Saturday, February 24, 2007

Shawn M. Dunkin dies of injuries from I.E.D.

YORK, S.C. -- A mother and father from York are making arrangements to bring the body of their son back home from Iraq.

Their son was Sgt. Shawn Dunkin. He was 25 years old, and planned on making a career out the Army.

He was killed Monday by a roadside bomb.

“(We) had a knock at the door Monday night--- my husband answered the door,” said Jan Dunkin, Shawn’s stepmother. “Being retired military, we knew immediately.”

Worry about that day began in 2001, when Jan Dunkin got a phone call from her stepson saying he’d enlisted in the Army.

“I was scared,” she said.

Shawn Dunkin was following in his father's footsteps; he had served 20 years in the U.S. Army.

The scenes of violence in Iraq have been a constant and familiar anxiety for their family.

On Monday, Shawn was killed when the vehicle he was riding in was hit by a bomb.

“He never discussed with me ‘if I don't come back,’” Jan Dunkin said. “It was just, ‘While I’m gone, you and Dad take care of Ashley.’”

Ashley is the wife he leaves behind.

“He was so happy that day,” Jan Dunkin said. “She was his soul mate, his true love. They had plans for starting a family when he came back… Much like his father, he was protective, very loving. He loved magic tricks -- that was his thing.”

Jan says Shawn was a hero long before he went off to war, remembering when he helped rescue five girls from drowning.

“He received a medal of heroism for that at 12,” Dunkin said. “Just a month ago he pulled a fellow soldier from the same situation that ultimately took his life.”

Read the rest at WCNC