Monday, May 28, 2007

Sad Memorial Day Weekend

For a large part of our population, Memorial Day weekend is a 3-day weekend that is spent partying, cooking out, and relaxing. Unfortunately, the days of spending the day reflecting back on the men and women that fight on behalf of the USA has almost gone away.

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,
Ryan

3 comments:

Diane J. said...

I have lived in Bay for the last 22 years but I was born and raised in Trumann and graduated from THS. I still attend church there and 2 of my sisters and more of my family and many friends live there.

I didn't know Erich personally but I do know some of his family. I also know many of the other soldiers currently deployed to Iraq.

We had already gotten word from Erich's family about his death on Saturday and had prayer for his family at church Sunday.

This is so sad and it really hits home when you personally know a soldier that dies in action. It's kind of anonymous until it happens to someone you actually know.

I fear before this war is over there may be many more of our friends and family from the 875th that give their lives for our freedom.

God bless our troops and their families.

Jason Noel said...

Ryan,

Excellent post. I particularly agree with your statement "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."" What a great day it will be when the Prince of Peace brings an end to all war.

Jason

Anonymous said...

I appreciate how well written this blog was. As said before, THANK YOU for giving a voice of encouragement for our service men and women. Whether people are for this war or not; we still have men and women WILLING to stand and die to preserve freedom for so many. I believe in the power of prayer and know that our prayers can transcend heaven and bring His peace to so many hearts and lives. May we catch this baton that has been passed to us and pray for this family, pray for American, and pray for wisdom for all whom make decissions in the days to come.

Michelle C.