Tonight on K8 news Nightbeat, we are airing some news that has been dreaded since last year. We have lost one of the soldiers from the 875th Engineer Battalion.
One Saturday night, the K8 Newsroom got word that one of the soldiers had died. We even had a name on Saturday night. Without confirmation and without knowing that the family was aware, we did not air the story. Yesterday, we still did not have official confirmation. Tonight, the Department of Defense confirmed the identity of Spc. Erich Smallwood of Trumann, AR. For the official press release, click here.
When we heard about the soldier's death on Saturday night, we started looking for a way to confirm or deny the report. I signed up to receive the emails that the DOD sends out when a soldier dies (see above image.) It's extremely sad how many emails I have received in the past couple of days.
I support our efforts, I support our soldiers, and I support our President. However, it does not make it easy to continuously receive emails with subject line containing, "DoD Identifies Army Casualty."
Please take a moment and pray for the soldiers and their families tonight. For those that have been reading the blog for awhile, my brother-in-law has orders to return to Iraq within the next year. The date is still unknown. Please keep him, his wife, and girls in your prayers, too.
Have a great night,