Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Burleson Soldier Killed in Iraq

I’ve been posting about Fort Worth soldiers killed in Iraq this year. Unfortunately, young men and young women are dying there every day, and one of the many questions I ask myself is this: why do this?

Honestly, I wanted to provide a brief snapshot of the toll of this war on one city – the one I live in. I’ve primarily focused on soldiers who lived in, grew up in or went to school in Fort Worth. I don’t want to make a political statement through this. I just want to say that these people were members of our community and their lives mattered.

But city limits are irrelevant -- each death is a tragedy and diminishes us all. Last week, a young man from Burleson named Jonathan Markham died in Iraq. The 22-year-old corporal in the First Cavalry Division died a week ago with five other soldiers in Abu Sayda, Iraq, when their Bradley fighting vehicle blew up from a powerful roadside bomb while they were racing to a helicopter crash. Yesterday, his wife, Stacey, received the flowers that he ordered for her birthday.

Markham had recently re-enlisted in the Army so he could continue putting his wife through school. Before he left for Iraq last October, he saw his son, Daniel born. He also had asked his wife to ask President Bush to attend his funeral. “He wanted the president to see the cost of war, to know that the men are not just numbers, that there’s a face and a family behind that number,” she told the Startlegram.

Rest in peace, Jonathan. You were more than a number. You were a member of our community. And you mattered.

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