Saturday, July 07, 2007

Carter Gamble laid to rest

Peggy Gamble had already accepted the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, medals awarded posthumously to her husband, as well as an American flag, presented to her by a general "on behalf of a grateful nation."

It was the final gift, however, that brought tears to the solemn audience at Spc. C.J. Gamble's funeral.

It was a Gold Star, symbol of a club that no spouses or parents want to join.

"I really can't know how you feel at this time," Columbus native Jan Johnson said to Peggy Gamble at Fort Benning's steamy Main Post Cemetery Friday afternoon. "But believe me, there are a lot of us who will support you in any way we can."

Johnson, Pat Miers and Deborah Tainish are Gold Star moms, all of whom have lost sons in the Iraq war.

And all three were present at Gamble's funeral, offering the soldier's widow and father their condolences.

"When we lost our Patrick, we didn't have a group like this to turn to," said Tainish, who has since written a book about how she and her husband have dealt with the loss of Sgt. Patrick Tainish on Feb. 11, 2004.

When Sgt. 1st Class David Salie died a year later, Tainish was the first one to console Salie's mother, Pat Miers.

"Now we feel it's important to reach out to all the families of those killed in this war," Miers said.

A funeral was held at noon Friday by the Rev. Roy White of the Edgewood United Methodist Church, followed by burial with full military honors on post.

Gamble, 24, a member of the 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, was killed June 24 in Al Duraiya, Iraq.

"He was such a good, lovable, huggable young man," said Gail Nelson of Manchester, who served as maid of honor at the marriage of C.J.'s parents, Carter A. and Deborah Lahrman Gamble.

"This is really terrible for Carter," she said. "His wife died just last year -- now this."

C.J. and Peggy named their 2-year-old daughter, Deborah, after C.J.'s mom. Peggy learned recently that she is pregnant with the couple's second child.

"It was C.J.'s job to give our boy a name," Peggy said. "Now, we'll just name him after C.J."

Gamble was a native of Columbus and attended Shaw High School before the family moved to Germany. He graduated from Heidelberg High School in 2000.

Chaplain Capt. Cliff Vicars performed his second burial service of the week.

"It doesn't get any easier," he said. On Monday, Benning said goodbye to Sgt. Chris Davis of the 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment.

From the Ledger-Enquirer

Related Link:
Carter Gamble remebered

Related Link:
Carter A. Gamble Jr. dies 'of wounds suffered from enemy small arms fire'