Friday, August 31, 2007

Tell us again

Just why is it we attacked Iraq?:

CLOVIS, California (CNN) -- Jeff Hubbard fought back tears as he talked about his boy -- a "great, great young man" who was killed last week in Iraq in a helicopter crash. It's the second time he's had to bury a son killed in the Iraq war.

This time, it was made even more tragic. His third son, also a soldier in Iraq, was immediately on the scene of last week's helicopter crash and watched as soldiers carried the remains of his brother, 21-year-old Army Cpl. Nathan Hubbard, from the crash site.


Nathan and his other brother entered the military shortly after Jared was killed -- to honor his sacrifice.

"Their decision to join the military was motivated by a love for their brother and a desire to serve their country," the priest told mourners Friday. "The death of Jared touched him deeply. Losing a brother and a friend made a profound impact on him, and brought to his attention the seasons of war and grief and loss."


On August 22 after returning from a scouting mission south of Kirkuk, Iraq, the Blackhawk helicopter carrying Nathan and 13 other soldiers crashed.

Jason, who served in the same Army platoon, was in a separate helicopter when his brother went down and was ordered to secure the crash site.

When he and his men reached the downed Blackhawk, Jason says he realized it was his brother's unit.

"We also had to remove as many of the men as we could out of that helicopter," Jason remembered. "And I couldn't participate in that. I knew my -- I knew Nathan was in there. I tried several times to kind of gather myself, but I just -- I couldn't."

Jason says as the men carried bodies out of the wreckage, he spotted his younger brother. "At one point they did carry Nathan by me. And that's when the reality, the complete reality, and complete understanding of the situation came to me and I began dealing with it."

Under the Department of Defense sole survivor policy, Jason says he was told he will not be allowed to return to war. His wife and young son will join him at his base in Hawaii.

Update: Photos of our wounded soldiers after they've come home.

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