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"Wait on the Lord, be strong and of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart...wait on the Lord. Psalms 27:14

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Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Via con Dios SSgt Hansen

May SSgt. Jeff Hansen rest in peace. God bless his sacrifice and his family. Below is one of the articles about his funeral today.

I give hearty thanks to the 83 members of the Patriot Guard Riders that were able to be there to shield the family from the FILTH that are the protesters from Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas. It's one thing to protest the war, but QUITE ANOTHER to go to these funerals of our soldiers spewing hate that these brave men and women deserved to die because they serve a country where the homosexual lifestyle is becoming more accepted and that God is angry at that and the deaths of these amazing soldiers are God's "judgements". Those kinds of protesters are sick and disgusting. Thank you, the men and women of the Patriot Guard Riders, for being there around the country for these grieving families.

Also, please pray for the family of Spc. Germaine Debro of Omaha. This very same unit lost another brave soldier this weekend to an insurgent-planted bomb that hit his Humvee. The unit needs your continued prayers as well.

Thank you all for your prayers for my Dan. Dan is going back to Iraq today (Wednesday). His results came back completely healthy (he said the doctor told him he was "too healthy") so his wake up call was at 0430 (2130 CST) to get flown back to Iraq. I wish he could have come back stateside for a week or two but I would rather have him "too healthy" than the alternative. So I am patiently impatient and wait for next year. God go with you wherever you walk, sunshine, and keep you safe. Come home soon. I miss you.

Soldier eulogized with respect, grief

BY C. DAVID KOTOK

WORLD-HERALD STAFF WRITER

MINDEN, Neb. - Soldiers set their jaws and their wives cried Tuesday as Staff Sgt. Jeff Hansen was eulogized as a soldier's soldier.


The casket is carried out of St. Paul Lutheran Church in Minden.

The soldiers knew Hansen as one of the Nebraska Army National Guard's best. Their wives saw Hansen's grieving widow, Jennifer, and put themselves in her place.

"I put myself in that scenario the whole time Chris was over in Iraq," said Tami Marcello, wife of Sgt. Chris Marcello. "This was a very tearful day."

The tears were compounded as word spread among the soldiers of the 1st Squadron, 167th Cavalry, that another soldier from their unit had been killed over the weekend in a roadside bombing near Tikrit, Iraq.

Spc. Germaine Debro, 33, of Omaha died when an insurgent-planted bomb hit his Humvee. Two other soldiers were injured, but not severely enough to be flown out of the country for treatment.

Debro, like Hansen, was an experienced soldier. Both had been deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina in 2002. Debro also had served in Kuwait in 2001.

Hansen was the fifth Nebraska National Guard soldier deployed in Iraq to die; Debro is the sixth.

Capt. Jeffrey Searcey of Kearney said he was at a loss to explain the two deaths.

Searcey led Troop A of the 167th Cavalry through a year of dangerous missions in the insurgent stronghold of Ramadi without losing a soldier before the unit returned home in late June.

There is no rhyme or reason, Searcey said, adding that Hansen "was a guy who took care of business. He's a guy you respected as a soldier and a man."

Hansen wasn't a "cowboy" looking for danger, Marcello said. Marcello, who visited Hansen at his base, said his friend was content with the squadron's mission providing base security at Camp Anaconda, about 30 miles north of Baghdad.

Some of the younger guys in Bravo Troop stationed at Camp Anaconda were envious of the combat that Searcey, Marcello and the rest of Troop A experienced in Ramadi. But not Hansen, Marcello said.

The respect that Hansen, a squad leader, commanded made the circumstances of his death that much harder to take.

Hansen was on a routine patrol near the base. The Humvee he commanded was moving along the bank of a ditch. As it passed through a few inches of water, the occupants' biggest fear was getting stuck.

The Humvee began to slide to the left in the slick muck. Suddenly, the vehicle went over a murky ledge, flipped on its side and plunged into a 10-foot-deep canal. Rescuers couldn't bring Hansen to the surface for about eight minutes.

Two other soldiers in the vehicle are nearing a complete recovery, said Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Hall of Omaha, who is home on leave from Iraq. The third soldier in the vehicle, Pvt. Cory Walcott, is making progress at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., Hall said.

The Nebraska National Guard and the Army flew Hansen's family - wife Jennifer, father Bob and brother Jeremy - to his bedside in Landstuhl, Germany, when his condition deteriorated.

They had a chance to say goodbye, just as Hansen himself had a chance to return home and see his ill mother, Deborah, before her death in June.

On a brilliant September day Tuesday, Hansen was laid to rest just beyond his mother's right shoulder in the Minden Cemetery.

The dog tags he wore to war hung as a pendant around his widow's neck. Maj. Gen. Roger Lempke, the Nebraska Guard's adjutant general, knelt before her and presented her with the flag that had draped Hansen's coffin - "on behalf of a grateful nation."

More than 500 people attended the funeral, filling the St. Paul Lutheran Church chapel and the social hall and spilling outside.

As an honor guard carried the casket from the church, the 215 students of the adjacent Minden East Elementary School came out onto the playground and lined the fence.

Motorcycle police officers from Kearney, Hastings and Grand Island led the solemn procession, followed by about 85 members of the Patriot Guard Riders motorcycle group.

Many of the schoolchildren - kindergartners through third-graders - have parents in the military, said Principal Mary Lieske. As soldiers have been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq, the children have sent letters and packages.

"This is another way to show respect," Lieske said.
==========================
In honor of the memory of SSgt. Hansen and his family.

Taps, with a double trumpet solo.



The words to "Taps":
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps, below are the most popular.)

Day is done,
gone the sun,
From the hills,
from the lake,
From the skies.
All is well,
safely rest,
God is nigh.

Go to sleep,
peaceful sleep,
May the soldier
or sailor,
God keep.
On the land
or the deep,
Safe in sleep.

Love, good night,
Must thou go,
When the day,
And the night
Need thee so?
All is well.
Speedeth all
To their rest.

Fades the light;
And afar
Goeth day,
And the stars
Shineth bright,
Fare thee well;
Day has gone,
Night is on.

Thanks and praise,
For our days,
'Neath the sun,
Neath the stars,
'Neath the sky,
As we go,
This we know,
God is nigh.

4 comments:

Killired said...

sooo sad and sorry to hear about this... and that makes me madder than you know what that people had the nerve to protest at a funeral... how cold hearted... sickening...

Jean-Luc Picard said...

A wonderful, respectful post, Nic.

Chrixean said...

Great tribute to him, Nic. May he rest in peace...

Michael Manning said...

Your Love and Genuine Respect and Patriotism is evident. I agree that we must keep our soldiers in our thoughts and prayers as we are in the midst of a wave of Islamo-Fascism. God Bless this young man. It is heartbreaking. Your tribute was moving. And I know it comes from the heart. Well done, Nic!