Wednesday, February 01, 2006

YOU ROCK CINDY SHEEHAN

This past December 12th while I was enjoying a wonderful birthday with my children, Spc. Jared W. Kubasak, 25, of Rocky Mount, Va., Spc. Lex S. Nelson, 21, of Salt Lake City, Utah, and Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Mitchell, 28, of Evansville, Indiana, died in Iraq.
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Spc. Jared W. Kubasak, 25, of Rocky Mount, Va., died in Baghdad, Iraq
on Dec. 12, when an improvised explosive device detonated near his M2A2 Bradley
Fighting Vehicle during patrol operations. Kubasak was assigned to the 3rd
Squadron, 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Carson, Colo.
Army Spc. Jared W. Kubasak

Spc. Kubasak

Jared W. Kubasak's high school principal remembers him as a whirling dervish of a Cub Scout who grew to a serious, focused man.

"The thing about Jared is you could see his progression each year in maturity," said Benny Gibson. He was "committed to whatever he did."

Kubasak, 25, of Rocky Mount, Va., was killed Dec. 12 in Baghdad by a roadside bomb. He graduated high school in 1999 and was assigned to Fort Carson.

Longtime friend Desiree Smith said that he was "really into music," was artistic and "was an avid reader, who read just about anything he could get his hands on."

Kubasak had completed his first tour of duty in Iraq last year. His job then involved fixing tanks, but he wanted to do something more interesting, so when Kubasak re-enlisted in the Army six months ago, he volunteered for a more frontline position with an armored cavalry unit.

While he was home, Kubasak took time to visit the Virginia Veteran's Care Center in Rocky Mount, said Patty Smith, another neighbor. "He was a sweetheart," she said.

He is survived by his parents, Daina and Darel.

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Spc. Lex S. Nelson, 21, of Salt Lake City, Utah, died in Tikrit, Iraq on Dec. 12, when he fell from a guard tower. Nelson was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 41st Field Artillery, 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.



In his most recent e-mail home, just five days before his death, Lex S. Nelson seemed grateful for the life he had.

Life is good, he wrote, when you have "the strength of the Lord on your side."

Nelson, 21, of Salt Lake City, was killed Dec. 12 in Tikrit when he fell from a guard tower. He was a communications specialist and was assigned to Fort Stewart.

Nelson was the eighth of 15 children and was nicknamed "Stones" by his siblings. He was a former Boy Scout and liked camping and hiking.

At Thanksgiving, when many relatives were visiting, Lex called home. He spoke with them on the phone for two hours, "some people twice," his father, Ellis, remembered.

Nelson savors the last e-mail from his son. "He said, 'Dad, love is all I have to give you. It is yours and will always be.'"

He will be buried near his mother and stepmother.

His father said he has done a lot of thinking over the past few days about what his son's life was like. "I think he was honorable in whatever he did," Nelson said. "He always looked for good in what was happening. He believed in freedom."


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Army Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Mitchell

Staff Sgt. Curtis A. Mitchell, 28, of Evansville, Ind., died in Baghdad, Iraq, on Dec. 12, when an improvised expolosive device detonated near his M1A1 Abrams tank during combat operations. Mitchell was assigned to the 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry, 2nd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, Fort Stewart, Ga.

Charles Mitchell hoped his brothers stationed in Iraq would be safe because they had each other.

"I worried more about Jimmy but figured he was OK because Tony was with him," Charles Mitchell said.

Curtis "Tony" Mitchell, 28, of McConnelsville, Ohio, was killed Dec. 12 by a roadside bomb in Baghdad. He graduated high school in 1995 and was assigned to Fort Stewart.

Tony Mitchell joined the Army about nine years ago. He married earlier in 2005 and also leaves behind a 7-year-old son from a previous marriage and two stepsons. He liked hunting and fishing, and playing video games.

Mitchell was one of the first into Baghdad at the start of the war and was part of the operation that killed Saddam Hussein's wanted sons, Charles Mitchelll said.

When he came back to the States, Tony Mitchell requested the honor of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier rather than have dinner with the president.

Curtis Mitchell's father, Edward Mitchell, who served in Vietnam in the Navy, said his "children were raised up in a lifestyle that we were supposed to protect our country. They are proud to do so."