June 23, 2009

Another Georgia National Guard Hero Fallen...

Yet another of our Georgia National Guard Heroes has fallen... Any time we lose a hero, it's way "too soon" -- but we just laid to rest the other three we lost less than two weeks ago... and already, here, another hero fallen... No more, please... they need to stay nice and safe and not get so much as a scratch, please... War sucks. It's necessary sometimes, but that doesn't make it suck any less. God wrap yourself around each of these families (from last week, and this week) and give them Your comfort, Your strength, Your peace... walk with them every step of the way and hold them up...their lives have been horrifically shattered, and will never be the same again. I don't know the "right" thing to pray, except to say, "God, help them... please."

I haven't yet had a chance to fill y'all in regarding Major Jenrette's service, nor the amazing "Welcome Home" for a wounded hero last week. I'll get to it later on, hopefully - but for now, I must honor 1SGT Blair... we will never, ever forget his service and sacrifice...never, ever take our freedom for granted... Thank you, sir... you WILL NOT be forgotten.

From a North Georgia news channel, Channel 9, comes this article:

North Georgia Soldier Killed in Action
Richard Simms
June 22, 2009 - 2:34PM

A North Georgia soldier has been killed in combat in Afghanistan.

First Sergeant John D. Blair, 38, of Gordon County, Ga. was killed when
his vehicle was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade on June 20.

First Sergeant Blair was a former deputy sheriff in Gordon County, and was later attached to the Drug Task Force as part of the Georgia Army National Guard's counter-drug operations.

Gordon County Sheriff Mitch Ralston issued the following statement:

"It is with great sadness & regret that the Sheriff's Office received official notice from the Department of Defense that First Sergeant John D. Blair, age 38, of Gordon County, and was killed in Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan on June 20th. The Department of Defense has reported that Blair was killed when a rocket-propelled grenade struck his vehicle near Mado Zayi.

"John was a former deputy sheriff here in Gordon County, and was later attached to the local Drug Task Force as part of the Georgia Army National Guard's counter-drug operations for several years. John served as a full-time deputy sheriff from June, 1994 until August, 1998 when he left the Sheriff's Office to assume full time duties in the National Guard.

"During his local service with the National Guard's counter-drug operations, John served as a reserve deputy sheriff from October, 2006 until December, 2008, when his National Guard unit was mobilized for duty in Afghanistan. He was an extraordinarily skilled operative, specializing in covert drug-enforcement surveillance.

"During his time in the Sheriff's Office, John served as a jail officer, deputy sheriff, & sheriff's detective. He also served on the Office's honor guard, & SWAT team. His former superiors described him as an exemplary officer. He was officially commended on a number of occasions during his law enforcement service here. John remained very close friends with members of the Sheriff's Office, and officers communicated with him by telephone & email in the days & weeks preceding his death.

"Sheriff's Office employees were shaken at the news of John's death. The flags at the Sheriff's Office complex are being flown at half-staff, and deputies are wearing black ‘mourning' bands over their badges in honor of Blair.

"Sheriff Ralston said, 'John was a patriot, a truly dedicated & excellent peace officer. He met our America's enemies bravely, and laid down his life in the service of his people, his community, and his Country which he loved so much. He will be missed, but he will never be forgotten. Please keep John's family & friends in your thoughts and prayers."

That we most certainly will.. prayers going out for all, continuously.

MamaKat & family in Georgia

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