|From Anchorage Daily News adn.com
Grim news doesn't need introduction
TOUGH TO TAKE: Alabama parents of Fort Richardson soldier informed of son's death in Iraq.
By TOM SMITH
Times Daily (Florence, Ala.)
Published: April 15, 2007
Last Modified: April 15, 2007 at 03:33 AM
FLORENCE, Ala. -- Mike Nelson said no one had to tell his wife, Genice, and him why the unexpected guests were at their door late Thursday evening.
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"They didn't have to say anything. When we saw the two soldiers standing there, we just knew," Nelson said.
The U.S. Army messengers, who simultaneously visited the Nelsons in Florence and Tony Lindsey in Russellville, were delivering a message that no parent wants to hear.
Their son, Army Spc. James "Jamie" Tyler Lindsey, was killed in combat while serving in Iraq with a unit from Fort Richardson.
"We tried to prepare ourselves, but there is really no way," said Tony Lindsey, Jamie Lindsey's father.
The 20-year-old Lindsey, a member of the 3rd Battalion 509th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team (Airborne) 25th Infantry Division had been in Iraq since October 2006.
He would have been 21 years old Aug. 28.
Nelson said he and his wife found out Wednesday that his stepson's deployment was going to be extended to December.
"We were planning on trying to go to Alaska and visit him when he got to come home," Nelson said.
Lindsey said his son had just re-enlisted for another four years.
"I believe he was considering a career in the military," Lindsey said. "He and his wife, Michelle, lived in a condo (in Alaska) but (Jamie) said they were planning on buying a house there."
The last time Jamie Lindsey saw his family was in September, when he and his new bride came to Alabama for a visit before his deployment.
"It had been about four weeks since I talked with him," Tony Lindsey said. "It was hard for him to get the use of a phone, but we e-mailed each other often, and we'd send photos to each other."
CIRCUMSTANCES STILL MURKY
Genice Nelson said exactly what happened to her son, or exactly where he was, is still unclear.
"We were told it happened April 12 and was some kind of explosion," she said. "And that he was near Baghdad."
Tony Lindsey said his son's unit had been in several of the outlying areas around Baghdad since his tour began. "From what he said, they were used to filling in for other units," he said.
According to an Army press release, three members of Lindsey's unit were killed and eight injured in two separate incidents that took place in south Baghdad on Thursday morning.
The release did not go into details other than to note that one incident was a roadside bomb and the other was a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device, or car bomb, that detonated, causing multiple buildings to collapse.
In Alabama, Lindsey was a 2004 graduate of Bradshaw High, the last graduating Bradshaw class before the school merged with Coffee to form Florence High School.
As a senior, Jamie Lindsey played on the infield for Bradshaw coach Pete Rodi.
"(Jamie) was a great kid; he did all we asked of him," said Rodi. "(Jamie) played hard and worked hard."
Rodi said Jamie Lindsey's death is a shock.
"It hurts. Jamie was a part of the Bradshaw family and always will be," he said.
The Rev. Donnie McDaniel baptized Jamie at Underwood Baptist Church in Florence.
"He was a good kid. He was my hero because he voluntarily fought for our freedom and our country," McDaniel said. "I have the utmost respect for him."
Nelson said it was obvious from e-mailed photos that the family received that his stepson loved the military.
"Whether we agreed with this war or not, if not for people like Jamie, we would not enjoy the freedoms that we have today," Nelson said.
Tony Lindsey said his son had a great sense of humor.
"He liked the outdoors and loved to hunt and fish," Tony Lindsey said. "And he spent a lot of time riding ATVs with his grandfather (Wayne Lindsey). They were very close.
"Jamie was a good person and had a kind heart. He was a hard worker, and he was doing what he thought was right."