We’ve lost another hero

You have a relative in Iraq or somewhere in the military and you answer the doorbell and find the Army Casualty Notification Team at your door. What would you feel?

I was reading the Atlanta Journal – Constitution newspaper tonight and came across a headline that I had to read twice. It read: ” Victor Anderson: Saw buddies die, then bomb ended his life”. Story from the AJC

The article talks about Sgt. Victor Anderson’s account of seeing his fellow soldiers – his friends – die in a bomb attack in a Humvee just behind his, in Iraq on July 24th, and his wish to help prepare the bodies of his friends for shipment back to the United States. On Saturday, July 30th, Sgt. Anderson’s life ended the same way.

Sgt. Anderson was a police officer in Ellaville, Ga. who already had a career in the military right after high school; re-enlisting after the Gulf War. He was shocked to find out he could not deploy with his brigade in January due to his diabetes. After exercise, diet and weight loss, he was cleared and able to join them in Iraq in May.

From Jim Auchmutey’s story in the AJC:

On Tuesday, family and friends gathered at the home of Andersonís mother and stepfather at the end of a long dirt road in the countryside north of Ellaville. Anderson lived next door with his wife and children in a rustic house with gray wooden timbers. In the yard sat a silver Chrysler Sebring with a yellow magnetic ribbon on the bumper that said, ìPray for SSG Anderson.î

… That’s when I started to lose it. The sadness was too much.

ìI talked to him just Friday morning,î said his mother, Belinda Poole, as she straightened the photos on a tabletop shrine in her living room. ìHe called and said they were getting ready to go out on some more missions. He was calm. If that bombing upset him, he didnít show it.î

Outside, in the afternoon swelter, her husband and several other kinfolk were digging a hole in the front yard. They were erecting a flagpole, like so many Marines hoisting the Stars and Stripes on Iwo Jima. They wanted to raise a flag so they could lower it to half-staff.

… That’s when I totally lost it.

My fellow Atlantans and Georgians, no matter about politics, our soldiers need our unwavering support. Please do what you can to lend yours. Here’s just one small way you might consider:

God bless you Sgt. Anderson. And thank you.

On AJC.com you can also read an amazing final email from Sgt. Anderson. The link is here.

Related stories about Iraq, the war and people in AJC.com

A child he’ll never see
GI’s death won’t end love story
By JEREMY REDMON The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Soldier ‘needed to do his part’
By ANNA VARELA in Valdosta, JEFFRY SCOTT in Augusta. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

2 Comments so far

  1. ellen (unregistered) on August 4th, 2005 @ 9:21 am

    Dying in a war does not automatically make someone a hero. Soldiers/reservists may be good folk, not so nice folk, mean, loving, racist, Buddhist. They are as complicated dead as they are alive. Glorifying the soldier glorifies the war. I am sure all these families would much rather have their loved ones alive than have them be dead war heros.

  2. Steve (unregistered) on August 5th, 2005 @ 1:26 pm

    I would suggest meeting and getting to know more military personnel or public safety personnel. This post would make more sense to you then.

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