Monday, August 06, 2007

Shawn Adams laid to rest

Shawn Adams' long journey to the battlefields of Iraq came full circle Saturday when the young Dixon soldier was quietly laid to rest at the windswept Sacramento Valley VA National Cemetery near his hometown.

A U.S. Army Airborne Ranger and squad leader, 21-year-old Sgt. Shawn G. Adams of Dixon died July 22 when a roadside bomb was detonated near his vehicle outside Owaset, Iraq.

The Vanden High School graduate, who enlisted in the U.S. Army when he was only 17, was known for his drive and determination, becoming a sergeant in 2 1/2 years. At the time of his death, he was assigned to Alpha Company, 3rd Battalion, 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division., based in Fort Richardson, Alaska.

St. Mary's Catholic Church in Vacaville was filled as friends, family and comrades-in-arms gathered for a Mass of the Resurrection conducted by Father Michael McFadden, who told the gathering "Shawn is at peace ... Shawn is at home."

Adams, Father McFadden said, was still a young man, but he had accomplished much before his death.

"Sometimes people do more in one short moment than in the entirety of a lifetime," McFadden said.

"He knew what he was doing when he put on that uniform and he knew what he was doing when he saluted that flag," McFadden told the assembly.

Adams, he said, had made the ultimate sacrifice when he laid down his life for his comrades.

"Shawn gave his life that others should live ... We salute Shawn Adams."

Speaking briefly following the Mass, friends and family recalled a young man who was full of life, an athlete, a prankster and a good friend who'd always spring for a meal if lunch money was needed.

Following the service, Adams' flag-draped coffin was taken to the national veterans' cemetery off Midway Road by a funeral cortege that was trailed by a 75-unit Patriot Guard motorcycle contingent.

McFadden also conducted the brief graveside service while a U.S. Army honor guard stood by. A lone piper, retired Army Staff Sgt. Steven McKinney, played a short distance away.

The afternoon ended with the firing of a 21-shot funeral volley and the somber playing of taps while friends and family gathered under small white tent on the cemetery grounds. Sgt. Shawn G. Adams had come home.

From the Daily Democrat

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