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Location: Minnesota, United States

A Blog on Minnesota and National politics, religion, news, and life.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Final Farewell

Spc. David Mahlenbrock was laid to rest today at Arlington National Cemetery after he was killed in and IED attack in Iraq. His final request was that the song American Soldier by Toby Keith be played at his funeral, his letter is here:

Dear 1st Squad,

If you’re reading this, then I’ve died for our country. I just hope it wasn’t for nothing.

After the IED went off yesterday, I wanted to write this in case something happens to me. There are a few more letters that I’d like you to give my wife and family.

I’d like to have a military funeral, but, if you can work please make sure that Toby Keith’s “American Soldier” is played at the ceremony in addition to the bagpipes. If they won’t let it happen, that’s ok, thanks for trying…...

I know that all the belongings I have here will go to Melissa, but there are a few more things I’d like for you guys to make sure she gets. I have a dog tag w/ our picture on it along w/ some pictures and an American flag in my left breast pocket. There is also a can that says “Son” on it that Melissa’s parents gave me that I’d like for them to have, and that angel stone should go to her grandma and grandpa Snow.

Now if I died w/ blue eyes (one blew that way and one blew the other way) and there’s nothing really left of me, that’s ok, I know you meant well.

Alright, enough with the dead guy’s last request, there’s a lot of thank you’s I wanna say to you fellas……


Also, many of you may have heard that many radio stations respected his request by playing American Soldier at the time of his funeral (1pm Eastern Time). David, I want to say thank you and in tribute to your sacrifice, the lyrics to American Soldier.

Toby Keith - American Soldier

I'm just trying to be a father,
Raise a daughter and a son,
Be a lover to their mother,
Everything to everyone.
Up and at 'em bright and early,
I'm all in my business suit,
Yeah, I'm dressed for success from my head down to my boots,
I don't do it for money, there's still bills that I can't pay,
I don't do it for the glory, I just do it anyway,
Providing for our future's my responsibility,
Yeah I'm real good under pressure, being all that I can be,
And I can't call in sick on Mondays when the weekends been to strong,
I just work straight through the holidays,
And sometimes all night long.
You can bet that I stand ready when the wolf growls at the door,
Hey, I'm solid, hey I'm steady, hey I'm true down to the core,
And I will always do my duty, no matter what the price,
I've counted up the cost, I know the sacrifice,
Oh, and I don't want to die for you,
But if dyin's asked of me,
I'll bear that cross with an honor,
'Cause freedom don't come free.
I'm an american soldier, an american,
Beside my brothers and my sisters I will proudly take a stand,
When liberty's in jeopardy I will always do what's right,
I'm out here on the front lines, sleep in peace tonight.
American soldier, I'm an American,
An American,
An American Soldier