30 October 2006

Taps - In Honor of a Fallen Pioneer

This past weekend was fall break for the University of Georgia, and as so many people, I joined the mass exodus from campus to return to my old watering hole, Leavenworth, Kansas. During the three days before break began, I had received some saddening news: a graduate of my high school, only three years older than myself, had been killed in action during the War on Terror. I had attended school with his brother. I knew people he knew. His name was still mentioned by my friends.

The viewing was held at Leavenworth High School and members of the LHS JROTC served as ushers. The funeral director had requested four cadets to hold doors and direct people with in the school, and being an important task, the call went out to senior cadets. However, more than four cadets showed up. There were twelve, all in uniform, with six others in civillian dress asking if they could help out. Ater the viewing, the funeral director asked the cadets to carry the flag-drapped casket out to the hearse. Never before has the LHS Corps of Cadets performed such an honourable task, and they did it with great professionalism.*

The next day was the funeral. There was a request that the members of the military community line the streets of the Fort for the procession. The turn out was astounding. As the hearse drove slowly by, not a sound was made, but the point was made clear. This was one of our own. He died that other may live, the least we could do would be to show up in support for his family.

Rest in Peace, Corporal Unger.

*This portion of the account is second hand and provided by LTC (ret) David Black, SAI of LHS JROTC.