3,500 attend abducted soldier memorial
The remains of Tom Tucker were found mutilated, booby-trapped
Saturday, July 1, 2006; Posted: 9:35 p.m. EDT (01:35 GMT)
The Oregon governor described Pfc. Tom Tucker as "the best Oregon had to give."
MADRAS, Oregon (AP) -- Oregon's governor Saturday urged mourners at a memorial for a soldier who was captured and mutilated in Iraq to "learn more from the way he lived than from the horrific way he had to die."
Gov. Ted Kulongoski called Pfc. Tom Tucker, 25, "the best Oregon had to give."
Tucker was one of two 101st Airborne Division soldiers whose booby-trapped, mutilated remains were found June 19, three days after they disappeared following an insurgent attack.
About 3,500 people attended the service honoring the soldier who had been in Iraq since February. A slide show offered glimpses of Tucker from infancy through his teenage years, high school graduation and induction into the military.
His sister, Tayva, said, "I can hear Tom telling me, 'Be strong. Don't stress out, and have fun.' "
At a brief cemetery ceremony, Tucker's parents were presented with his Purple Heart and Bronze Star medals, which was followed by a flyover by a Black Hawk helicopter.
Tucker worked in landscaping, construction and other jobs before joining the military in July 2005.
"Private First Class Thomas Lowell Tucker's heroism is our legacy that we will never let go," said Brig. Gen. Gregg Martin of the 101st Airborne Division.
Tucker and Pfc. Kristian Menchaca, 23, of Houston, Texas, vanished from a checkpoint about 12 miles south of Baghdad. A third soldier, Spc. David J. Babineau, 25, of Springfield, Massachusetts, died in the attack.
Al-Qaeda in Iraq claimed it killed the two soldiers, saying the successor to slain leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi had "slaughtered" them, according to a Web statement that could not be authenticated.
Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Link: http://www.cnn.com/2006/WORLD/meast/07/ ... index.html
Oregon's governor Saturday urged mourners at a memorial for a soldier who was captured and mutilated in Iraq to "learn more from the way he lived than from the horrific way he had to die."
No, this young man didn't have to die in this horrible way, EXCEPT for the fact that he was in Iraq because his Commander-in-Chief is a liar and a coward.