Letter to the Editor

Show support for honoring Skelton

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

To the editor:

Occasionally, people come along who greatly inspire those around them. Even when they are gone, the lives of the people they touched will never be the same. Staff Sgt. Bradley J. Skelton was one of those people. He entered the Missouri Army National Guard in 1984 while he was still in high school and served with the 1140th Engineer Battalion headquartered in Jackson until he was deployed to Iraq from 2004 to 2005. Upon his return, he retired from the National Guard.

Most people would have stayed in retirement, but Brad chose to return to Iraq in 2007 so a fellow soldier didn't have to. He was willing to sacrifice his own life for another's. And he did. Brad was killed during his second tour by an explosion in Baghdad on Feb. 6. Brad's ultimate sacrifice and the way he led his life by example has moved his fellow soldiers, friends and family to try to rename the National Guard Armory in Jackson in his honor. Ross Gartman of Cape Girardeau, who served with Brad in the 1140th, has spearheaded the effort.

Renaming a government building requires a methodical process. I encourage people to write letters sharing their thoughts on the dedication and renaming of the armory in Jackson to honor Brad Skelton. You may address your letter to: Missouri Army National Guard, 6819 N. Boundary Road, Jefferson City, Mo., 65101-1207. Or e-mail your letter to ngmo.pao@us.army.mil.

State Sen. JASON CROWELL, Cape Girardeau