Saturday, September 5, 2009

A Blogger's Star Has Turned From Blue to Gold

Our nation now has one more fallen soldier, Spc. Jordan Shay. The Blogging world has lost a young voice. Please read his words HERE.

May Almighty God Bless this brave soldier and comfort the family who loves him so.

North Shore soldier dies in vehicle rollover in Iraq

NEWBURYPORT -- Dawn Palmer couldn't help but smile when talking about her nephew, Jordan Shay, and couldn't help but speak with sadness when she talked about his death in Iraq earlier this week.

"It sickened me,'' Palmer said today about the loss of her 22-year-old nephew who was serving with the US Army. "He was a ray of sunshine.''

The Defense Department announced today that Shay and another soldier were killed in a vehicle rollover in Baqubah, Iraq on Thursday. The soldiers were assigned to the 5th Battalion, 20th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, out of Fort Lewis, Wash. The department said the incident is under investigation.

Shay left in August tor Iraq, his second tour of duty there since enlisting in 2006, his family said.

Shay grew up on Old County Road in Amesbury, was a 2005 graduate of Amesbury High School, and was planning to ask his long-time girlfriend, identified by Palmer only by her first name of Kelsey, to marry him when he returned stateside.

His father, Michael, died of cancer when he was two years old and he was raised by his mother, Holly Shay, who was too brokenhearted to speak with reporters today, said Palmer.

“My sister, Holly, will never be a grandmother. She will not know her daughter-in-law,’’ said Palmer, standing outside her sister's home here. “There is deep sadness. That’s a deep loss."

In Amesbury, neighbors recalled Shay with great affection and smiles. Neighbor John Edmands said he was surprised by Shay's decision to enlist because he didn't seem to be of a military bent. In fact, Shay was a vegan when he enlisted and to prepare himself for the Army he went to get a steak, cheese, and onion sub so that he could get used to eating meat, Edmands recalled.

"He wanted to do something for his country, and he decided that's what he wanted to do," Edmands said.

Another neighbor who considered Shay part of his family expressed sadness at his death. "I think he did it for the excitement, the thrill -- and the challenge," said Kenny Fitzpatrick. "It's a damned shame.''

Shay was especially close to the Wilkin family, who lived next door on Old County Road. Vicki Wilkin, 25, recalled today that Shay was a bulwark for her family several years ago when her oldest sister died in a freak car crash. Shay was a pallbearer then, but most importantly helped with the grieving.

“He will be missed very, very much,’’ Vicki Wilkin said.

She described her younger brother, Greg, as Shay’s best friend, someone who had been texting him during his Iraq deployment just last week. Greg Wilkin could not be reached for comment today.

Vicki Wilkin said that she learned about Shay’s death from her relatives and remains shocked by the news. “It was so surreal. It still is to me,’’ she said. “I feel like he is going to call Greg and laugh and say it is all a big joke.’’

Shay is the second man from Amesbury to die while serving his country in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. On Sept. 1, 2005, Army Lieutenant Derek Hines was killed in Afghanistan. Hines grew up in Amesbury and Newburyport.

Friends said Shay did not know Hines.

Palmer said Shay's mother was reluctant to see her son join the Army at a time when the nation is at war, but once he had made up his mind, his mother supported his choices.

“Jordan was the most wonderful kid I have ever met. He was kind, he was considerate, he was thoughtful, He was full of adventure,’ Palmer said. “He is greatly missed, but we are also proud of him. We are also proud of the choice he’s made. He died for a very good reason. He died for his country. He loved his country.’’

She added, "now I know the sacrifice and the suffering and the loss that goes along with dying for your country -- and I am still proud of Jordan.''

Funeral arrangements were incomplete today.

September 4, 2009 05:57 PM
By John R. Ellement, Globe Staff


jojo said...

God Bless him as another young, brave soul has fallen. May HE be with the family now and Bless them with the Grace and Peace to guide them through these dark days...

Bless you for keeping us updated and for your love and support to our troops. Thanks..

AirmanMom said...

jojo...I thank you for taking the time to read of our heroes!

USA_Admiral said...

Prayers for his family and friends at this terrible time and for their loss.

Julie said...

I really wish you didn't have to write these blog posts. But God bless you for doing so.

Rest in peace, Spc. Shay. Thank you for your service, and your sacrifice.

Coffeypot said...

Such a talent and a promising writer...I guess God needed a reporter to cover events in heaven. There is no other acceptable reason for such a person to be taken from us. But it doubles my resolve to support those we are still upright and breathing and doing ugly things for our freedom. Thank you AM.

Mike Golch said...

Prayers are being offered for himand his family.

Bag Blog said...

I had been by his blog before. Thanks for sharing this news, although it is very sad. My prayers will be with his family and friends.

Grandpa-Old Soldier said...

My rayers for his family. Another star has been adden. Bless them all, and it's time to bring them all home.

King of New York Hacks said...

Thank you for being so brave to write about and share the pain our country is going through. God bless you, and my prayers are with young Jordan and family. I am silent.

christian soldier said...

thank you for the link to Jordan's blog---it tells a story that we do not hear - here in the US--
each of our BEST are on the top of my prayer list--whether I know their names or not- GOD does...