Death may not be dignified in any light but the way it is perceived, handled and finally dealt with can be under certain circumstances even less dignified. The cause Cindy Sheehan has undertaken may or may not be worthy depending on who you ask. I choose not to ask anyone but rather I would ask a question of a different sort. It is not a question of the Presidents moment of accountability but of her son’s accountability. I would ask this question to her or anyone who might dare to question his moment of accountability. He did have one, let us examine it.
In August of 2003 Casey Sheehan re-enlisted in the United States Army. He was fully informed that his unit would be deployed in the Iraq theatre at some time in the future. Casey belonged to the 1st Calvary where he plied his skills as a Humvee mechanic. On April 4th of 2005 Casey was killed in a place called Sadr City in Iraq. He was twenty four years of age. Indeed a Hero of the highest order and a young man that according to all accounts would make any mother or any American proud of him.
In every state in this country there is a general consensus about when a person reaches the age of accountability. That consensus has found its way to the legislative annuls of every state in the form of various laws that credential it as the will of the people. Federal law too has been formed on the basis of this general consensus. Although the laws vary from state to state they all seem to fall into a very close and familiar expression of what is the age of accountability. For instance in most states the age limits for mandatory enrollment in a public or private school is up to age sixteen. The age at which a person can buy and consume alcohol goes between eighteen and twenty one in most states. Most states also will hold young people accountable for serious crimes somewhere between the ages of sixteen and eighteen. The US Military has similar age restrictions for anyone volunteering for duty. What does all this mean?
At some point in his life Casey Sheehan believed he had reached the age of accountability. Exactly when that moment came for Casey may only be known by him. But even if he shared it with his mother or others it was still his moment, his passage to manhood or to any other place he perceived it to be. It is not a moment that any mother can alter nor do they have a right to. When Casey signed on the line not once but twice, it was his moment of accountability. Perhaps he was never braver even in battle than he was in that moment. By the time he re-enlisted he knew a great deal about the military and what to expect, but at the moment he put his signature on the line for the first time there were only a world of unknowns, he faced them alone, he became accountable.
Without raising a single word about our Presidents honesty, a single word about Casey’s reasons or fears, it would still be undignified and less than honorable to cast aspersions on that moment. The moment when a young man made the decision of a man should not be diminished by the outcome of that decision. As far as President Bush being given a moment of accountability I would tread lightly in this area. He is accountable to all of us in this country, but if that weren’t enough both he and all of us in this country are accountable to a much higher power.
Those of us that put our trust in God do so in the midst of a world where life and death are all around us. We see children starving, hospitals full to capacity, wars we don’t always understand, crime and injustice on every hand, but we continue to have faith in God. Life did not come with a promise or a contract. We may die young or wish we could die because we feel so old but we believe he holds our hand throughout the journey long or short. This is more than faith it is trust and loyalty and it is the proof that no matter what we may endure we have shown ourselves to be accountable. May we always do so, and in the end will be found in good company along with other good men and good soldiers like Casey Sheehan.
Rev Bresciani has written many articles over the past thirty years in such periodicals as Guideposts and Catholic Digest. He is the author of two books available on Amazon.com, Alibris, Barnes and Noble and many other places. Rev Bresciani wrote “Hook Line and Sinker or what has Your Church Been Teaching You,” publisher, PublishAmerica of Baltimore MD. He also wrote a book published by Xulon Press entitled “An American Prophet and His Message, Questions and Answers on the Second Coming of Christ.” Rev Bresciani’s website is,