Saturday, June 09, 2007

Chadrick Domino remembered

Against a blue East Texas sky, flags waved in the breeze while family and friends circled to bring home one of their own — a soldier just shy of his 24thbirthday who gave his life for his country.

U.S. Army Sgt. Chadrick Omar Domino died May 31 in Iraq from small arms fire while onpatrol in Baghdad.

His flag-draped coffin was brought back Thursday to Gregg County in a ceremony befitting the native son and decorated Army soldier. Between 75 and 100 people lined the tarmac at the East Texas Regional Airport.

Funeral services will be 1 p.m. Saturday at Red Oak Baptist Church, 2717 S. Martin Luther King Blvd.

"He was our baby, our brother, our child, our soldier, and he paid the ultimate price fighting for our freedoms," said Evelyn Robison Simmons, 54, of Elderville.

Simmons was among a group of former classmates, co-workers, relatives and friends who came to the airport to support the fallen soldier's mother, Gloria Domino, and his sister, Ursula Domino, and to pay tribute to the young man they had known for so long.

Born in Gregg County, Domino moved to Ennis when he was about 12. He would have celebrated his 24th birthday June 21 and was expected to complete his military service in October, Ursula Domino said.

Domino joined the Army when he was 18, his sister said.

Ursula Domino said her little brother — 13 years younger — was proud to serve his country, and his military awards reflected his meritorious service.

During his two tours in Iraq, Domino was awarded the Purple Heart, two Army Commendation Medals, a Meritorious Unit Commendation, National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terror Expeditionary and Service medals, the Combat Infantryman Badge and the Combat Action Badge.

He was posthumously promoted from specialist to sergeant, according to a press release issued by Fort Lewis.

While proud of his service and the way he brought honor to his family, Ursula Domino said she remembers her brother for his sweet, unassuming nature.

"He was a good kid. He never got into any trouble and would do anything you asked him, always thinking of others first," she said.

Well into his first tour, Domino put his mother's feelings ahead of his own.

He'd been in Iraq for about six months before she and her mother even knew, Ursula Domino said.

"When he called, he would try to make it sound like he was somewhere else. Mama would ask him if he was in Iraq, if it was hot there, and he would say, 'No, it's cool here Mama,' " Ursula Domino said. "He just knew how much she would worry and wanted to spare her from that."

Domino had a penchant for comic books, music, dancing and good food. He played football and studied karate.

"He loved peas, corn bread, greens, chicken and Olive Garden, basically anything anyone would cook," Ursula Domino said.

Only a few weeks ago, Ursula Domino said her brother sent her two dozen roses for Mother's Day and as an early birthday present.

On Thursday, she carried roses to put on her brother's casket while remembering the last time she spoke to him.

"My birthday was May 24, and he called the week before that. Our last words were 'I love you,' " she said.

Surrounded by friends and family, Ursula Domino said it was good to have their support.

"You know, you never actually think about how hard this is until it happens to your own family. This is a hard pill to swallow, very hard," she said.

Domino's grandparents traveled from their home in Columbia, S.C., to bury their grandson.

At the airport Thursday, Alfred and Maggie Fullylove remembered a grandson who often took time to call his grandparents — calling nearly every week — and visited with them on weekends while stationed in Fort Jackson.

"He was proud to serve his country, and that's what he wanted to do," 79-year-old Alfred Fullylove said.

From the Lufkin Daily News

Related Link:
Chadrick O. Domino dies 'of wounds suffered when he encountered enemy small arms fire while on dismounted patrol'