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Names, Stories, and Pictures of the Fallen Heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom
Wire Reports | 3/22/03 | Wire Reports

Posted on 03/22/2003 10:32:34 AM PST by Diddle E. Squat

Names of the four US Marines who died in yesterday's helicopter crash:

Maj. Jay Thomas Aubin, 36, of Waterville, Maine

Capt. Ryan Anthony Beaupre, 30, of Bloomington, Ill.

Cpl. Brian Matthew Kennedy, 25, of Houston, Texas

Staff Sgt. Kendall Damon Watersbey, 29, of Baltimore, Md.

The Pentagon has just released the names of two more US Marines who were killed in Iraq. I'll post as soon as I find that.

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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Capt. Edward J. Korn

341 posted on 04/15/2003 12:11:51 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Specialist Daniel Francis Cunningham Jr.

Ex-St. Augustine resident dies in Iraq conflict

Features Editor

A 33-year-old former St. Augustine resident died in the war in Iraq last week. He was the first person with ties to this area known to have perished in the conflict.

Specialist Daniel Francis Cunningham Jr. died April 4, while serving with the 41st Field Artillery Regiment. He lost his life when his vehicle fell into a ravine.

Cunningham, Pfc. Wilfred Bellard, 20, and Pvt. Devon Jones, 19, were riding in a Humvee, carrying munitions and supplies to front-line forces in Baghdad when they plunged into a ravine while swerving to avoid mortars and military fire, according to a report in USA Today.

A fourth passenger was reported to have survived. He is Pfc. Jeffery Taylor of Interlachen, who, according to a story in The Palatka Daily News, was critically injured.

Taylor is the son of Lynne Taylor of Palatka and William Taylor of Satsuma.

Cunningham was "very sweet and always thought of others first," recalled LouLane Polla, mother of Cunningham's close friend Vickie Tipton. The two met here when both worked at the Red Lobster Restaurant.

Polla described her daughter as "broken-hearted."

Cunningham moved to St. Augustine about six years ago, living here for about 21/2 years before enlisting in the U.S. Army.

"I think he just wanted to better himself," Polla said of Cunningham's reason for joining the service. "He wanted to start a new career."

Cunningham left for Iraq in January, shipping out from Fort Stewart, Ga. While at Fort Stewart, he made frequent trips to St. Augustine to visit Tipton.

He moved to St. Augustine for "a change," his brother James explained Wednesday afternoon from the family's home in Lewiston, Maine.

"If you've lived in Maine all your life," you know why he moved, James said. "The winters get pretty brutal."

Like Polla, James described Daniel as a very caring individual. "I played a sport for every season," James said, "and he was always there to help me ... He'd be at every game.

"He was just a great guy, always happy, always smiling, quick with a joke and extremely approachable."

James described Daniel as "just like a magnet with a great smile, just like my dad."

Daniel Sr. died six months ago. "That was the last time Daniel was up in Maine."

Funeral arrangements are planned in Maine, and Polla and Tipton are planning a memorial service in St. Augustine, with arrangements to be announced.

"He loved his country," Polla said. Similar words were echoed by James. "We know he was very proud to serve his country," James concluded, "just the way my father had done in Vietnam."

Cunningham's survivors include his mother, Nancy, of Lewiston, Maine; one son, Connor, 10, who resides in Revere, Mass., with his mother, Heather; and three brothers.
342 posted on 04/15/2003 12:16:20 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Specialist Daniel Francis Cunningham Jr.

343 posted on 04/15/2003 12:16:50 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Pfc. Wilfred Bellard

La. soldier killed in Iraq is mourned

West Bank bureau

Army officials visited the family of Pfc. Wilfred Bellard on Tuesday to discuss the death of the Lake Charles native last week in Iraq.

"My son was proud of his job in the military," Janet Brooks said. "He told me he loved it and was ready to go to Iraq and get the job done. To me, my son is a hero." Brooks said she had had no official word from the government regarding the cause of the accident that killed her son.

Sgt. Leroy Williams, a recruiter who had signed up Bellard in June, said he learned of the young man's death Monday after he arrived at work and found a note to call Bellard's wife, Latricia.

"It had shocked me," Williams said. "It seemed like yesterday I put him in the Army. I called her up to give her my condolences and to see if there was anything she needed."

Bellard was one of three soldiers with the 41st Field Artillery Regiment based in Fort Stewart, Ga., who died Friday when their vehicle went into a ravine in Iraq, the Defense Department said.

The father of a 1-year-old son, Bellard was expecting the arrival of his second child around Easter.

Bellard graduated from high school in Georgia. Before that, he lived in Lake Charles, attending Lake Charles-Boston High School.

Williams said Bellard joined the Army to secure a good future for his wife and children and to carry on the family tradition. His father served in the Army, his sister is in the Army and an older brother is in the Navy.

Bellard joined the Army in June and did his basic training at Fort Sill, Okla.

Bellard's death "was really shocking and heartbreaking," Williams said. "He was a good kid."

344 posted on 04/15/2003 12:20:34 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Pfc. Wilfred Bellard

345 posted on 04/15/2003 12:21:03 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Pvt. Devon Jones

Soldier sought a family, touched many lives

By Susan Gembrowski

April 8, 2003

Army Pvt. Devon D. Jones moved from one San Diego group home to another until he finally found the foster family he had prayed for.

Now, the woman who took him in three years ago, the woman he called mom, is mourning the 19-year-old artillery specialist, who died Friday when a Humvee crashed into an Iraqi ravine.

"He was praying for a family and God answered his prayers," his foster mother, Evelyn Houston, said yesterday, as relatives and friends brought bouquets, cards and condolences to her Valencia Park home.

Jones left for boot camp a few weeks after graduating from Lincoln High School in June. He wanted to be a high school teacher and a writer, but couldn't afford college. Four years in the military would finance his education. But that wasn't his only motivation. He was inspired by patriotism after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

"I'm honored to talk about him," Houston said. "He was a strong spirit. He was cool, but compassionate, and always concerned about everyone's well-being."

Jones came back to see Houston in October and again in December before he was sent to the Middle East. He spent much of his leave with his girlfriend, Deeandra James, a 17-year-old senior at the San Diego School of Creative and Performing Arts. Their first date was to his senior prom. Jones wore a black fedora with his tuxedo.

"I would want to live because I haven't enjoyed life yet," he wrote Deeandra in a letter from Iraq. "I want to live because I feel like I'm the 'savior' of my family which is broken up and separated ... I want to live for you, Deeandra James."

Jones looked out for his brothers, Damon, 18, and Dierre, 16, who also lived with Houston.

"If I could, I would tell him I looked up to him," Dierre said yesterday. "I never had the courage to say it."

The boys were in foster care in San Diego when their grandmother took them to live with her in Memphis, Tenn. They stayed with her for seven years until her death.

They returned to San Diego, but lived in different group homes. Jones wanted them to be together, but knew the odds were slim until he met Houston at New Creation Church in Oak Park.

"I see a lot of kids, but he stood out from all the other kids," said Carlton Singleton, Jones' counselor at a group home in Clairemont, who arranged the meeting with Houston. "He was very religious, very holy. He prayed every night for a home."

His biological mother, Alphenia Allen, 44, of Lincoln Park, credits her son with turning her life around.

"From his example, I became involved in church," she said. "I was incarcerated, locked up, and my son was the inspiration behind the change in my life. He encouraged me behind prison walls. He wrote to me. He told me he supported me with all his heart. He wrote on his last picture, 'Mom, I love you with all my heart.' "

Houston said Jones always told her he had two mothers. During his leave around the holidays from the 41st Field Artillery Regiment at Fort Stewart, Ga., he wanted a traditional Christmas. Houston bought the biggest tree she could find, and the family had at least 50 presents beneath it.

They reminisced about school dances, daily basketball games at the church and neighborhood football games with his best friend, Lance Lomas, 21, who is also Deeandra's brother.

Jones had volunteered to read with students at Kennedy Elementary School. And he excelled in public speaking, once telling his life story in front of 500 people at his church.

Lincoln High School Principal Wendell Bass said his heart sank when he heard the news Sunday night, while watching TV.

"He's good people. Dependable. Polite. The kind of people who make the world go around," he said.

Other Lincoln staff members were also struck by Jones' death.

Harold Moore, a counselor at the school, said it brings the war home. "There's not that connection, until someone you know dies.

"I'm so saddened. He was a quality young man," he said.

Like others, he described Jones as being well-mannered and serious. He called elders Mr. or Mrs., Moore said. "In schools, the superstars and the knuckleheads get all of the attention. He was just a real good kid."

Oscar Browne taught Jones in his public speaking class. He heard the news yesterday morning from students.

He had to stop for a moment to compose himself. He had come to school feeling upbeat. Daylight-saving time had started. The weather was glorious. "I was floating along. This takes the wind out of your sails."

It was less than a year ago that Jones was at Lincoln, he noted.

Now, he's gone.

"Like that," he said. "And he won't see his children or his children's children."

In a letter about a month ago to Keisha Erving, Houston's 33-year-old daughter, Jones wrote about his life in the desert. "Sometimes I just look into the sky at the stars and wonder what ya all are doing and smile."

"Hold on. Be patient," he wrote, "and know there is a reason for everything."

"Like any young man, he wanted the Army to be one of the chapters," Erving said, "not the whole book."

346 posted on 04/15/2003 12:39:10 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Pvt. Devon Jones

347 posted on 04/15/2003 12:40:14 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine Lance Cpl. Andrew Aviles

Tampa Marine killed in Iraq
Reservist had planned to attend FSU
By Mitch Stacy

TAMPA - An 18-year-old U.S. Marine Corps reservist who put off a full academic scholarship to Florida State University to serve has been killed in action in Iraq, his family said Tuesday.

Lance Cpl. Andrew Aviles was the third soldier from Tampa and the sixth with Florida ties to die in the conflict. He was killed Monday, his family said, although the Department of Defense had not yet publicly announced his death.

Aviles, a 2002 graduate of T.R. Robinson High School who would have turned 19 later this month, was attached to the Tampa-based 4th Marine Assault Amphibian Battalion. His parents were notified Monday night that he was killed sometime that morning while his unit was crossing a bridge.

"We really aren't sure of the specifics at this time," said his 21-year-old sister, Kristine Aviles. "We're hoping that we'll get some further information as the days go on."

The impact of Andy Aviles death was felt at Robinson High School, where as a senior last year he was a popular class president, cheerleader and a member of the wrestling team. A National Honor Society member, he graduated third in his class and earned a full academic scholarship to FSU, where he planned to study business.

"He was a born leader, mature beyond his years, smart and articulate," said Kristine Aviles, who spoke to reporters at the high school Tuesday afternoon. "He always had big dreams, big aspirations, and loved his family and friends deeply."

Andy Aviles put off college because he felt he had a moral obligation to serve, his family said. He started talking about joining the Marine Corps Reserves about the end of his junior year in high school.

He graduated from boot camp in September, trained in California and was deployed Feb. 6.

His sister said she last talked to him when he was training and they discussed plans for the two of them to take a trip with their 17-year-old brother, Matthew.

"We told each other we loved each other a bunch of times, and he said he was going to be back home," she said.

Robinson Principal Kevin McCarthy informed students of Aviles' death in an announcement Tuesday morning. He also sent home a letter to parents, saying the school "will remember Andy not only as a great student, but also as someone who died in the service of his country."

McCarthy said Aviles led the Pledge of Allegiance at last spring's graduation ceremony and asked the principal to specially recognize those graduates who were headed for the military.

"That was his idea," McCarthy said. "That shows you the type of patriot Andy was."

348 posted on 04/15/2003 12:48:03 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith

Conflict with Iraq: Second Tampa native killed in Iraq

Associated Press

TAMPA — A second Tampa-born soldier has been killed in Iraq, the Department of Defense said Monday.

Army Sgt. 1st Class Paul R. Smith, 33, was killed in action Friday. He was attached to the 11th Engineer Battalion, based at Fort Stewart, Ga.

No other information about his death was available Monday, a Fort Stewart spokeswoman said. Smith was the fifth Floridian killed in the Iraqi conflict.

A 13-year Army veteran, Smith leaves a wife and two children, his parents, and three siblings, said his sister, Lisa DeVane, who lives in south Georgia.

"Paul died serving his country with pride, honor and integrity, and believing in the just cause of this war," said DeVane, reading from a statement issued by the family. "Our nation was fortunate to have him as a soldier. We as a family were blessed to have him as a son, brother, husband, father and uncle. He will be missed greatly.

"Paul made it clear that it was privilege for him to lead 25 of America's finest soldiers into war, and he was prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure their safe return, and he did."

Smith was a graduate of Tampa Bay Tech High School, DeVane said. She said the family would have no further comment.

Another Tampa-born Army soldier, Sgt. Wilbert Davis, 40, of the 3rd Infantry Division, died Thursday when the vehicle carrying him and journalist Michael Kelly flipped and went into a canal.

349 posted on 04/15/2003 1:12:14 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine Capt. Travis Ford

UNL graduate dies in Iraq in helicopter crash

April 08, 2003

A University of Nebraska-Lincoln graduate killed in a helicopter crash Saturday in Iraq died doing what he was born to do, his friends said.

Capt. Travis Ford, 30, of Oceanside, Calif., was piloting a Marine Corps Super Cobra gunship on a mission near Baghdad when it went down, friend Craig Condello said.

Reasons for the crash remain unclear, he said.

Condello, who lives in Lincoln, said Ford was following in the footsteps of his older brother Alex when he joined the Marines.

"He knew it was his destiny to be a Marine," Condello said.

Ford graduated from UNL with an accounting degree in 1996. He was a reservist while at UNL, having gone through Marine Corps boot camp after graduating from Ogallala High School in 1991.

Ford was based at Camp Pendleton before his deployment to Iraq in January.

He met his wife, 28-year-old Deon, at UNL. His daughter, Ashley, turned two years old Monday.

Friend David Kelley of Fort Collins, Colo., remembers "a thousand times" the comical Ford would make others laugh.

Once, Ford bet Condello's brother he could lose more weight. Ford lost and had to don neon tights and a red wig and run through Westfield Shoppingtown Gateway.

Ford did it willingly, Condello said.

"He was the leader of the pack, and at the same time, a humble human being," he said.

The 5-foot-7-inch, 175-pound Ford fit the mold of a Marine, Condello said. Friends said he had a competitive spirit and was very serious about the military.

At Ogallala High School, Ford played varsity football as a sophomore. He excelled at everything he did, friends said.

With friends and family, his baby blue eyes, infectious smile and laughter were the forefront of his personality.

Ford, a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and the yell squad at UNL, proposed to his wife Deon at a football game. Members of the squad held up placards reading, "Will you marry me, Deon?"

Ford ran up the rows of seats and pulled out his ring, to the cheers of the crowd.

Ford was scrappy, tough and athletic: he won Fight Night boxing matches, sponsored by Sigma Chi, twice, Kelley said.

Ford never strove to get attention, Kelley said. He just did anyway.

"He excelled at everything he tried to do," he said.

When Ford was 13 his father died, leaving Ford and four brothers.

Ford became a father figure for both his mother and younger brother Matt, friend Jeff Garcia said.

"He was very definitely about family," Garcia, of Lincoln, said.

Kelley said he spoke with Ford a week before he was deployed. Ford wasn't scared, but ready to do as he'd been trained, Kelley said.

Family are devastated over the news, Condello said, but take solace in the fact he gave up his life for reasons greater than himself.

Condello said family members were told Ford successfully took out a target in Baghdad before his helicopter went down.

As native Nebraskan, Ford is a hero for both the state and the country, Condello said.

"I'm just proud as heck to have known the guy," he said.

350 posted on 04/15/2003 1:14:40 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine Capt. Travis Ford

351 posted on 04/15/2003 1:15:29 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine Corporal Bernard Gooden

A new Canadian dies in Iraq

From Wednesday's Globe and Mail

Washington — He loved Canada, but died in Iraq fighting for the United States.

Corporal Bernard Gooden, a 22-year-old tank gunner with the U.S. Marines, is the first Canadian to be killed in combat in the war to oust Saddam Hussein.

The 5-foot-4 marine, who immigrated to the Toronto area from Jamaica in 1997, was killed in a gun battle in central Iraq on Friday.

"All I'm hearing now in my head is: 'Your son Brent is dead. Brent is dead.' That's all I hear. 'Brent is dead,' " his mother, Carmen Palmer, said yesterday. "It keeps repeating, repeating itself. 'He's died in combat, Ma'am. He's died in combat.' "

Although there are Canadian soldiers in harm's way in Iraq and on warships in the Persian Gulf, Cpl. Gooden — who had served as a Canadian Forces reservist — had joined the U.S. Marines in June, 2001.

His girlfriend, Elizabeth Knox, who met Cpl. Gooden during her first week at York University in Toronto, said they stayed up countless nights watching war movies in their residence room. But she insists he wasn't a warrior type.

"He loved those movies, but he was so soft," she said. "He didn't go in [to the Marine Corps] wanting to fight."

While based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., Cpl. Gooden drove back to Toronto last summer to take his oath of citizenship. "He just always loved Canadian life," Ms. Knox said.

Cpl. Gooden's mother, who was told on Sunday that her son had died, spoke warmly about how much he loved being a marine. He felt so safe in his tank that he called it his home, she said.

The family plans to hold a memorial service and bury Cpl. Gooden at a banana and coffee plantation in Jamaica, where he played soldier games as a child.

Cpl. Gooden left Jamaica at 16 to live with his father — Bernard Sr. — in Whitby, Ont., and seek a good education. He went to high school in Whitby, studied general arts at Centennial College from 1998 to 2000, when he went to York to study political science. He stayed there just one year.

Mr. Gooden, who has been a maintenance worker at York University for 25 years, said one of his son's professors, Radhakrishnan Persaud, once approached him and asked if the student with his name was his son. "He said he's really good," Mr. Gooden said. "I was really proud of him."

Mr. Gooden said his son had a slender build, so he was pleased when Cpl. Gooden decided to join the Canadian Forces. "He put on some weight," he said, proudly. Every second Thursday a bus picked up Cpl. Gooden for the ride to Kingston, where he spent the weekend training.

He showed his father photos of himself building bridges, waterskiing and running in the bush toting his gun. The Canadian Forces paid him a small salary, "but not anything to speak of," Mr. Gooden said. Cpl. Gooden scraped together extra money working at a grocery store.

Mr. Gooden said his son was "always a gentleman," and regularly attended his family's Pentecostal church in Toronto's west end.

While at York, the school was hit by a strike. To pass the time, Cpl. Gooden went to stay in Mount Vernon, N.Y., with his mother. Before long, he told his father he would not be returning to York.

"I said, 'Man, you could just hold on and see what happens with the strike,' " Mr. Gooden recalled. "He said, 'No, I'm not going back to university.' And that was the last time I talked to him."

He said Ms. Palmer changed her phone number. "We fought because he wanted to go to the U.S. It wasn't the last talk I wanted to have with my son."

Mr. Gooden said he did not know his son had joined the marines until his sister told him on Monday that Cpl. Gooden had been killed.

"My head was spinning around," Mr. Gooden said. "I didn't want him to lose his life so young. . . . He is my first son. I gave him my name."

Ms. Palmer said Cpl. Gooden had been excited to go to the Middle East, but once there wrote letters home describing the experience as "horrible." She sent him a package including cheese, crackers and other goodies.

Through tears, she said yesterday that just days before he was killed, she had received a thank-you letter from him.

352 posted on 04/15/2003 1:18:14 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine Corporal Bernard Gooden

353 posted on 04/15/2003 1:18:50 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine First Lieutenant Brian M. McPhillips
Pembroke Marine is killed in firefight, US says

By Douglas Belkin, Globe Staff, 4/8/2003

PEMBROKE-- A Marine who graduated from Boston College High School and Providence College is the latest Massachusetts casualty of the war in Iraq, his family said yesterday.

First Lieutenant Brian M. McPhillips, 25, of Pembroke, was killed during a firefight in central Iraq, according to the Pentagon's website. He was assigned to the Second Tank Battalion, Second Marine Division, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C.

McPhillips was remembered by a college professor yesterday as an intelligent young man who aspired to military service.

''He was a good kid with a lot of ambition,'' said Paul Maloney, a finance professor at Providence College. ''He was very personable, really bright, and I remember he was really looking forward to active duty. The military really kind of defined who he was. It's just a shame.''

Friends said that McPhillips had been focused on joining the military since he was an adolescent. At BC High, he was remembered as a tenacious racquetball player and a tall, slender student who founded the school's Irish Culture club.

''There are just some people who have a quiet perseverance and tranquillity that make us feel we can trust them,'' said the school's president, William J. Kemeza. ''He was that kind of young man.''

McPhillips was the first BC High student to die in military service since 1989, a school spokesman said.

After McPhillips graduated from BC High in 1996, he enrolled at Providence College, where he graduated in 2000 with a degree in finance, a school spokesman said yesterday. For his senior project, McPhillips started an Internet business selling old military supplies such as knives, patches, and uniforms, Maloney said.

Pembroke resident Julie Caruso, who leads a support group for local military families, said she was notified of McPhillips's death Sunday. His parents, David and Julie, had been attending support group meetings for about seven months, Caruso said. ''You could tell they were worried,'' she said, ''but they were so proud of their son.''

The family released a statement yesterday saying: ''First Lieutenant Brian McPhillips, USMC, loved his family dearly and served his country with unwavering pride. At this difficult time, we ask for your prayers, specifically for our family, his platoon, for all servicemen and women, and in general for world peace.''

McPhillips was the fourth soldier with ties to Massachusetts reported killed in Iraq.

354 posted on 04/15/2003 1:23:59 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Marine First Lieutenant Brian M. McPhillips

355 posted on 04/15/2003 1:24:19 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Specialist Larry K. Brown

Jackson Soldier Killed in Iraq
By Maggie Wade

A Jackson family is reeling from the death of a Mississippi soldier in Iraq. Now, the family is being embraced by friends as they remember the life and sacrifice of twenty two year old Larry Kenyatta Brown.

Larry Brown's brother Nick remembers him this way and hopes the people of Mississippi and the nation will, as well.

"We'll remember him as he was, you know, outgoing, encouraging, he was inspiring and everything," Nick said. "He was like the perfect big brother."

Nick, 20, along with his two sisters, mother and father are surrounded by family, friends and co-workers. Monday evening around six they were notified by the military that Larry, 22, had been killed in action in the war with Iraq.

"They just told us he was shot," Nick said.

Rosemary Brown was unable to talk with us, but she still wears an Army t-shirt in honor of her son. Nick Brown puts into words what she is not able to.

"Its hard," Nick said. "I think its hard for any parent that goes through something like this."

Larry Brown graduated from Bailey Magnet High School in Jackson in 1999. He was number thirty three on the basketball team. His brother says he was a great role model.

"Its like most of the stuff I did, I did it because he did it," Nick said. "I probably wouldn't have played basketball if he didn't. I probably would have played football or something. Its like I really followed in his footsteps."

Stacy Windham taught both Larry and Nick Brown and now their little sister, Lakeidra is a student.

"Last week she brought pictures of him to share," Windham told WLBT. "She was proud of the way he looked in his desert fatigues."

Windham says the brothers were inseparable on the campus.

"When I think about him, I think about him and Nick in the hall," Windham said. "Running around together, playing around together."

Like the family, she is also proud of her former student.

"It hurts, but he did something for a greater good," Windham said, "and that's a hero."

The Brown family is now waiting for word from the Defense Department on when Larry Brown's body will be returned home.

Larry Brown was assigned to the Army's C Company, 1st Batallion, 41st Infantry Regiment of Fort Riley, Kansas.
356 posted on 04/15/2003 1:27:59 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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Comment #357 Removed by Moderator

To: Diddle E. Squat

358 posted on 04/15/2003 1:31:38 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid

Malden mourns for one of its own
Lincoln Hollinsaid died Monday in Iraq

April 9, 2003

of the Journal Star

MALDEN - While the war in Iraq may be half a world away, it has suddenly become immediate in this tiny north central Illinois village of 350 souls, bringing with it the shock and grief of the loss of a loved one.

U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid, 27, a combat engineer, son of Danny and Nancy Hollinsaid, of Malden, died Monday when a crane he was driving over a berm somewhere in Iraq was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

Danny Hollinsaid said late Tuesday, "He was a soldier. He was glad to serve, and he wanted to be deployed, but my wife and I have asked three or four times today, with all the people over there, how did it turn out to be our son?" Hollinsaid added though, "The odds are that it could happen to anyone."

Malden Grade School teacher Mike Partin said, "You sit at home and watch it on the news, but it’s not really real until it’s somebody you know-somebody you’ve seen walking down the street. Then, it gets real in a hurry."

Partin said Lincoln Hollinsaid moved to Malden during his junior year of high school, but his younger brother, Kevin, who now lives in Colorado, was a student in Partin’s science, social studies and math classes.

"Kevin absolutely doted on Lincoln," Partin said. "He’d get so excited when his big brother came home. This is a trial for the entire family. They’re dear, dear, people."

Dan Saletski, who graduated from Princeton High School in 1993 with Lincoln Hollinsaid, said of the slain soldier, "We weren’t the most popular kids, but we hung out with the same group of friends. Lincoln was well liked and had a way of making you laugh. I’d see him sometimes when he was home on leave, but I hadn’t talked to him much since we graduated. I wish now I had."

Dexter Brigham, now an actor in New York, said Tuesday evening, "You’re (kidding) me!" when he learned of Hollinsaid’s death. Brigham, a 1994 graduate of Princeton High School, started a band called "Rival Kin" in October of 1992, and Hollinsaid joined the group as rhythm guitarist.

"He was self-taught, and a good guitarist," said Brigham of his friend. "He was really intense. He’d practice for like four hours at a time."

There were good times, according to Brigham. "Wow," he said, "Linc was a party animal. He and his girlfriend would take us out in a big banana-yellow Lincoln, and we used to hang out at his house. One night, a bunch of us went out and built a fire under a bridge and hung out there the whole night. You know, general stupid high school stuff. He was a great guy."

Dan Trembley of Malden, a 1996 graduate of Princeton High School, said, "Linc was one of the nicest guys I ever met. He took life day-by-day and didn’t care what anyone else thought about him. He was really into art and music, although he kept the art close to himself and I think only shared it with his family. None of us guys ever saw any of it. I heard today about Lincoln, but I just can’t believe it."

Pastor Alan Meyer of United Methodist Church of Malden, where the Hollinsaid family attends, said late Tuesday a "full military funeral" will be conducted for Sgt. Hollinsaid at the local church, but the time and date are yet to be established.

"We’ve been in touch with the military," he said, "and we know the body is now in Delaware. I just left the family, and I told them, ‘We’ll take it one day, one step, one second at a time.’ "

Bruce Gibson, a friend of the Hollinsaid family, said, "You try to look at it as being a hero, but the heroes, they’re the ones who never come home."

359 posted on 04/15/2003 1:34:45 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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To: Diddle E. Squat
Army Staff Sgt. Lincoln Hollinsaid

360 posted on 04/15/2003 1:35:16 AM PDT by Diddle E. Squat
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