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The Scoop 10-28
Veteran faces another hurdle
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Not all stories are created equal. Some are much more grueling to write than others.
Without question, the stories I wrote about soldier Jeremy Brown, who was killed on a battlefield in Afghanistan, were the most emotionally draining I have ever experienced.
Spc. Brown was just 20 when he was killed by enemy fire in May, 2010. He had been overseas less than a month. His mother learned of his death on Mother's Day.
I talked to Mac and Rhonda Brown shortly after they were told of their son's death. Their pain was unyielding. I didn't just see it. I felt it in my bones, the way heavy bass will penetrate when you're standing too close to a loudspeaker.
Brown will always be remembered as an American hero. Fittingly, he has the gym named in his honor at Bobby Ray Elementary.
I mention the stories about Jeremy Brown because of their impact on me as a writer. While I don't have a list tucked away in my desk drawer, I can say the stories I wrote about Eric Frazier were also exhausting.
As a Marine Reserve, Frazier suffered a life-changing event in Iraq when his Humvee rolled over an IED. The explosion claimed both his legs.
I wrote about Frazier's road to recovery for probably close to a year. I talked to him after he took his first steps, and interviewed him at Riverfront Park after he was released from Walter Reed Medical Center.
I continued to cover his story when he spoke at Veterans Day programs around the county. I especially remember a touching speech he gave to elementary students at Hickory Creek.
For all those reasons, I didn't enjoy publishing the front-page story we had in Wednesday's edition. Frazier was arrested and charged with stabbing a man in DeKalb County on Monday. He reportedly confessed to deputies during questioning.
I talked to DeKalb County Sheriff Patrick Ray on Thursday in hopes of getting more details, but Sheriff Ray said he is not releasing further information at this time. He did say the man Frazier allegedly stabbed is expected to survive. He also said Frazier has made bond and is out of jail.
I realize he's charged with a violent crime, but I wish Frazier the best as his case makes its way through the court system. He lost both his legs fighting for America and for that he has my respect.
Life has a never-ending arsenal of challenges for able-bodied citizens who don't have a major physical impediment. I can't imagine the challenges of trying to live without legs.
In this world of second chances, I hope Frazier can put this charge behind him and overcome this latest obstable.
Standard editor James Clark can be reached at 473-2191.