Wednesday, October 25, 2006


Parents of fallen soldier find peace Posted: Tuesday, Oct 24, 2006 - 11:00:15 pm PDT By BRIAN WALKER Staff writer Courtesy Photo President George W. Bush signs legislation that ensures the remains of fallen soldiers will be handled with respect when being transported home. New law ensures remains of soldiers will be handled with respect on trip home POST FALLS -- John and Stacey Holley can finally move on and grieve the loss of their son, Matthew, who was killed in Iraq. The Post Falls parents' 10-month battle for a federal law that ensures the remains of fallen soldiers are handled with respect while being transported home has become reality. "I am relieved that this mission is complete," John said Tuesday. "This has been a big responsibility to see this through to the end. "It was like riding the biggest roller coaster of your life. At first, you are apprehensive about your decision to get on, but once on, you are committed to the end. When it's all over, you are glad you did it." Matthew, who was born in Post Falls, was a 21-year-old Army specialist assigned to the 1st Battalion, 320th Field Artillery Regiment, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky. He was killed by a roadside bomb on Nov. 15. The Holleys said they were horrified when they found out their fallen soldier son's remains were going to be handled by baggage carriers at the San Diego airport. If it hadn't been for last-minute string pulling by their military casualty assistance officer with U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., they said their son, Matthew, would have been brought to them from the airplane as "freight" rather than by an Honor Guard. Matthew was rendered honors in Dover, Del., but the Holleys also expected to see that when his remains were transported from there. Under the law, the remains will be transported to the closest military base to the family's home. The fallen soldier will be rendered honors by an Honor Guard unless otherwise directed by the next of kin. "It should have been standard operating procedure," John said. "It shouldn't have been something we had to worry about." The Holleys, both veterans, don't want what happened to them to happen to other families of fallen soldiers. "We do not want parents or loved ones to ever have to receive their service member in the cargo area of a commercial airport again without honors," John said. ~~~~PLEASE HONOR,RESPECT,THANK and SUPPORT OUR BRAVE MILITARY,THEIR FAMILIES AND THE VETS ,past and present,WHO GIVE THEIR ALL FOR US ALL~~

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