Idaho Soldier to ‘Return Home’

[Update, 4:06 PM (MST): Channel 8 in Idaho Falls/Pocatello has video of Sgt. Gummersall’s return today]

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Nick Gummersall ‘returns home’ this afternoon (the AV Center at 1:18 pm). There will be a procession. Colonial Funeral Home is arranging the funeral which is to held at the football field , Century High School in Pocatello. It’s open to the public.
The Seattle Times has a story on Gummersall’s brigade that opens with this sentence:” After four combat tours — the last a 15-month marathon with a Fort Lewis Stryker Brigade” — and as hit upon later in the piece, those 15-months tours were now the standard. “Pentagon officials have said that the 15-month tours were necessary for the all-volunteer Army — under strain in the fifth year of war — to muster enough soldiers for the troop escalation.”

After his return in the spring of 2006, Gummersall was charged with driving under the influence as he returned one night to Fort Lewis, said his father, Clay Gummersall. His father said the drunken-driving charge “knocked him out of the Rangers.”

The Army then dropped the charges, his father said, and Gummersall agreed to transfer to the Stryker Brigade just as it was deploying to Iraq.

Clay Gummersall said his son didn’t want to go back but was a good soldier who didn’t complain and did what he was told. “I was very frustrated by his return to Iraq,” Clay Gummersall said.

But – as often happens “Nick Gummersall believed the troop increase was helping. “He said that we are making a difference, that the children are actually able to go to school, and the police are a bit better,” Casey Gummersall recalls. “He told my mom, ‘I got to do this, I will be fine.’ “

As the father of another soldier (Spc. Kareem Khan, 20, of Manahawkin, N.J) who was also killed in the same incident, stated: “My son believed in what he was doing, and that was good enough for me. And he knew what he was getting into when he signed up because the war was already going on,” Khan said.

nick-gummersall-in-iraq.jpg

Sgt. Nick Gummersall talks with Iraqi children during a surveillance of neighborhoods in Baghdad on Feb. 6. Gummersall told his father that U.S. troops were making a difference and children were actually able to go to school (photo: Sgt Tierney P. Nowland)

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One Response

  1. very nicely-put.

    well done.

    i’ve just added yours to
    my “frequent reads” list!

    p e a c e

    — nolo

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