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Army Sgt. Edmund J. Jeffers

Died September 19, 2007 Serving During Operation Iraqi Freedom

23, of Daleville, Ala.; assigned to the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Carson, Colo.; died Sept. 19 in Taqqadum, Iraq, of injuries sustained in a non-combat-related accident.

Alabama soldier killed in Iraq has Web following after essay

The Associated Press

DOTHAN, Ala. — Sgt. Eddie Jeffers wrote a stark essay about what he experienced and felt serving in Iraq, and his article became instant inspiration for backers of the war on dozens of Internet sites where it was posted.

Jeffers, 23, of Daleville died in an accident in Iraq earlier this week, but his legacy will live on through his words.

He gained a following earlier this year after an essay he wrote, titled “Hope Rides Alone,” showed up on the Internet, where it was posted in at least one place by his father, Dave Jeffers of Navarre, Fla.

The young soldier wrote plainly about life in Iraq.

“I am stressed, I am scared, and I am paranoid ... because death is everywhere. It waits for me, it calls to me from around street corners and windows, and it is always there,” Jeffers wrote.

In the same piece — which was mentioned on the Fox News show of conservative commentator Bill O’Reilly — Jeffers took on those who criticize the war and President Bush, writing:

“Democrats and peace activists like to toss the word ‘quagmire’ around and compare this war to Vietnam. In a way they are right, this war is becoming like Vietnam. Not the actual war, but in the isolation of country and military. America is not a nation at war; they are a nation with its military at war.”

As word spread of Jeffers’ death, admirers filled Internet message boards and forums with words of sorrow and admiration.

“Please honor this young man and his undying love of his country. He deserves nothing short of a memorial in his honor, and we are working on one here,” wrote one person.

“Prayers for comfort for the family of this good and great man,” said a message on another forum.

Jeffers’ mother, Tina Kelly, called her son “a very eloquent speaker and writer.”

“He was my friend. I had him very young and grew up with him. He was an amazing child and an amazing young man ...,” she told The Dothan Eagle in a story published Friday.

Jeffers graduated from Daleville High School, located in southeast Alabama, in 2002. He and his wife Stephanie most recently lived in Colorado Springs, Colo.

The Pentagon said Jeffers died in Taqqadum, Iraq, from injuries he suffered in an accident that wasn’t related to combat. He was part of the 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo.

The military didn’t release details on the accident, which it said was under investigation.

Alabama soldier to be buried in Daleville on Sept. 29

The Associated Press

ENTERPRISE, Ala. — Funeral services for an Alabama soldier killed in Iraq will be held Sept. 29 morning in Enterprise.

Army Sgt. Eddie Jeffers, 23, of Daleville was killed when the vehicle he was riding in overturned in Ramadi on Sept. 19. The Department of Defense is investigating what caused it to overturn.

Jeffers, who graduated from Daleville High School in 2002, is survived by his wife, Stephanie Jeffers.

Visitation will be held Sept. 29 at 10 a.m. at Sorrells Funeral Home in Enterprise, with the funeral service at 11 a.m. Burial with full military honors will follow at Memorial Gardens in Daleville.

Tina Kelly, Jeffers’ mother, said the service will be open to the public.

“I want any and everyone who knew my son to come for the celebration,” Kelly said. “That’s what he’d have us do and that’s what we’re doing.”

Jeffers was assigned to 1st Battalion, 9th Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, based at Fort Carson, Colo. A memorial ceremony will be held later in Colorado.

Alabama soldier killed in vehicle crash in Iraq laid to rest

The Associated Press

ENTERPRISE, Ala. — Services were held in Enterprise for Army Sgt. Eddie Jeffers who died in a vehicle crash in Iraq.

The 23-year-old graduate of Daleville High School died Sept. 19 after a vehicle he was riding in flipped over as a convoy of soldiers was returning to base after a mission. The accident remains under investigation.

At his funeral Sept. 29, Jeffers was described as a supporter of the war.

In an online essay in February, Jeffers wrote: “The Iraqis are capable of free government but we cannot call it quits because we think they aren’t.”

He continued: “Someone has to believe in them, someone has to help them out; someone has to provide the example. We are showing it to them. Some have taken it, many haven’t, but it will spread ... because freedom feels good.”

Terry Sorrells told mourners that while Jeffers’ fight is over, his family’s struggle is just beginning. He urged the mourners to come together to support them through their grief.

Jeffers’ survivors include his wife, Stephanie Reeves Jeffers.

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