Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Ethan Biggers laid to rest

BEAVERCREEK, Ohio - A soldier who made the decision to disconnect his twin's feeding tube, leading to the man's death nearly a year after he was wounded in Iraq, spoke of their bond at his brother's funeral.

Matt Biggers, who joined the Army with his twin after high school, remembered an exercise on their first day of basic training when the brothers had 30 seconds to find their duffel bags among 200 others.

"Ethan found mine first and ran it up to me," said Matt Biggers, wearing his uniform in Monday's service at Peace Lutheran Church. "He's one of the most noble, ethical people I knew."

Spc. Ethan Biggers' funeral was held in his suburban Dayton hometown one year to the day after he was shot in the head by a sniper while serving his second tour of duty in Iraq. The bullet entered above the radio operator's left ear and exited above his right, resulting in a traumatic brain injury.

He lingered in a coma for nearly a year and died in an Indianapolis veterans hospital Feb. 24, 11 days after his feedings were stopped as his health declined. The decision to have the feeding tube disconnected fell to his brother following the death of their father, Rand, in a car accident last July.

At the time of his injury, Ethan Biggers and his then-fiancée, Britni Fuller, were expecting their first child. Shortly after his injury, the couple married with the help of a firm that conducted the ceremony by proxy.

She told those gathered at the church that their 9-month-old son, Eben, has his father's smile. "He reminds me every day of the love we shared," she said.

She was presented with her husband's Bronze Star by Army Brig. Gen. Michael Oates.

Outside his alma mater of Beavercreek High School, where Biggers graduated in 2003, more than 400 seniors stood clutching small American flags as the funeral procession drove to Byron Cemetery. The 22-year-old was buried beside his father.

From the Enquirer

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