Thursday, August 23, 2007

Garrett I. McLead dies 'of injuries suffered when his helicopter crashed'

An Aransas County family is preparing to bury a young man who died tragically in Iraq Wednesday.

23 year old Army Specialist Garrett McLead was killed along with 13 other soliders when the Blackhawk helicopter they were in crashed in northern Iraq. Wednesday, his family said McLead joined the military in response to 9/11. He spent two tours of duty overseas first in Afganistan and then Iraq.

He was scheduled to come home in early August, but the army extended his tour by two months.

McLead's uncle, Paul Emmons, remembers his nephew as a dedicated member of the United States military. "He understood fully what it meant to be in harms way. He was fully prepared to die for his country if he had to, but you always think it will be somebody else and not one of your own family members, it happens," said Emmons

McLead's cousin Greg Emmons recalled how he felt when he found out the news, "I just lost it for a long time. I couldn't stop crying. He's been my best friend since childhood."

Family members say they're not sure when McLead's body will return to the coastal bend. Funeral arrangements are still pending.

From the Seattle Post Intelligencer