Sunday, March 25, 2007

Curtis E. Glawson Jr. dies of injuries from I.E.D.

LEVEL PLAINS – As she watched the silhouette of someone wearing a beret walk toward her home on Tuesday, Yolanda Brooks was hoping her youngest son, Cortez Glawson, was coming home from his U.S. Army tour in Korea to surprise her.

But as the person came closer, Brooks saw the shadow did not match the shape of her son.

Instead it was that of a casualty officer, sent to tell Brooks that her oldest son, Curtis Glawson, who was also a soldier, had been killed earlier that day in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

Curtis was 24.

He was assigned to the 610th Brigade Support Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, based in Fort Riley, Kan., but he was assisting another unit at the time of his death.

"After they told me I don’t remember much more of the conversation – I just remember hearing my son’s name," Brooks said. "That’s when I knew he was gone."

Brooks said she had just talked to her son over the phone on Friday, March 16.

"’Heyyy Mama!’" Brooks said he told her. He was the only one of her four children who did not call her "Ma."

Before sharing about bets he had made on basketball games in the states, Brooks said Curtis talked about his surroundings in Iraq. He mentioned bombs that constantly went off through the night that made the ground shake, she said.

He told her how nervous he was when he and a non-commissioned officer had gotten lost but had found their way back to where the rest of the unit was located.

He talked about how he couldn’t wait to get home to see her when his tour was over next year.

He had plans to move to Korea with his wife of nearly two years.

"He said ‘make sure you have my passport ready,’" Brooks said. "…Then we talked some more and I told him to give his aunt a call to surprise her before his minutes ran out. At least three of us got to talk to him on Friday."

The last time Brooks saw Curtis was in December 2005, when he had returned from duty in Korea to attend his grandmother’s funeral in Detroit.

Curtis’ 18-year-old sister Kierra said she talked to Curtis regularly on the social Web site to check on him and see how he was doing. He had sent her a message the week before he died to tell her everything was OK but that it had been a crazy time overseas.

What she said she’ll remember most about him is his wit.

"He was silly, he always did something crazy, always made me smile," she said.

Curtis’ family will be flying in from Detroit throughout the week. His wife, who Brooks said she never had the opportunity to meet until now, is expected to be in Level Plains on Wednesday.

"I hate to have to meet her under these conditions, but I need her here. I know how much she meant to Curtis and I feel she has to be here," Brooks said.

The funeral is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, March 31 at Daleville Christian Fellowship.

Brooks said Curtis joined the Army after graduating from Daleville High School in 2000 and had since been to Afghanistan and Korea, but his tour to Iraq was the only one she said she felt uneasy about.

But what bothered her more was that Curtis was alone, linked to a unit at the time of his death that she believed he didn’t know.

"That angers me that he was around people he didn’t have time to have a relationship with – when I talked to him Friday he was with his own unit," she said.

"I just wonder what he was talking about, what was he feeling."

From the Eagle