Sunday, March 30, 2008

Army Sgt. Terrell W. Gilmore

Remember Our Heroes

Army Sgt. Terrell W. Gilmore, 38, of Baton Rouge, La.

Sgt. Gilmore was assigned to the 769th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana Army National Guard, Baton Rouge, La.; died March 30, 2008 in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle.

2TheAdvocate -- When Sgt. Terrell W. Gilmore returned to Baton Rouge last month for an almost two-week vacation from Iraq, his mother knew it would be the last time she would see him.

“The Lord was dealing with me,” Nancy Lawson said Tuesday from her Baker home.

“I had a feeling he wasn’t coming back.”

Lawson’s intuition was right.

Her 38-year-old son died Sunday in Baghdad when an improvised explosive device detonated near his vehicle, Maj. Michael Kazmierzak said in a Louisiana National Guard news release.

Gilmore was assigned to the Forward Support Company, 769th Engineer Battalion, of the Louisiana National Guard, Kazmierzak said.

Gilmore drove more than 1,000 miles as a heavy-cargo vehicle operator while conducting convoy missions in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Kazmierzak said.

“He made the ultimate sacrifice,” said Gilmore’s eldest sister, Dietra Wilson, 47 “He was willing to go over there and do what needed to be done.”

Gilmore made the choice to serve his country on June 16, 1988, after graduating from Glen Oaks High School, said George Lawson, Gilmore’s stepfather.

Gilmore didn’t want to burden his mother, who was then rearing six children on her own, with the expense of college, George Lawson said. Gilmore’s older brother, Odis, followed in his footsteps and joined the Navy.

Odis Gilmore, who is stationed in San Diego, will escort his brother’s body back to Baton Rouge, George Lawson said. Both brothers are Desert Storm veterans.

“He was proud of being in the Army,” Nancy Lawson said of Terrell Gilmore. “It was something he wanted to do.”

But the stress of being a soldier was getting to Gilmore, Lawson and Wilson said.

Before coming home on March 5, Gilmore saw a friend get killed by a roadside bomb, Lawson said.

“He didn’t talk to me about it because he didn’t want to worry me,” she said. “But he talked to his stepdad.”

Wilson said Terrell Gilmore also talked to her husband about what he had seen and been through in Iraq.

“I think he was dealing with a lot of stuff,” she said. “I think he was a little scared.”

Gilmore was the father of two children, a 17-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son, Lawson said.

Gilmore’s wife, Billy L. Gilmore, could not be located Tuesday for comment.

“He was a loving, giving person,” Lawson said. “He would take the shirt off his back if someone was cold.”

Wilson agreed and said she wishes she had taken more time to tell her brother how proud she was of him.

She also said the war in Iraq wasn’t personal until now.

“Sometimes I wonder if it’s worth it all,” she said. “The scary thing is that I have another sibling who could be affected. I don’t know if I could handle that.”

Army Sgt. Terrell W. Gilmore was killed in action on 3/30/08.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

RIP Brother!!