Son of Dutch Defense Chief Killed in Afghanistan

Lt. Dennis van Uhm, the son of Holland’s top general, was killed today in Afghanistan.

Dennis Van Uhm Photo In this photo released by the Dutch Ministery of Defense, Lt. Dennis van Uhm, the son of the top Dutch military commander Gen. Peter van Uhm is seen. Dennis van Uhm and another Dutch NATO soldier, Mark Schouwink, were killed Friday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, a day after Gen. Peter van Uhm was installed in his new command in a tradition-filled ceremony in the courtyard of parliament. Lt. Dennis van Uhm, 23, was among four Dutch casualties in the explosion, 12 kilometers (7 miles) northwest of the military base in Uruzgan province known as Camp Holland, said spokesman Lt. Gen. Freek Meulman. One of the two wounded was in critical condition. Prime Minister Jan Peter Balkenende called the death of Van Uhm so soon after his father had taken command of the Dutch military 'an unprecedented tragedy.' (AP Photo/Dutch Ministry of Defense, HO) The son of the Dutch defense chief was killed Friday by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, and the Taliban claimed they deliberately made the young lieutenant a high-profile target. While the Dutch quickly cast doubt on the Taliban claim, the death underscores the danger high-profile soldiers can face and illustrates a grim reality for families, famous and not, who choose the military life.

Lt. Dennis van Uhm, 23, was one of two Dutch soldiers killed in the explosion seven miles northwest of Camp Holland, the Dutch military base in the restive southern province of Uruzgan. Two more soldiers were injured, one critically.

Van Uhm’s father, Gen. Peter van Uhm, was installed only Thursday as the Netherlands’ defense chief.

A shame although no more so than the loss of the son of a store clerk. Obviously, though, this is more noteworthy. It’s also a sober reminder that, for all the talk of the United States being alone in these conflicts, others have lives on the line.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. dutchmarbel says:

    Tnxs for mentioning it James. The fact that he is the “son of” is not as much more noteworthy, it is the juxtaposition with the rather festive part yesterday when command was handed over to his father.

    Our ministery of Defense always opens condoleance registers for killed soldiers, and there both have their pictures up (as they did with all previously killed soldiers).

  2. Christopher says:

    Rest assured, dutchmarbel: Patriotic Americans appreciate your counties sacrifice in the war on terror you are fighting side by side with us. As you know many American soldiers have also died. This is a fight for the entire globe against terrorism. Great Britain Brown also acknowledges this fight and says that the world owes a debt of gratitude to President Bush for leading the war on terror.

    (but try not to mind American liberals, though, who view Lt. van Uhm’s death, and all deaths in the war on terror, as political fodder for their head-in-the-sand way of thinking, and their never ending quest for more personal political power)

  3. Christopher says:

    Meant to say, Great Britain’s Prime Minister Brown.

  4. anjin-san says:

    (but try not to mind American liberals, though, who view Lt. van Uhm’s death, and all deaths in the war on terror, as political fodder for their head-in-the-sand way of thinking, and their never ending quest for more personal political power)

    This is a pretty pathetic attempt to politicize the sacrifice of brave men.

  5. Christopher says:

    “politicize the sacrifice of brave men”? LOL! THAT is what liberals have been doing the whole time! LOL!!!!!

  6. anjin-san says:

    Really Dude, you are beneath contempt…

  7. Christopher says:

    At least I am above you, jap dude. Go back home and eat some fish.