Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ebe Emolo laid to rest

Ebe Emolo was just another soldier fighting in a war, but he was a royal man.

And a brilliant athlete. And a frank speaker. And a guy devoted to the jobs and people who made his life special.

So said the friends, family and U.S. Army colleagues who attended a memorial service for Emolo on Saturday evening.

Emolo, a Fort Bragg paratrooper and a former security officer for Women's Hospital of Greensboro, was 33 years old when he was killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq on April 7.

His wife, Charlotte Brown-Emolo , sat in the front row of Woodard Funeral Home in northeast Greensboro as about a dozen speakers tried to find the words to console her and to remember her husband. Among them was Sabine Wiggins , Emolo's sister, who was looking forward to her brother's return from the Middle East.

"He was like, 'When I come home, we're going to have so much fun,'" Wiggins said. "And I said, 'I'm ready for you — you come home.'"
"And he never did."

She walked over to Brown-Emolo when she finished speaking. Sobs emerged from their embrace.

Floyd Rollins , who was Emolo's supervisor at Women's Hospital, drew a chuckle when he told a story about Emolo trying to run down a man who had assaulted a patient in the hospital. Emolo couldn't catch him, but he was so intent on doing so that he threw his radio at the assailant.

"Ebe, you just ruined a $400 radio," Rollins said he told Emolo.

"You told me to stop him, didn't you?" Emolo replied. "I did my best."

The several dozen people assembled Saturday included a representative from the Ivory Coast Embassy who traveled from Washington to be with Emolo's family. Emolo was born in the Ivory Coast and spent much of his life in France before coming to the United States in 1999.

Also at the service was Pamela Chandler, another Women's Hospital employee who noted that Emolo had received a military award the color of royalty, the Purple Heart.

A fitting tribute, she said, for "how royal a man" he was.

And there was Vincent Sei , a math professor at Fayetteville Technical Community College who lived with Emolo for about a year while Emolo was stationed at Fort Bragg. He said Emolo was an impeccably neat roommate who spoke frankly and directly.

"He has accomplished what God told him to do on Earth," Sei told the onlookers.

After the speakers finished, Capt. John Carson remembered Emolo as a "helluva soccer player" who "scored all the goals for our team" during an annual celebration and athletic event at Fort Bragg.

Carson said he served with Emolo for several months in Iraq. Emolo, who carried the rank of specialist, drove a fuel truck, Carson said.

"His mission was to make sure I had fuel everywhere I went, and he did it 110 percent," Carson said. "He was amazing."

From the News Record

Related Link:
Ebe Emolo remembered

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Ebe F. Emolo dies of injuries from I.E.D.