Thursday, May 24, 2007

Adrian (Robert A.) Worthington dies of 'wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit'

The Pentagon confirmed that Pfc. Robert Adrian Worthington, 19, of Jackson, was killed Tuesday in a bomb blast in Taji.

Worthington grew close to his sister Kaylin after their parents divorced five years ago. He wanted nothing more than to hold his 6-month-old niece again and start college after returning from Iraq.

Robert Worthington was paid a visit by men in military uniforms at his home in Hampton on Tuesday night.

He knew right away. He felt sick. Empty.

He thought of the inquisitive boy who grew up with a love of outdoors.

Adrian Worthington joined the Army in June. He was home last Christmas and deployed to the Middle East this spring with the 4th Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 4th Stryker Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division based at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Before he left, he entered a contest to see who could do the most push-ups and won tickets for a truck race at Atlanta Motor Speedway. He and his father spent an evening on the bleachers, talking about everything under the sun.

Robert Worthington knew his son was nervous about going off to war.

"You know something might happen, but you never think it will," he said.

When "The Star-Spangled Banner" played that evening, Adrian Worthington stood at attention. His father could see the pride glowing on his son's face.

Ann Crail recalled her cousin as a "driven man who was trying to make a better life for himself."

"People need to know these aren't just numbers," she said of the 101-name list of Georgia's fallen. "They are human beings."

From the Atlanta Journal Consitution