Americus soldier killed in Iraq - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Americus soldier killed in Iraq

August 1, 2005

Americus- Staff members in Sumter Regional Medical Center's operating room will never forget the day Sergeant First Class Victor Anderson became a part of their family.

"We felt like we wanted to support somebody who was from our hospital," says operating room nurse Christine Rundle. "He was very bubbly. He was proud be able to go to Iraq being able to serve the country. It's what he loved to do."

Anderson was one of 45 Sumter County soldiers in Iraq the hospital adopted and began sending care packages and letters to. He told us he knew the support would help make his tour of duty easier.

"Anytime you're away from home, whether it's in the United States or Europe or in a war zone, if you get some mail it always helps," Anderson told us back in May.

The news of his death has shocked the O.R. nurses.

"This just made us sick yesterday, those of us who heard about it yesterday and today, because we really feel for them and feel for the family," says O.R. nurse manager Betty Evans.

The nurses were excited to get postcards and messages from Anderson and were gathering items to send him another care package.

"We sent lots of things in the boxes. He was appreciative of all of it. He wanted some 80's music. He said that was showing his age, but were in the process of getting another box together to send to him," says Rundle.

It's the second tragic death that has effected hospital employees in two weeks. Spc. Gus Brunson's ex-wife also works there. Brunson of Worth County and Sgt. John Frank Thomas of Valdosta were killed last week in a blast similar to the one that killed Anderson.

"It just makes you realize how much we need to be thankful for and how much they have given up for us," Rundle says.

"It's kind of like there's a void now. I almost want to say we don't want to adopt another soldier, because we don't want to lose another one," adds Evans.

The hospital is planning a special memorial to honor the fallen soldiers.

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