The parents of Army soldier Benjamin Osborn say new military Rules of Engagement are making soldiers on the ground more vulnerable to attack, including they say, in the final battle that took their son’s life.
“They were ambushed they were under attack and they couldn’t fire until they were ordered to do so,” Ben’s father Bill Osborn said.
Wearing black armbands, a gold star pin, and grief fresh from burying their son, Bill and Beverly Osborn are speaking out
about the circumstances of their son’s death. “Ben said that the tactics were wrong. There’s one long road to bring supplies in. The Taliban’s up there shooting down at them and they have to shoot up,” Beverly Osborn said.
It comes as the family welcomed friends to a celebration of Ben’s life, with his wife of only five months comforted at the event.
But amid their grief, his parents also questioned whether new military rules of engagement put their son’s unit at risk, by restricting use of firepower and the ability to call for backup, a strategy designed to minimize civilian casualties.”The rules of engagement have put our son at risk and everyone that’s over there,” Bill Osborn said.
The Osborns support General Stanley McChrystal, who was just forced to resign after openly criticizing the Administration’s strategy. Instead, these parents laid blame at the President’s feet.
“I think he’s (Obama) the wrong man for the wrong job at the time, and I think he has things backwards I think that it’s a kind of a touchy feely approach to war and it doesn’t work,” Bill Osborn said.
“We have to win the war first. The only way to do that is to have someone in charge who’s a warrior, not a flower child,” Beverly Osborn said. They were grief-stricken but determined to push for change, as a community said goodbye to a native son.
The Osborns planned to write to New York’s U.S. Senators and to General David Petraeus, now the top commander of the conflict, to call for a take charge strategy that they said will give other servicemen and woman a better chance to win the war. WNYT