Saturday, June 02, 2007

Kris Higdon remembered

ODESSA -- Army Staff Sgt. Kristopher "Kris" Higdon of Odessa will be remembered as a lovable man who never flinched from his patriotic duty, his adoptive father said Thursday.

The 1999 Permian High graduate, of course, knew the war in Iraq was extremely dangerous but never showed any fear, Danny Higdon said. He died May 22, about six weeks into his second tour.

"The first time in 2003-'04, Kris really wanted to go," Higdon said. "The second time, he was doing it as a duty to his country. He knew what he had to do.

"We're living in a nightmare and I don't think we'll ever get over it. My wife Ronda is taking it pretty rough. I was a mechanic for 21 years and can fix a lot of things, but I can't fix her heart."

Sgt. Higdon's funeral will be at 10 a.m. Saturday at Scanio-Harper Funeral Home in Temple, followed by a caravan to a military burial at Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery in Killeen. A memorial service was held last Friday at Sherwood Church of Christ in Odessa.

A Service Group insurance representative who trains car dealership employees, the elder Higdon had last talked with the 25-year-old soldier on May 14, the day after Mother's Day and eight days before he was killed by a roadside bomb near Camp Taji, 20 miles north of Baghdad. "He was a brave young man," Higdon said.

"He agreed with what the country is doing in Iraq and did what he felt was right. It hurts. I'll never be able to talk to him again. He was the absolute angel child to raise. There are not enough words to describe how good of a young man he was."

With two years left in his current enlistment, Sgt. Higdon had been in the Army for eight years and served with the 4th Battalion of the 9th Infantry Regiment. He was a backup goalie on the Permian soccer team and a member of the Odessa school's Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps, where the now retired Maj. Preston Parrott of Odessa encouraged his interest in the military, said the elder Higdon, who adopted the boy at age 9.

"He was not into partying," he said. "He was a family guy -- the kind that when you adopt him, you want to adopt 10 more."

A resolution offered by state Rep. Buddy West, R-Odessa, and passed by the Texas House of Representatives noted Sgt. Higdon "captivated his brother's junior high geography class with stories of his service when he was home in March.

"His tragic death is a sobering reminder of the cost of war," the resolution said. "Those who knew and loved this heroic young Texan will forever carry him close in their hearts."

Higdon said Kris was pleased with the affection Iraqis show American soldiers but distressed with their lack of effectiveness in assuming control of their country. "He said it is going to be a long road over there for the Iraqis to get organized because there is only so much we can do," said Higdon.

Other survivors include the soldier's biological father, Lynn Little of Midland; his wife, MaKayne; his children, Kacie and Hunter; and his brothers, Blake, Britt and Kaleb.

From the Reporter-Telegram

Related Link:
Kristopher A. Higdon dies of 'wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his unit'