Quitman Remembers Fallen Soldier

By: Candace Barnette Email
By: Candace Barnette Email

The town of Quitman is recovering after the devastating loss of one of their own - a soldier who paid the ultimate price for his country. Specialist Terry Gordon was performing a mission on a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter when the aircraft underwent a hard landing, according to the chief of army casualty. A CNN report says the Pentagon is investigating whether the soldiers died from the crash or from enemy fire after the crash. But no matter the cause, Quitman Mayor Eddie Fulton says this tragedy leaves a hole that can't be filled.

"Whatever that we can do, we're going to do to try to bring them comfort, try to let them know how much we understand their loss," he says.

Gordon was a graduate from Quitman High School. Principal Michael McDonald says the loss of this alumnus has hit the whole school hard.

"Terry, he was a great young man," he says. "He had wonderful leadership ability. He was just one of those guys that students loved, staff loved, very respectable, a mannerable young man."

McDonald says during high school, Gordon held a leadership role in the Jr. ROTC program; the principal says the community is very military-friendly.

Mayor Fulton says a loss like this is very bittersweet to the entire community, and it's always hard knowing you have to engrave another name on this list.

"When you lose a life, you can't replace that," the mayor says. "There is a hole that no matter what you do, you can't replace it.."

Gordon 's name will be added to that list as the fifth soldier from Clarke County to die in the War on Terror.

Late Thursday, the Department of Defense released all the names of all the soldiers involved in the crash in southern Afghanistan.

Five were based at Fort Riley, Kan., including Gordon.
The four others were identified as Chief Warrant Officer 2 Joshua Silverman of Scottsdale, Ariz.; Chief Warrant Officer Randy L. Billings of Heavener, Okla.; Sgt. Peter Bohler of Willow Spring, N.C.; and Sgt. 1st Class Omar Forde of Marietta, Ga.

A sixth soldier, based in Vilseck, Germany, was identified as Staff Sgt. Jesse Williams of Elkhart, Ind.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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