48th Soldier laid to rest - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

48th Soldier laid to rest

August 6, 2005

Worth County- Chaplain Don McDaniel detailed how Specialist Gus Brunson wanted to be at the forefront in Iraq and died doing what he wanted to do. Reverend Jerry Cooper who has known Brunson since he was a little boy, recounted how he had never seen anyone wear a uniform with as much pride as Gus Brunson. Saturday, the community said their good byes to the fallen hero.

The Antioch Baptist Church was filled with hundreds of family, friends, and fellow soldiers paying their final respects to Specialist Gus Brunson.

"Right before Gus went into the service, went to Iraq and came to our church one night while we were having practices and came in and sat down and asked us to pray for him, so he's been on our prayer list as well as several other boys that are over there," said Joyce Carpenter of Doles.

There were hundreds more outside the church, lining Jewel Crow Road, and the path that would take Specialist Brunson to his final resting place that touched family and friends.

"My father was in the navy and I work for the Marine Corps. and I understand the sacrifices that the families make, not only the person in the military but the families too," said Kim Tawsom of Tifton.

Whether they knew Brunson or not, many felt compelled to show their support for those that protect their freedoms. "I think it's very important to show, yes they made the sacrifice, but show that we appreciate the sacrifice," said Tawsom.

"We all need to support our military," said Jennifer Carpenter of Doles.

"That's why we need to be here today, is to salute them and to let their families know that we here in the United States are backing our girls and boys in the service," said Joyce Carpenter.

For the young it was a difficult lesson to learn. "They need to know that there are men and women over there fighting and dying for us, keeping us free," said Jennifer Carpenter.

But for most it was a chance to say good bye and thank Specialist Gus Brunson for a job well done.

"Because our boys are over there are doing us a service, they're fighting on foreign soils, like Gus who lost his life, he gave his life so that you and I can have freedom," said Joyce Carpenter.

The 48th Brigade has suffered twelve deaths since the troops entered Iraq in May. Eleven were during combat and one in a vehicle crash. Of the local troops killed, two were from Valdosta, there were one each from Sumter, Coffee, and Worth Counties.

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