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SSgt. John T. Self
29 years old from Pontotoc, Mississippi
314th Security Forces Squadron
May 14, 2007
A kindhearted patriot. That's how SSgt. John Self was described by those who knew him. "John was a good boy, a good boy who loved his country and who loved Christ and for that he’ll move on to a better place," said Laron Self, Sgt. Self's grandfather, fighting back tears.
SSgt. Self was killed, and three other airmen wounded, when an IED hit the Humvee they were traveling in while on his 79th patrol in Baghdad, Iraq. "John volunteered for this deployment while he was deployed to (Southwest Asia)," said Chief Master Sgt. Keith Morris, 314th SFS security forces manager. "We discussed this deployment via e-mail. He said he made his decision to deploy again to gain experience."
"He could always find the humor in anything regardless of the situation," said Senior Airman Daniel Hunsperger, a member of Self's fire team. "He believed in everything he did. This was obvious to us after learning he had only spent two weeks home between his last deployment and volunteering for this one."
On May 23, SSgt. Self was laid to rest with a crowd of hundreds to pay their respects. People lined both sides of the highway for more than 5 miles waving flags as the hundred-car procession traveled to the burial. Shouts of, "We love you John," and "Thank you, John, could be heard as the train of cars passed by. "That’s a hero," Susan Chambers, one of the many mourners, said to her son as she pointed at Self's casket.
These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives so that others may enjoy the freedoms we get to enjoy everyday. For that, I am proud to call them Hero.
We Should Not Only Mourn These Men And Women Who Died, We Should Also Thank God That Such People Lived
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