Wednesday, June 18, 2003

THE FIRST FATALITY OUT OF THE 1st Brigade is identified as a young man from Indiana who had yet to lay eyes on his newborn son. He was in Charlie Company, 1-37 Infantry.
But the bullet really didn't stop there.

In Shelbyville, Ind., it shattered the lives of his wife, Elisha; their 3-month-old son, Dean Patrick, who will never meet his father; and Elisha's parents -- whose peaceful home was shaken by a knock on the door at 6 a.m. Tuesday.

"(A soldier) came to the door and asked for Elisha, and I went back to her bedroom and she was feeding the baby . . . but she knew immediately," said Merrol "Butch" Callis, her father. "It was just devastation. We couldn't believe it happened to us."

And in Manhattan, Ill., Tom and Linda Pahnke are struggling to make sense out of the death of their youngest son, whose job was to work in an armored tank.

"I wish he would have been in his tank," said Tom Pahnke. "He was so proud to be in the Army. And proud to be a tanker.

"Unfortunately, he was in a Humvee and not in his tank."

Read the whole sad story here.

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