Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ray Bevel remembered

The father of a 22-year-old soldier killed by a roadside bomb in Iraq said his son talked about his fear of "fighting ghosts" when they spoke two days before his death.

U.S. Army Cpl. Ray Michael Bevel's family was notified Saturday that he died from wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit in Yusifiyah, just south of Baghdad.

The Department of Defense released information about the soldier's death Tuesday. Bevel was assigned to the 4th Battalion, 31st Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Jerry Bevel said His son called Thursday and talked to him about his fear.

"They just didn't know who they were fighting," Jerry Bevel said. "Like he said one time, 'We're just walking around and hoping someone doesn't kill me.' He was scared."

Andrews County Judge Richard Dolgener ordered all flags flown at half staff through April 30 in Bevel's memory. Residents have showed their support by lining the Bevels' street with American flags.

Despite the danger, Jerry Bevel said the experience in the Army was the highlight of his son's life.

"The Army changed my son, and he was so proud and held his head high because of the Army," he said. "He was going to stay (in the Army). He wanted to do something else besides infantry, but he loved Army life."

Brooke Bevel, the soldier's 19-year-old wife, said she feels an emptiness since her husband's death. They were married for 16 months, about half of which Ray was gone.

"We really didn't have time to spend together, but he always made me laugh and he was the only person I could talk to and cry," she said.

Ray Bevel graduated from Andrews High School in 2003. He was promoted to corporal posthumously.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

From the Dallas Morning News

Related Link:
Ray Bevel reported killed in Iraq