Thursday, June 14, 2007

Greg L. Sutton dies 'of wounds sustained from an improvised explosive device'

LAWTON-- A Lawton woman is grieving the loss of her husband, after a roadside bomb claims his life in Baghdad. Joanne Sutton's husband, SFC Greg Sutton, volunteered for a second tour of duty in Iraq, and he didn't even have to go.

He took a co-worker's place, so that soldier could retire.

Sutton was only 38 years old.

His wife, two children and friends mourn the loss of someone they say cherished family first and being a soldier second.Sutton was a casualty assistance officer while he was stationed at Fort Sill; meaning he had to knock on doors telling families their soldier wasn't coming home. But nothing was harder for his family and friends than that fatefulknock that came home to their door.

"You hear everyday about people dying over there every day," said Gabby Galloway, a close family friend. "And that affects you, yes, because another American died, but when it's somebody that you definitely know and you love and you care very much about, it definitely hit close to home."

SFC Greg Sutton was a husband, a father, a soldier, and a bowler.

"He loved the army, his family, he was a very devoted family man," Galloway said. "I could talk hours and hours about him, he was a true friend."

Wednesday he gave his life for his country. But his friends said his life was always home with his family and friends, and it's still hard for them to know his smiling face won't come home again.

"It's still numbing," Galloway said. "Because he's somebody I knew, loved and cared a lot about. I don't believe it yet. I still don't believe it."

When a soldier in his office received orders to go to Iraq, Greg took his place so that soldier could retire.

"He did not have to go," Galloway said. "Someone from his office had to go, so he volunteered because he loved the army that much."

"The night before he left my wife asked him 'Why are you going?' he said, 'I got a calling. There's a calling to me, I gotta go do this,'" said another close family friend, Dewayne Bennet.

Greg followed in his father's footsteps when he joined the army. His friends and family say he died doing what he was born to do. Even though he had to go, they say they're all very proud of him and the difference he made in this world.

"We love him, we miss him, deeply," Galloway said. "I know and I believe that he's in a better place now and he wouldn't want it any other way. He wanted to go, he volunteered, he did it for his country, he did it for his family, and he did it for us. And that we will never forget."

On his web site, Greg wrote: "If you see me, then speak. I won't bite, because sometimes that one time is all it takes to start a friendship, or miss out on one." And his body is coming home to Oklahoma Wednesday. The family is planning a funeral service in Lawton on Friday, the time of the ceremony will be announced soon. His body will rest with his fallen comrades at Arlington National Cemetery.

From KSWO 7