbulent place for a long time and not just because of Western interference; although, the presence of British, Russian, American, Canadian and other countries have complicated matters. Afghanistan will only have peace when the people of Afghanistan chose peace and rule of law over inter-ethnic violence, sectarian violence, and drug lords. I have the greatest respect for the young man who did his best to save the life of a child and feel sorry for his family's loss. Hopefully the people of Afghanistan will work for a better future and the little girl that was saved will be able to grow up to a better world.

        March 30, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Joe

      Clark your an idiot, what resources does Afghanistan have...go back to your marijuana induced comma

      March 29, 2012 at 10:28 pm | Reply
      • Chae

        You're right. Period!

        March 29, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
      • Herp Derp

        Conflict minerals. Research, you fucking hick.

        March 29, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
      • George

        What resources does Afghanistan have? they've found 1 trillion dollars worth of minerals and precious metals by geologic investigation of SOME parts of Afghanistan ( the peaceful parts) other places still have to be processed. So educate yourself before posting comments.

        March 29, 2012 at 10:50 pm |
      • Clark


        March 30, 2012 at 12:51 am |
      • James

        Only the ideal right of way for a major oil pipeline, precious metals, and quite possibly oil itself. The country contains a massive deposit of strategic metals which the US needs.

        March 30, 2012 at 1:36 am |
      • asdg

        they have opium dumb fuck

        March 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • SSgt C

      As someone who is currently deployed to Afghanistan, I really wish people would get their facts straight. We did not "invade Afghanistan for its resources". And while I serve to protect your freedom of speech, I could only hope that you would use that same right for reasons other than spouting nonsense across the internet. So while you lay in your warm bed tonight in the safety of your own home and country, try once to think not only of yourself, but the people (like Spc. Weichel and the countless Americans before him) who have given their lives for the safety of you and others. Because when I go to sleep with the sound of rockets exploding nearby, I will be thinking of my wife and those same people. Good Day

      March 29, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Reply
      • Pebbles

        S SGT C

        I agree with you completely. Thank you and the other troops for doing the job you do everyday. Thank you for the freedom we take for granted. I work for the Army in Texas (civilian) and I have seen countless men and women come home injured from the job they were sent to do; and, I have seen the happy faces of all of them when they are told thank you for your sacrifice. I some people here forget that you have to leave your family and how they worry about you all while your away. Take care, Stay safe, and may God put his hedge of protection around you and bring you home safely.
        My prayers go out to that young mans family and friends and I pray God wraps them in his loving arms during this time of grief.

        March 29, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
      • Bobby

        I hate that any lives were lost, but the reality is that being in Afghanistan does not protect my freedom as a US Citizen. The Afghan people are no threat to the US. I know you believe that you are somehow protecting Americans, and I don't blame you, you're just following orders, and probably need to feel like all of the violence around you is for a reason. We're no safer (or anymore in danger) now than we were 10 years ago.

        March 29, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
      • Jim

        Really, Bobby? We're no safer than we were 10 years ago? I hate to point to the obvious, but about 10 years ago the World Trade Center came down killing thousands of people, and not a single incident since then. And to go beyond the obvious, while we hadn't seen anything like 9/11 before, it wasn't even the first time the World Trade Center had been attacked, but again, we haven't even seen a more minor incident like that again. Not a peep.

        We can debate about cause and effect, and I happen to believe that there is indeed a causal relationship here, but it's not debatable that your claim that we're no safer now is ludicrous on its face.

        Hey, but look on the bright side... at least you didn't tell a guy to his face that he risks his life day in and day out for nothing... sorry, I'm not sure where I was going with that...

        March 29, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
      • Malina

        Dear S Sgt C.
        I would shake your hand if you were standing in front of me right now! I tip my hat to you for all you have and will be doing to protect us in our daily lives. You and many others put your life on the line for our freedom and I respect you fully for that! You are a HERO to me and my family. I thank you every night before I fall asleep and I pray you will always come home to your family! Peace be with you and stay safe my friend.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:01 am |
      • Clark

        See the link I posted above.
        The U.S. never uses the military for humanitarian purposes.
        The military is the blunt [very blunt] instrument that the Corporate States of America uses to pave the way for plundering business interests. I realize that you BELIEVE you are fighting for your fellow citizens, and for that intent, you are to be applauded. Wars are for profit, If you doubt that, watch President Eisenhower's Farewell Speech.

        March 30, 2012 at 1:03 am |
      • kiss my fart

        kiss a fart man you joined the army like most idiots do becuase you had no other options dont say you did it for me becuase i didnt ask you to do anything ill protect myself i dont have beef with any countries and i wont fight a "war" becuase the goverment decided to be stupid

        March 30, 2012 at 5:25 am |
      • Ag

        I am with Clark on this one. If the US did use the military for humanitarian purposes they would be in Syria right now protecting the innocent people that are being murdered every day.

        March 30, 2012 at 11:08 am |
      • To All the idiots...

        To Clark. You said "The U.S. never uses the military for humanitarian purposes."

        The military has actually been involved in nearly every natural disaster in this continent and many disasters abroad. Remember that tsunami that killed over 250,000 people years ago? Just how do you think those survivors in those remote villages and islands got any fresh water, food, clothing, supplies to rebuild? Oh, that's right, it was the US Military. When Katrina hit and 2/3's of the New Orleans PD either ran away or participated in the looting and rioting, who do you think helped restore order? Do you also think it was all civilian helicopters who came down and rescued people trapped in their homes? Dozens of aircraft from many states came down to assist with rescue and relief operations. Even Somalia was a humanitarian mission until the warlords there began trying to kill US troops.

        The military does so much more good than you can even conceive of. Sure, you can talk your Internet tough guy rhetoric from the safety of your own home, but when people need help, those same people who you call warmongers and ignorant will be there to pick up the slack that you refuse to.

        March 31, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • powers johnson

      your such a troll and what resources does afganastan have they were a stopping point for terrorist bent on destroying our way of life and freedoms you should think of that the next time your allowed to have your own beliefs and thoughts and not be persecuted for them like so many islamist do

      March 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm | Reply
      • Clark

        Not much to say except you are wrong.
        Google "resources Afghanistan"

        March 30, 2012 at 1:05 am |
    • Curious

      And if the Pilgrims had landed in Canada instead?

      March 30, 2012 at 12:20 am | Reply
      • marik48

        What does possible pilgrims landing in Canada have to do with this conversation on Afghanistan? English Canada and United States had joint history until the Continental Congresses. At that point the colonies that would eventually become Canada walked away because they felt that there was another way to deal with the Crown, and the 13 remaining colonies decided on separation from England. Before that we were all under the B.N.A (British North America) Act so pilgrims would have lived under same set of rules where ever they lived with the exceptions of French and Spanish colonies in North America.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
      • JJ

        The comment was intended to be placed below a different post. All the people who keep saying things like, 'and if we hadn't invaded Iraq/A-stan, etc he (the Sgt) wouldn't have been there to get run over by that truck, etc.' There's an old saying: "If" in one hand, "s-" in the other and see which one fills up the fastest." A lot of things would be different "if only."

        March 30, 2012 at 4:02 pm |
    • JJ

      If the rare earth minerals to which you allude were present in the brain tissue of idiots the US would need to look no further, Clark. It is over-simplifying the situation in Afghanistan to say that the only reason we are there is the dirt.

      March 30, 2012 at 2:35 am | Reply
      • Clark

        Your debating skills seem almost as keen as your research.
        First off, I don't think I said the pipeline and the other resources [Lithium for instance...go ahead, look it up] was the ONLY reason the U.S. invades other countries. There are other reasons. Read Brzezinski's "The Grand Chessboard" for the other reasons. http://www.fromthewilderness.com/free/ww3/zbig.html

        March 30, 2012 at 5:22 am |
  30. exiledtexan

    There's a lot of commentary about this and that with respect to the whole war in Afghanistan. Look, we get it. The war should be spun down and closed up. But this is a story of true heroism. Anywhere in the world, under any circumstances, this guy would be a hero for what he did. Cut the politics, and let's just look at this story and be grateful that such men and women live.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:08 pm | Reply
    • TheGreatestRespect

      And he would still be alive if we weren't there. We shouldn't shut up about it. These stories where good men lose their lives are the best place to voice our concerns with the hope that the needless loss of life will soon end.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:48 pm | Reply
      • Jon

        That's the most idiotic logic I've ever heard. That's like saying that Trayvon kid was killed because he wanted skittles.

        March 29, 2012 at 11:13 pm |
      • sfgunn

        Wrong Jon,
        It's the best logic. That man should be back home with his family working a real job instead of being used in a massively expensive, totally failed military adventure. Afghanistan is no threat to America, they are simply being punished as an object lesson to other nations that "harbor" terrorists, as if it's the whole country's fault that OBL set up a base of operations there. Most Afghans don't even know what 9/11 is, every second longer that soldiers are there is another second of unneccessarily putting them at risk and in harm's way for absolutely no good reason. Bring them home now.

        March 31, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
      • Clark

        If 9/11 had been investigated properly, the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq and Libya and Pakistan and Iran [wait for it] would be pointless.

        April 1, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
  31. Olivier

    Afghanistan is not just about war stories...

    March 29, 2012 at 10:04 pm | Reply
  32. The Dude

    Probably a lie like the Pat Tilman story.

    This guy was r@ping the girl and he was shot by a civilian (who no doubt was shot and called a terrorist).

    March 29, 2012 at 9:53 pm | Reply
    • exiledtexan


      March 29, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Reply
    • CPT

      I find most of the insulting comments towards the military humorous. The criticism is always welcome.

      It's difficult to be a diplomat in congress, much less in a war torn country and speaking a different language.

      Responding angrily towards a message board makes you feel that you have accomplished something. You haven't. Continue fighting your war on Internet Explorer.

      I respect the ANA, the AQAP, our military, and protestors. Because every one got up from the computer and attempted to accomplish something. I find humor when I read comments like this, because no matter how you judge the actions of others. They are out doing them. You are hiding behind a keyboard and commenting on them.

      The concerns you voice grow silent when you are in public and I feel sorry that you don't feel the confidence to express them in any other forum that doesn't require anonymity. I'm Captain Derrick Burks, dburks@utk.edu. I'm currently deployed, but you can look me up on FB. I don't get good wifi here in the desert. But I would enjoy continuing this conversation.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:16 pm | Reply
  33. Leslie Coore

    Also sad news that didn't make the headlines, from Afghanistan, 9 Marines from the same battalion have been killed in the last 4 days. Why does the government not want the American people to know this. Prayers to all the Marines' families.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  34. Jackie

    This needs to be higher on the CNN.com page. Come on. You REALLY have to dig to find this story and this man gave his life to save a girl he doesn't know. He will never get to see his OWN kids again. The least you can do, CNN, is to give him the spotlight he deserves. He represented himself, his country, and his family better than most of us could ever hope to.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm | Reply
    • Jim

      I only found it on CNN because I first found it prominently on Fox News' site and wanted to see if it was on CNN at all. CNN met my very low expectations, but yes, amazing how it's buried.

      People think Fox News only pushes the conservative agenda and nothing else. I think we can agree that this story is neither conservative nor liberal. So what gives? Why isn't CNN interested in publishing stories like this as prominently as negative stories about the war? When you hear arguments from the Right that the Left just dislikes anything the USA does, examples like this just give credence to that argument.

      March 30, 2012 at 12:00 am | Reply
  35. PewPewIII

    What's funny is that, by tomorrow, her father will still be putting IED's in the road and getting paid for it.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Reply
    • JJ

      What's funny about that? Wouldn't YOU be doing the same if the Chinese (Russian, Afghan, Martian, or whatever) army had invaded our country, your house had been destroyed by somebody's RPG, and your family was starving? It's easy to be an armchair quarterback when all you have to do is hit the remote if you don't like the way the game is being played. Moral authority always depends on which side of the fence you occupy. Who decides who 'the good guys are? There was a time when Germans, Japanese, the British and even our own countrymen were 'the bad guys.' Our soldiers understand the ambiguity of their jobs, and must shoulder the burden of conscience for the rest of their lives. And that's not funny.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm | Reply
    • Axon

      Yeah right, because ALL Afghans are Taliban, right? Mouthbreather.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:16 pm | Reply
    • Canadian

      How much per day does her "Daddy" get paid mult-imillion American? What's that, you're silence is deafening. Turn down "We Can Dance" and pay attention.....how can you justify a 90% earnings decrease yet no hostility. You know that right?

      March 30, 2012 at 1:18 am | Reply
  36. screamingviolet

    I am shocked and amazed at how callous some of the comments have been on here. A man died sacrificing himself to save a child from harm. Show some respect people. As for the speculation regarding the MRAP. If you look at pictures of the vehicle there is a very obvious blind spot in the front of the vehicle due to the extension of the front end from the base of the front windows. The vehicle is over 8 feet high and that can easily create a zone where a child or an average height man would not be visible to the driver. Being that these vehicles are designed to withstand explosive impact from mines the visibility is decreased further by the armor and window designs to prevent injury to the riders within.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Reply
  37. cbr

    The men and women of our military have distinguished themselves over and over again. We do not always hear about their acts of bravery and their work with the Afghan citizens. We need to remind ourselves that this all volunteer force has made sacrifices every day so that the people in Iraq and Afghanistan can know peace. Now is the time for the governments of those countries to take over so that all of military can come home. We all need to say thank you, job well done.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:13 pm | Reply
  38. JJ

    Oh, for cryin' out loud! This was a tragic accident, no different than if a child had chased a ball down the driveway into traffic and was nearly hit by a Toyota, and a bystander heroically died trying to get her out of harm's way. Why do we always have to blame somebody? I feel for the driver of the MRAP. Can those things stop on a dime? He could have been driving a jeep and the outcome might have been the same. Or it could have been an Afghan driver who struck the soldier. The little girl was not stupid...she's a child who was only focused on the objects in the road. Just because kids in this country are schooled since kindergarten to watch out for cars, doesn't mean all kid on the planet are. She may have been so used to the noise of military vehicles near her home that the sound didn't mean anything to her. As for the comment about 'nothing good' coming from this incident, unless you have a crystal ball you don't know that. The little girl could grow up and become a member of the parliament in her country, or have a child who will find the cure for cancer. Maybe dozens of children's/soldier's lives will be saved by changes made in procedures or awareness of this danger.
    Something good will be done in the name of his brave young man, you can count on that. My heartfelt sympathies go out to his family and friends.

    March 29, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • Rebecca

      You are awesome for that response. Thank you. Thank you.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Reply
    • Guy

      Fantastic post. Thanks for speaking up for all of us who usually remain silent and let the trolls and idealogues have the conversation.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:25 pm | Reply
    • phyrie

      Well done, and well said.

      March 30, 2012 at 6:12 am | Reply
    • Pat

      Great post JJ!

      March 30, 2012 at 10:21 am | Reply
  39. Hicham

    R.I.P all afghans innocents people & Weichel for saving the Girl..
    U.S must quit this game cuz it loosing it...

    March 29, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Reply
  40. ChuckT

    We should be hearing this story every where right now, but the liberal media will not put this up front because it's against their agenda.

    March 29, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
    • Canadian

      Good gawd Chuck, get a grip. Lemme see, she was scrounging to recycle brass shell casings. Has the USA brought peace and "Prosperity" to Afghanistan.....nope....the usual mucking about. But I'll be one of those MRAP cost a penny or two now didn't it? Liberal Smiberal. More like Progressive not Regressive. How's your right wing longest lasting American war going?

      March 29, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Reply
    • Canadian

      I would like to add my heartfelt condolences to the soldier and his family. To die whilst protecting a civilian is difficult considering the circumstances.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm | Reply
    • mburns

      Uh....you're commenting about an article you just read on "the liberal media" on the website of "the liberal media." I assume you're disoriented: Fox News is thataway ->

      March 29, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Reply
      • Twistythistle

        lol mburns

        March 29, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • yyyyy

      Are you crazy? the liberal media has mentioned this (whos website are you on?) however, I doubt fox news will

      March 29, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Reply
    • ImpShial


      Dude, I got redirected here from the front page of one of the most liberal sites in the world! This is a story that transcends politics.

      Seriously. Relax

      March 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Reply
  41. Goaty's News

    Reblogged this on Goaty's News and commented:
    U.S. soldier throws himself in front of vehicle, dies saving Afghan girl

    March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  42. RJC

    May God bless Spc. Weichel and give comfort to his family.

    March 29, 2012 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  43. abbydelabbey

    A true American hero. Condolences to his family. Requiescat in pace, Spc. Weichel.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
  44. Funny...

    I remember the CNN story where military personnel were asked to disarm when the secdef visited and libbies were falling over themselves shrieking how 'of course you have to disarm them! They're all a bunch of skinhead redneck MURDERERS!'

    Aren't you supposed to come in here too, saying that this soldier was probably an eeeeeevil murdering raping bastard? Pricks.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Reply
    • Pffft

      Oh, grow up.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Reply
    • chazebo

      libbies? i see what you did there..

      March 29, 2012 at 4:03 pm | Reply
    • Ryan

      Go crawl back under your rock.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Reply
    • Alex Gessong

      @Funny: Dude, get a life. The U.S. was founded by liberals and radicals. Conservatives wanted to remain loyal subjects of the British king. We "libbies" applaud heroes like this soldier. He was a true warrior and a credit to his country. Unlike you, sir.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:40 pm | Reply
      • Target Destroyed 01

        Look at the philosophies of the two ideologies half-wit! You are tacking 240 year old designations to modern day philosophies. A rose by any other name, would smell as sweet. A modern day Liberal by any other name, is still a Socialist. And a modern day Conservative by any other name is still a Constitutional Libertarian.

        Gee...............Alex, if I were you, I would be very angry with your history teachers for doing such a lousy job.

        You stand corrected. You are welcome. Target Destroyed 01

        March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • dancypelois

        Wrong. You are misapplying the meaning of liberal in the time frame that the founding happened. The word liberal then literally meant "liberty" or freedom. Today's liberal is for government control over everything i.e. statism which is contrary to the founders who wanted limited government and freedom. The founders would cringe at what has happened especially since the early 1900s with government growing and having more and more power.

        March 29, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
      • webknight18

        No, Liberals still stand liberty and justice, it's the racist, retarded conservatives from the south that want to control the government and tell people how to live their life. If u had any brains, u would know that, but being a conservative obviously u don't. Get back under your rock, and drink your Tea party kool-aid repub.

        March 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
      • Canadian

        Well put! I call us Progressives which is the opposite of Regressives.

        March 29, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • lainejmoore

      Way to take an inspirational story about an American hero and politicize it. Asshole.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • Pat

      You need to get a life – or stop wasting time with your garbage.

      March 30, 2012 at 10:22 am | Reply
  45. RealDan

    WTF isn't this story on the headlines?!?! Yet the story of the soldier from WA that went on a shooting spree was on the headlines for days. Just pisses me off!!!! Now where the heck did i leave my high blood pressure meds.......

    March 29, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Reply
  46. Trollhunter

    Does every single incident need to be fodder for someone's own political spin?
    Can't just a simple act of human decency and courage be taken at face value and honored without someone pontificating on "who's really at fault" or "they won't appreciate it?"

    Sgt. Weichel risked his own life and ultimately gave it up for that of an innocent civilian. This is what they teach us heroes are made of as children. It doesn't mean I do or don't support the continuing war in Afghanistan or pass any judgement on any other US/Allied forces or the Afghani people. That doesn't matter.

    Have a little respect. Please.

    March 29, 2012 at 3:01 pm | Reply
    • ChuckT

      Good try, but every time a liberal see's are hear's something positive about something they always hate makes them say " can't we all just get along" this story should be leading every news cast and every station should be talking about the sacrifice this young man did for not only our country, but this little girl. Liberal media will never do this because it's against everything they believe in.

      March 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Reply
      • Trollhunter

        Funny part is, the person who forwarded me the article is both a registered (and voting) Democrat and a Gulf War Vet – he and I share a similar mindset. This isn't about politics. This is about the late Sergeant Weichel who should be honored by his country, and by god if he isn't a front page headline we'll make damn sure we talk about him anyway.

        March 30, 2012 at 12:40 am |
  47. BK

    This story should be in your headlines....instead it is way at the bottom listed with something about Lindsay Lohan and Lady Gaga. Shame on you CNN – no wonder I don't watch you. The story of this hero and all of our other heros should be front page news each and every day. I'm so sick of the so-called celebrities making headlines with how they feed their babies, what they are wearing and how many times they've been to court. Don't count me as one of your fans, CNN.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:25 pm | Reply
    • Dan

      I agree.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
    • T. Raul

      Fortunately they can count on you to read their stories.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Reply
    • sue

      totally agreed.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Reply
    • JustMe

      What do you expect from liberal media and their agenda!

      March 29, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Reply
  48. Ali

    So US soldier saved Afghan girl from being crushed under US Convoy and died in the process. None of this would have happened if the US was not in Afghanistan. The girl would have got her shiny brass thing and the soldier would be home with his family.

    March 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • nolesfan

      Wrong! She would not have gotten the shiney brass thing because her own people would have her locked up some where because of their backward a#$ religion

      March 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Reply
    • mason

      Ali, the world has failed to inform you that you are a retard and that we don't care for your retarded inputs and comments. Suicide should be counted as a solution for you. You are weak minded, hearted and souled. You, would never save a life and I hope you never give birth to anything. The would is better off without copies of your kind around.

      March 29, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
      • Civility please

        Your comment is beyond rude. Stay on topic, and try to show a little courtesy and respect.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:38 pm |
      • Pat

        Mason: Stop litterering your trash talk on these pages. Go do something useful – like maybe helping others instead of putting them down.

        March 30, 2012 at 10:25 am |
    • jrcat918

      "What a waste! So the truck should have run over a little girl? You're all heart, aren't you? I am disheartened at the number of posts that intimate that Weichel did something wrong? He is a hero/ he was a hero. I strongly suspect that many of the unfeelingposting idiots would not lift a finger to save anyone but themselves. Well, they'll never be heroes and that is why they are so angry. Sergeant Weichel did something heroic and they are angry with themselves because they know that they would never do anything like that and people know it. How does it feel to be jealous of a hero? Something they'll never be.

      March 30, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Reply
  49. wow

    On one hand, the driver is at fault for not seeing a little girl or a soldier running after her in front of the vehicle. But on the other hand, the little girl actively put herself in harms way. The MRAP is not a stealthy vehicle, so she obviously heard it bearing down on her. And if you don't know that you will lose a fight against a 16-ton vehicle, natural selection has to run it's course.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Reply
    • Atwood

      Re: saying the driver is at fault– please bear in mind that when driving an MRAP, the driver's vision is severely limited concerning the immediate vicinity in the front of the vehicle. It is extremely likely it would have been impossible for the driver to see the girl or the soldier if they were immediately in front of the vehicle.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
    • steve505

      It was a LITTLE GIRL, moron.

      I'll tell you who natural selection needs to really run it's course on: People like you, who have the mental capacity of a rock.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:15 pm | Reply
      • wow

        So you're telling me that a girl of unspecified age who is old enough to actively seek out shell casings for monetary gain can't deduce that the monstrosity rolling towards her can't do her physical harm? If you were (or still are) that stupid, it's a wonder you can use the internet and remember to breathe at the same time.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
      • steve505

        "Wow"..... the sooner you die, the better. Snuff yourself out, the human race can do without you.

        You've obviously never been around small children, nor had any of your own. Please, keep it that way. You'd be a danger to any child left in your care with the kind of stupidity you demonstrate.

        March 29, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
      • wow

        The fact that you are making personal attacks and wishing that I die for lamenting that a soldier lost his life unnecessarily is deplorable. If the girl really was that young, then why didn't the parents stop her? Clearly you have lost sight of the issue at hand to make yourself feel like a big shot on the internet. Hey, if the only good thing in my life was anonymously making fun of strangers, i'd be doing what you are doing as well. And please, tell me in which way I am showing stupidity in my posts?

        March 30, 2012 at 12:57 am |
    • Anonymous

      Readily put herself in harm's way? She's an innocent child trying to survive in a war torn country! That is absolutely absurd.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:16 pm | Reply
    • bryan vannet


      March 29, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
      • Pitisica

        What good? A good soldier died, leaving behind three children and a fiancee who will never see him again and probably suffer financial problems from the loss of his income. The driver of the vehicle will always have the death of Spc. Dennis Weichel on his conscience and will have to bear the weight of having destroyed the lives of a whole family. The girl will go back to living in a war-torn country and grow up to be raped/married/stoned if she isn't killed by either side of the conflict first. No, really, I don't see what good came from it.

        March 29, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • in_awe

      Yep, the trucks in the convoy that SPC Weichel was in are the new super secret silent type that don't mask the sound of an oncoming vehicle. Whisper quiet – maybe even battery powered... Silly girl was just stupid for not hearing the MRAP! /sarc

      Have you ever been around a military vehicle? They are just a tad louder than a Prius.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Reply
  50. Ali

    What a heart felt story. It is one life but, maybe it can shed some light on the judgement against the U.S. over there. To each his own.

    March 29, 2012 at 1:55 pm | Reply
  51. grooveclubhouse

    It's so unfair that Weichel's name will take a back seat to Bales. I feel bad even putting the two together on the same post. Its not right that Weichel dies doing whats right and good while Bales gets to sit in a cell somewhere with A/C and 3 meals a day. How ironic that in the space of less than a month we see the worst and the best the from our Armed services. Whats worse is that this won't mean anything to the Afgans.

    Sqt. Weichel I can only say godspeed.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
    • Steve

      I'm sure it means something to that girl's parents.

      March 29, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Reply
  52. Deathstalker

    Its a sad story sorry to hear this guy died cause some dumb driver didnt look who he was running over. I wonder if he seen the kids and didnt care and didnt have enough time to stop when Dennis ran out to save her. It is hard to say kids do run out in the road sometimes without looking so there may be no one to point the finger at for real but all in all a sad day for some people in Rhode Island. I feel sorry for the kids and the family that obviously lost a great guy that actualy cared about other people. Really it is a sad day for America and the world because there are so few good people like that out there and we are now one more short.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:00 pm | Reply
    • TC

      You and godsafraud should be idiot brothers. 16 ton vehicle moving and he saved a girl from getting crushed. Why would you blame the driver – let's use our brains people

      March 29, 2012 at 12:11 pm | Reply
    • Mike

      The driver of an MRAP sits considerable higher than the driver of your average consumer automobile or SUV. When you add all the security features designed to keep our Soldiers safe, it is next to impossible to see an adult if they are right in front of the vehicle, let alone a child. This is a tragic story for the family of the SGT Weichel and his unit. This is a sad story for the State of Rhode Island. My prayers are with everyone who knew and loved SGT Weichel.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  53. Punisher2000

    This is a hero. His gesture, however, will never be appreciated by the Afghans. Whatever we do, say or think, they don`t like us. We are waisting our time, our soldiers lives and our money in a nation building exercise which will not work, simply because Islam is incompatible with Democracy. Bring the troops home. Now.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • anony

      The afghans do appreciate this action. ANY human being will appreciate such a heroic action. But bear in mind that there are tons of civilians killed , amongst the one little girl saved. The locals 'have' to be angry with foreign forces around them and civilians killed by huge numbers, whether by coalition forces or taliban.
      Nevertheless, hats off to the hero who saved the little girls life. I sympathise with his family and pray God gives them patience and strength. He will always be remembered.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Reply
      • Rengar

        !!!! ANony !!!!! Ok yea i applaude him for his actions and heart felt for his family. But how dare you or anyone say, "well thats just one girl look at all the other family and kids that that have died by the US invasion." Im a Afghan combat vet myself and most of the deaths over their is from taliban and IED's. So dont give that line of crap!!!!

        March 29, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  54. allthetime

    The word hero is thrown around alot but in this case it is truly deserved. I know the internet is the wild west but if you disagree with something someone post I would hope civilized people would come up with something better to say than "stupid". This article is to honor someone who gave up his life for someone else. No greater sacrifice can be made. If people want to discuss politics or who's war this is there are plenty other places to do that. This article is not about Bush/Obama's war, its about SPC Weichel. This is someone we should all agree that did something that makes all of us proud to say we are Americans.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
    • TC

      Agreed. And proud to be a member of the human race that does so many bad things. And proud to see someone believe in something way beyond himself. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends John 15:13

      March 29, 2012 at 11:57 am | Reply
      • Mark

        MRAPS are supposed to have 5, 25m ... visibility. Scan for bombs short and long distance around the perimeter. I can see why there are some comments about the driver and the MRAP commader.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
  55. JeanneLH

    CYNICAL!!! Did he say cynical? So the whole world is cynical but him....

    March 29, 2012 at 11:40 am | Reply
  56. godsafraud

    He didn't die saving a little girl, he died because some dumbass soldier RAN HIM OVER.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:31 am | Reply
    • TC

      You have got to be the biggest isiot to ever post on a forum. Our warriors do this stuff all the time and it never makes the papers/internet. Of course, you wouldn't know becaue you are probably somegovernemnt entitlement loser who has never served a day for our country. Get a life.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:55 am | Reply
      • godsafraud

        Nailed It!
        I am, in fact, the biggest "isiot" in the history of all internet forums. How did you know?

        March 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • woodtickjr

      So what would have happened if he had just stood still?

      March 29, 2012 at 12:04 pm | Reply
      • godsafraud

        If he would have stood still then his buddy would have done what he was setting out to do in the first place – run over a little Afghan girl.
        Don't turn this into a Pat Tillman situation. This was a "friendly fire" death. It's not in the major headlines because it was one soldier acting courageously and another acting carelessly, and one lost their life. The small part that makes us look "good" is overshadwed by the overall bad.
        I'm not saying this guy wasn't something special: He was. He was the exception to the rule IMHO. I wish all the soldiers there and abroad had the same caring and compassionate heart that this soldier had. I think the war(s) would be a little different. Maybe not so many Quran burnings and corpse pissings...Just a thought.

        And seriously, why blame the driver? Um, because he was driving, lets use our brans people.

        March 29, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
      • godsafraud

        Also, he would have lived.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
    • Pat

      What a total ass you are.

      March 30, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
  57. Pathetic

    TOP STORIES: No U.S. access to Afghan killing sites

    BURIED 100 lines down, under "In Our Blogs"...US soldier dies saving Afghan girl


    You're pathetic, CNN.

    March 29, 2012 at 11:30 am | Reply
    • Pitisica

      I call it hatemongering, but yeah, pathetic sums up the situation quite well.

      March 29, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  58. hanelaine

    I'm not the first to note this but this story should be making headlines. We get bashed by the Afghani's who we THOUGHT we were trying to help but dont' seem to want it and by just about everyone else. But no one highlights stories of ultimate sacrifice and bravery such as this young man's. Let's get this story on the front page. CNN...you listening?

    March 29, 2012 at 11:18 am | Reply
  59. Junior

    What a great service to Flag and Country.I didnt know this hero,but wish I would have.The greatest condolences from my family to his.Thank You Seargent Weichel

    March 29, 2012 at 11:00 am | Reply
  60. Cole

    I didnt know you, but you sounded cool RIP Sgt Weichel

    March 29, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  61. Kenneth Long

    Having worked with the RING briefly, I can say that you would have a hard time finding a finer group of men and women serving our country. Thank you SGT Weichel for your ultimate sacrifice.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:37 am | Reply
    • VA Wife - Rhode Island

      You got that right Mr. Long. My husband & daughter served & currently serve in the RIANG and have both been to Iraq. For the smallest state we have an amazing group of men and women. Back in December, Sgt. Weichel came home on leave and surprised his 2 younger children at school – all of which was videotaped and displayed online at the Providence Journal. They reran this video last week & the thought of his children never being able to see him again is absolutely unbearable to watch. God bless his entire family. I'll be at the funeral.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:42 am | Reply
      • Salute

        A salute to a fine young American soldier that gave all that he had for another. There is no better friend than this.

        March 29, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
  62. rwdragon86

    CNN – Why do you bury this story on your web site? Why is this not out front? A story about a true hero isn't as juicy as one being a murderer? This Guardsman was a true patriot and hero. God bless him and his family.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:24 am | Reply
  63. Navymom

    Weichel is a hero and his family and commrades should be very proud to have been a part of this man's life. Having a son in Afghanistan now for his second tour, I can tell you a brief story that I heard about from a Naval Officer. A young afghanistan girl was hurt critically in a taliban fight, extensive injuries to her face. Our US physicians based there saved this girl and performed many surgeries to make her whole and beautiful again. Upon release to her father, they walked off the US base there and took approximately 6 steps away from the gate. The father shot her in the head killing her. He said she would bring no money as she was touched by a US servicemen. It will never change over there and we need to come home and take care of our own.

    March 29, 2012 at 10:09 am | Reply
  64. Yoda

    "With Respect

    It is in no way that the military makes the man , but rather it is THE MAN MAKES THE MILITARY HONOURABLE.



    March 29, 2012 at 9:48 am | Reply
  65. Eric Frisbie

    My heart goes out to all his family, comrades and friends. He is a true American hero. These are the stories that never make it to the front page. Sgt. Dennis Weichel should have acknowlegement above the soldier accused of murder. This is what these young men and women are there for and deserve all thanks and admiration. My son is heading to Afghanistan this summer. He is a wonderful young man, full of life and he is looking ahead to the challenge. The Weichel family are in my thoughts and prayers.

    PS: CNN how about putting this as a Headline. Sgt. Dennis Weichel deserves to be recognized for his valor and sacrifice.

    March 29, 2012 at 9:41 am | Reply
  66. ampeg

    HERO!....... why are we still there?

    March 29, 2012 at 9:04 am | Reply
  67. fit2btied

    My prayers go out to the family's of all of the victims – God Bless Your Son to lay down his life for another. I see that he has a family himself. I am sure that when he saw the child in distress that he was reacting as a Daddy first, a human being. After seeing some of the hateful comments here, well I have a Son in Afghanistan as well. I wish that people could wake u and see the big picture here. I would hate to see this mans family to have to read these posts. Very Very Sad what we have become. God Save Us ALL!

    March 29, 2012 at 8:48 am | Reply
  68. DennisC

    This should be front page news!!!!!!!!! This is the best of humanity under the most adverse of conditions.
    Go rest high Spc. Dennis Weichel!

    March 29, 2012 at 8:42 am | Reply
  69. les

    So will Karzai send a thank you? What will the Taliban do, try to kill more Americans?

    Its time to get out of this thankless Obama war.

    March 29, 2012 at 8:35 am | Reply
    • Will

      Are you stupid? The war started in 2001 way before President Obama took office. Go back to Highschool.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:44 am | Reply
      • Vasya

        sure it is Abama's war ... he is a president now, no? )

        March 29, 2012 at 9:33 am |
      • pablo the taco

        high school doesn't teach you a thing... use your brain.. would have been better

        March 29, 2012 at 10:06 am |
    • AGeek

      Bush got us into Afghanistan in 2001. Not Obama. But don't let a little thing like facts get in the way of your ignorance.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • castle

      Obama war? I'm guessing you're probably still in middle school. Darling, the war was started during Bush's presidency. Get your facts straight before you display your ignorance.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:46 am | Reply
    • bpuharic

      Cut and run? That the recipe of the right wing?

      March 29, 2012 at 9:07 am | Reply
    • buttonre

      Obama war? Are you really that damn obtuse? This war started on October 7, 2001 – when Obama was just a state Senator and I believe a republican was the commander in chief.

      Let's leave the partisan politics out of what this amazing person did for our country. God bless him and his family – what an amazing and selfless person. We should all aspire to be like this (myself included).

      March 29, 2012 at 9:27 am | Reply
      • jillpenn

        Obama claimed this war. Just like he stopped the missle defense system GWB had begun.

        RIP, my thoughts are with your family and friends.

        March 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Josh

      Les are you stupid? The war started in 2001... If you had one of shred of intelligence you would know that... Learn about the topic and think before you comment again

      March 29, 2012 at 9:46 am | Reply
    • dman6015

      Yeah, sure, GOP hacks. Start an endless war while you're in charge, then shout to the heavens to pull out immediately when you're NOT in charge.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:54 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      This was a war inherited from the Bush administration.It is now classified as "America's war"

      March 29, 2012 at 10:03 am | Reply
    • Deirdre

      Ummmmmm.....we were in Afghanistan BEFORE we were even in IRAQ! We've been in Afghanistan since October of 2001 – just a few weeks after 9/11. We went IN THERE to GET OSAMA BIN LADEN whom we knew the Taliban was hiding and harboring. 8 years in office and GWB never managed to give the order. It would be our CURRENT President, Barack Obama who pulled that off last spring. Yes, NOW it's time to get out, but this was NEVER "Obama's" doing....DUHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

      March 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • pj

      Les – You are an A-Hole

      March 29, 2012 at 10:48 am | Reply
    • Lessismore

      You sir, are not smart.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:01 am | Reply
    • Rob s

      hahaha Obama war!!!! I think you want to consult a calender and recheck your dates. Do your country a favor. Dont vote, and don't produce any offspring. You are severely mentally handicapped.

      March 29, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
  70. Jt_flyer

    Where's their drug addicted leader? He's not going to offer thanks? Do we American feel like total and complete idiots yet?

    March 29, 2012 at 8:31 am | Reply
  71. aarmehere

    The man is a true hero.. Imagine falling in front of a monster truck, trying to save someone else. Full respect. RIP Spc. Weichel.

    March 29, 2012 at 12:54 am | Reply
  72. The Rock

    I am proud of what this soldier has done. He represents what we as Americans call the right stuff. Kudos to you, Soldier!!!

    March 29, 2012 at 12:44 am | Reply
  73. Cris Benson

    My heart goes out to his family. Spc. Dennis Weichel is the very best of what we are as a nation and what we can all strive to be. God Bless him and the United States of America.

    March 28, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  74. NotBuyin

    Still pushing the all played out american hero bullshit. How convenient the soldier died and the poor little girl whose out collecting shell casings to recycle of all things, escapes unharmed. Good one!

    March 28, 2012 at 10:56 pm | Reply
    • Shelly Watkins

      FUCK OFF NotBuyin! YOU are part of the problem!! This isn't even ON the news! WHICH IT SHOULD BE!! We all have to get this through social media to even hear about it! It's ALL about TRAYVON the little THUG all the time right now. You're a DIRTBAG! So sick of people like you. What a jerk!

      March 29, 2012 at 12:42 am | Reply
      • Ignorant people are the problem in America

        Shelly Watkins you are the most ignorant person in the WORLD....or at least one of them. This story has nothing to do with the tragic death of Trayvon Martin but I can tell you are a white ignorant person who thinks that one life is more precious then another. All life is important. I hope you aren't anywhere near Florida and may be thought of as a threat because maybe you won't be able to comment on it.

        March 29, 2012 at 8:12 am |
      • You're an idiot.

        @ Shelly Watkins

        @ Ignorant people are the problem in America

        > This story has nothing to do with the “tragic” death of Trayvon Martin
        The point of this comment is stating this story should be getting more coverage. There is no link implied or stated the stories are related.

        > but I can tell you are a white ignorant person who thinks that one life is more precious then another
        Why do you assume this person is white? Maybe she is hispanic.. but hey I see that doesn’t seem to matter to Trayvon supports… down with whitey!

        > All life is important. I hope you aren't anywhere near Florida and may be thought of as a threat because maybe you won't be able to comment on it.
        Wait wait wait… now I thought the story you morons are putting out is that Trayvon was only shot because he was black. Now you call this person white and imply they might get shot for being a threat…

        March 29, 2012 at 8:56 am |
      • Ignorant people are the problem in America

        @You're an idiot....ummmmm only reason why I said anything was because the white person name Shelly Watkins said something. If you aren't comparing the two stories say your piece and keep it moving. No need to refer to another story or case in your comment. Also, Shelly Watkins is white because only white people call black people's thugs in reference to another story (NEXT). Also I am saying according to the law that is allowing a murderer right now to walk free if Shelly Watkins was a danger or threat to someone she could be shot. I am not in no way a moron just stating a fact. If you want to look at a moron just pick up a mirror and stare at yourself because you are the one of the ignorant people that are the problem in America.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:30 am |
      • Martha

        Trayvon is all over the news (I am tired of it). Our soldiers that give their lives so that these people can take up all the news time is what freedom is about. SPC Weichel should be on the news instead of the preachers (with no visible job).I am sorry the young boy was killed. All the facts are not in about it. I say our soldiers need more than bad press. Bless SPS Weichel and his family.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:31 am |
      • You're still an idiot.

        @ Ignorant people are the problem in America
        Reaffirming my point in regards to your IQ really is unnecessary. You made it quite clear in your first comment.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:35 am |
      • Ignorant people are the problem in America

        @You're still an idiot...well your IQ in my opinion is non-existent. The problem in America. However, I know what kind of person you are based off your comment...an ignorant person. No need for further comment. Read a book. Also, if you are tired of hearing about an innocent person being shot turn off your tv.

        March 29, 2012 at 9:41 am |
      • Not rushing to judge people

        Ignorant people are the problem in american and ignorance comes in many flavors (see links below):


        March 29, 2012 at 11:05 am |
      • You're still an idiot.


        March 29, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • CRAIG

      Must be a sad, lonely life you have. Now, before you tell us how great your life is, we know you are lying. Your words tell us the truth. I actually feel sorry for you. Good things must make you hurt inside. Seek help before you take your own life or someone else's. If not, take your own life first. You don't warrant hurting anyone else but yourself. I hope you don't though, I hope you find peace.

      March 29, 2012 at 3:59 am | Reply
    • Jymbeau

      Wow, you are a total douchebag. May crabs as big as roaches jump on your balls and itch. May your head fall through your asshole and break your fucking neck.

      March 29, 2012 at 8:01 am | Reply
    • Lord Vader

      Perhaps an enemy should set out a mine in your front yard!

      March 29, 2012 at 8:07 am | Reply
    • mike f


      March 29, 2012 at 8:27 am | Reply
    • Kilo19

      God why can't A-HOLES like you be withing my arms reach? I would drop you like a bag of dirt, because it's people like you that give HUMANITY a bad name. This story has nothing to do with hero, or American this or that, it's about a HUMAN being risking their lives to save another HUMAN being. This soldier looked beyond race, color, creed, or religious beliefs, and saw one thing and one thing only, another HUMAN who was about to lose their life, and he made the ultimate sacrifice, so they could see tomorrow. RIP trooper, and God Bless.

      March 29, 2012 at 9:39 am | Reply
    • Dennis

      Hard to do any buying when you are morally bankrupt.You have never bought anything in your life but instead have stolen all the benefits of American society.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:07 am | Reply
    • Pat

      Nothing positive out of your mouth? Guess your name really does fit you. Sad for the people around you.

      March 30, 2012 at 10:31 am | Reply
  75. Otis

    What a waste of an American life for an Afghan. Unfortunately, the child will grow up in a medieval society and live a short,nasty, brutish life. My very best to SGT Weichel's family, but we need our soldiers out of Afghanistan now.

    March 28, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Reply
    • Carpenter

      Otis wrote "What a waste of an American life for an Afghan . . ."

      Clearly SGT Weichel didn't think it was a waste and that's what makes him our hero.

      Thank you is not enough but- thank you to the Weichel family. I can't begin to know your loss.

      March 28, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Reply


      March 28, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Reply
      • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

        Did Hitler have the same value as this little girl?

        March 29, 2012 at 9:12 am |
    • Cris Benson

      Spc. Dennis Weichel didn't think she was a waste and neither do a lot of those soldiers over seas. They are serving a purpose of educating, feeding, and most of the time being humanitarians for those same children he saved.

      March 29, 2012 at 12:01 am | Reply
  76. bob

    So the truck would have just run the little girl over? SOP?

    March 28, 2012 at 7:35 pm | Reply
    • E.

      The article mentions that the vehicle weighed over 16 tons. Even on the best of roads, in the best of conditions – that vehicle probably could not stop in time. That is, the driver could have slammed on the breaks, but the laws of physics and energy still apply – so the vehicle would have kept moving forward for a bit (or skidded and flipped, which probably would have been dangerous to the kids who stayed on the side of the road).

      It is why big rigs "jack-knife" why a derailed train, if traveling at good speed, looks the way it does off the track (all the cars in a jumble)

      March 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm | Reply
      • not enough info

        It never said how fast the vehicle was going. In short, this article leaves out a lot of information.

        March 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
  77. With Respect

    It is in no way that the military makes the man , but rather it is THE MAN MAKES THE MILITARY HONOURABLE.


    March 28, 2012 at 6:40 pm | Reply
    • antimilitarist

      couldn't have put it in better words so i'll just join in respect to this extraordinary human being. he should receive highest honors.

      March 28, 2012 at 7:48 pm | Reply
  78. fed up

    He was a true hero. I would bet the father of this little girl, wouldn't have done such a heroic thing to save this child. Now the insurance will probably refuse to pay benefits, because this wasn't considered a combat death. God bless this soldier.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Reply
    • rwdragon86

      SGLI will still compensate his family. It doesn't dictate how you must die to receive insurance benefits. That money will never replace that empty hole in his family's life though.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:28 am | Reply
    • Vishal Sathyan

      This poor Afghan girl should live long, but the idiot soldier should haven't died if he was a great man. May God curse his soul. N.R.I.P. Stupid soldier.

      May 18, 2012 at 11:33 am | Reply
  79. joseph

    all i know is 96 % of americans have a very good heart and they dont care if the die in other country just to promote peace, money and security of the country is second only to thier mind.

    March 28, 2012 at 6:31 pm | Reply
    • Dennis

      Too bad 96% of the world can't see this.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:15 am | Reply
  80. AlexShch

    I am trying to imagine how this happened and I can not. It makes no sense at all.

    "Weichel was in a convoy ... Some children were in the road in front of the convoy, and Weichel
    and other troops got out to move them out of the way" - so presumably he was inside a vehicle,
    then he got out and run in front or shout to get the kids off the road. Does the vehicle has to
    stop or at least to slow down for a soldier to get out? How far were the kids at the time they
    were seen first time? How fast MRAP was going at the moment when the soldier was hit?
    MRAP is a fairly tall vehicle with good forward view - it looks like a very oversized jeep.
    Did he initially ride the same vehicle that hit him, or he was hit by another vehicle from the
    same convoy? Was it a patrol convoy which are normally loitering in the area to look for
    suspicious activity, or a convoy passing through the area with the purpose to go somewhere
    else and with orders not to slow down no matter what, so children on the road, or any other
    obstacle were considered as potential security threat?

    March 28, 2012 at 6:29 pm | Reply
    • kiss my fart

      my hat is off to you sir you actually have intresting questions that were not awnsered here like most stories on cnn they b.s you and give you no facts were are the DAM facts. This is a fabricated story make up the parents make up the soldier make up the story pull heart strings blah blah blah same shit new day.

      March 30, 2012 at 5:31 am | Reply
  81. Jim

    I'm sure this will be buried deep within the news cycles...better to report the negative than to point out when an American does right...not that anyone in either our own country or Afghanistan will pay any attention to this. Thank you, SPC Weichel...for showing the humanity of the American soldier...

    March 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm | Reply
    • rootsgal

      I agree, but right now, I will re post this so others can read something heroic, kind and brave.

      March 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Reply
    • RetiredUSMC07

      I agree; every news media outlet needs to be telling this story.

      March 29, 2012 at 10:27 am | Reply
    • Rasniati

      As with all personal/professional thngis (I'm often in the same boat as a web designer who does stuff for friends etc) it's a matter of setting boundaries. If you feel you can do it on an emotional level, then the question is professionally what can you do, what can you not do, how much time can you commit, what are your expectations of the client, and so on. Regardless of the emotional involvement, stick firm to those professional conditions, that would be my advice. Get that absolutely clear from the outset and hopefully it goes smoothly. As for the "for no interest" sometimes one has to do stuff just because it's the right thing to do. Karma will pay you back in one way or another, I would hope I think people do contribute to local / individual causes, particularly if the family is well-known or the situation has been well publicised. Think global, act local or something. Hope that helps

      May 21, 2012 at 3:32 am | Reply
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