Monday, September 03, 2007

Donovan Witham laid to rest

Specialist Donovan Witham was just twenty years old when an I.E.D. killed him in Iraq last month, but he touched many lives. Saturday afternoon, hundreds heard from those closest to him.

Witham's three older sisters, best friend, and girlfriend stood strong, fighting back tears, as they each remembered him in their own words. His sisters took turns talking about faith, friends and family. Sister Jaime brought up something she says has crossed everyone's mind, her brother's age. "Yes, he still had a lot of living to do. He was supposed to get married, supposed to have kids, supposed to have nieces and nephews, supposed to be their uncles and of course grandkids. Now that will never happen, and I know that Donovan would let us know that he lived the life, " says Jaime Witham.

Many memories brightened the spirits of the congregation. "Many have tried, but you are the only girl who ever conquered Donovan, " says sister Virginia Bennett of his girlfriend.

He was going to propose to Julie when he was last home in April, but decided to wait so he could ask her dad permission in person. Julie read part of a letter he wrote her. "I will love you, until the day, until the end of time and will always be here for you, for you and in heaven if the big man wanted me to go."

Specialist Witham joined the military after the U.S. invasion of Iraq. He was still in high school, a star football player, when that happened. One of his former teammates says once he made a decision, he stuck with it. "There's a lot of stuff going around about the war, about (how) it's not supposed to be this way. But Donovan went because he wanted to serve the country, " says Justin Morgan.

"When Donovan deployed, we decided to promise each other that we would never end a conversation with goodbye. It just seemed too final. So I plan on keeping that promise. So goodnight Donovan, I will see you later, I miss you and I love you, " says his girlfriend.

The military presented Specialist Witham's mother with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. A caravan of more than two-hundred cars and 80 motorcycles went on to the cemetery.

From KASN 38

Related Link:
Donovan Witham remembered

Related Link:
Donovan D. Witham dies 'of wounds suffered when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle'