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Grim duty

Posted at 10:04 AM on July 10, 2006 by Bill Wareham

Another Minnesota soldier has died in Iraq, Army Spec. Troy Linden, who grew up in the Detroit Lakes area.

It has been the policy of MPR News to prepare obituaries for soldiers from our listening area who die in combat, and Dan Gunderson is working to produce one in this case. Our goal is to have something that will tell us about the life of Troy Linden for this evening's All Things Considered program.

Preparing obituaries is a grim duty, especially in a news shop like ours that typically only does them for people who have died after achieving some sort of public success (or in some cases, public notoriety.) Delving into the lives of men and women who have lived in relative obscurity requires a special degree of sensitivity. We have found that while some family members feel a need to talk about their loved ones, others prefer to grieve privately. We try our best to treat family and friends of deceased soldiers with respect and dignity.

Still, in most every case we have eventually found someone who could shed some light on a deceased soldier's life. That information is collected here, both as a tribute to those who have served and a reminder of the human cost of war.

And while it's grim duty to prepare obituaries, it can't be nearly as grim as what family, friends and military comrades must go through in these instances.