We have lost another son in Iraq.

The latest casualty was Army Private Andrew Habsieger.

On April 2, His funeral procession left a church in Festus, traveling 26 miles, ending at Jefferson Barracks where Private Habsieger was laid to rest with other heroes.

I did not cover this story, but unfortunately in the midst of another war, I've covered many like it.

The pictures this time are mirror images of that distant past and the more recent past.

The heart breaking emotions ... are always so raw ... so painful. Only the names and locations are different.

As Private Habsieger's hearse passed ... witnesses stood silent with hands over their hearts ... and many were holding American flags. Most watched through eyes of tears.
Cub Scouts and other children lined the road ... young minds recording images that will be with them forever. Who knows what they thinking at that moment?

Later, the children might suffer fear, uncertainty, confusion, and a deep gnawing pain. Hopefully, their parents will recognize the signs and offer a hug and hushed words that might bring some comfort.

But who could give that kind of hug to the parents?

I do believe it was important for children to take part in this final tribute to a soldier --- who just a dozen years earlier .. was a child like them.

Private Habsieger was 22 when that killing device known as an IED wiped out his young life.

He was a 2004 graduate of Festus High School were he was a star athlete. His coach says that Andy broke his leg in one game, but continue to play .. in that game and the rest of the season. Another coach said: half-a-Habsieger was better than most other players.

News 4 Reporter Ray Preston said those who knew Andy ... said he was someone who "defended the weak and stood up the bullies".

Private Andrew Habsieger is one more name on a list of those we owe so much. It's a debt we can not truly repay. We can only honor their sacrifice.

We thank each and everyone of them ... and each of their families.

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