Friends look back on McSween's life - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Friends look back on McSween's life

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April 10, 2007

Valdosta - Friends of a Navy Petty Officer are mourning his death tonight.  26-year-old Adam McSween grew up in Valdosta.

He was killed in Iraq Friday.  It's been about eight years since McSween left Valdosta but he's definitely not been forgotten.  "He was one of those people who was a ray of sunshine at times when it could be very dark and very cloudy," says John Klimko, Jr.

Klimko was Adam's youth minister at Central Avenue Church of Christ. Today, he reminisced about the days Adam spent with him while growing up in Valdosta.  "He was one of those who made youth ministry and working with teenagers very rewarding, very fun."

And Adam hoped to one day follow in his minister's footsteps.  "He wanted to be a minister, a youth minister and work with young people and care for young people," says Beverly Broome, the School Secretary at McSween's high school Georgia Christian.

That dream led him to the midwest.  "He went to York University in Nebraska and he was the only student willing to go that far away," adds former math teacher Teri Gill.

But Adam soon heard a stronger call to serve his county and joined the Navy.

He was assigned to the Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit.  "He was just fascinated by it. A combination of that and being able to serve his county," Klimko says.

And although he was brought down by enemy fire near Kirkuk, Iraq, friends and family know he died a hero's death, doing what he loved most.  "Adam died doing what he really enjoyed. He was very serious and sincere about defending, protecting and serving our country," he says.

Valdostans hope to honor their fallen by planning a memorial service next week.

He will be laid to rest in York, Nebraska where he attended college and met his wife.

McSween is survived by wife, Erin, and two daughters, five year-old Lilly and two-year-old Gwyneth.

They lived in Oak Harbor, Washington where he was stationed.