Sunday, January 21, 2007

Ryan Berg laid to rest

GROVES — A loving circle — consisting of friends and community members — enveloped the family of Spc. Ryan Berg as the 19-year-old was laid to rest on Friday.

While the question of why Berg was taken from the earth may never be answered, the memory of his life and his courageous dream to enter into the military, will be remembered by all who knew him.

Justin Peltier, cousin, spoke of how Berg touched his life.

“I miss you bro,” Peltier said during the standing room only service at Clayton Thompson Funeral Home in Groves. “When you looked up to me for advice, you had it all. Your shoes are going to be hard to walk in. This is me letting you know that I was the one who wanted to be like you all the time. Maybe I was running from my fears and you were just there to motivate me and help me overcome. Right now I’m trying to figure out what went wrong and why, something I may never know. You are in my heart and my prayers everywhere I go. I miss you and it hurts to know I’ll never see you again.”

Peltier broke into tears as he spoke of the man who was his cousin and a best friend.

“All I can think of is you (Berg) coming home for Christmas and saying how you wanted me to take you duck hunting when you got back. You won’t be coming back and it hurts more and more” he said. “Stand down Specialist Ryan Berg, your duty is done. Rest now in the arms of the Lord.”

Devin Deslatte, Berg’s long time friend, remembered how Berg could “put a smile on your face” and was fun to be around. He also thanked him for his service to the country.

The Rev. Jeff Anderson asked mourners not to linger on what they do not understand but to linger on what is known, “that Ryan was a hero who lived out his dream and his calling.”

Berg, 19, was killed Jan. 9 in Baqubah, Iraq, just days after returning to combat. He died from wounds suffered when his unit came in contact with enemy forces using small arms fire, according to the Department of Defense.

Berg entered the Army on his 18th birthday. His tour of duty was to end in the fall of 2008, a family member said. He was assigned to the 1st Battalion 12th Cavalry Regiment 3rd Brigade, Alpha Section, 3rd Platoon out of Ford Hood.

The Patriot Guard, a group of people from across the nation who’s mission is to show respect for fallen soldiers and to help shield the family from unwanted interruptions by protesters, donned their leathers and stood erect as they held the American flag.

Boomer, of Humble, has been with the group since it’s inception. A Vietnam veteran of three tours of duty, Boomer was one of more than 65 of the guard on hand Friday.

The historic Sabine Pass Cemetery, where Berg was laid to rest, is also the final resting place of veterans from as far back as 200 years.

“Tradition continues,” Boomer said. “He’s joining some good people. I don’t think there’s any better way of honoring our soldiers then to show respect at the funerals of soldiers. He (Berg) stood for us and we stand for him.”

From the Leader

Related Link:
Ryan R. Berg slain by sniper