A reader who asks us to withhold his name writes in response to the post below:
I was privileged to have met Cpl. McElveen the week before he deployed to Iraq when he came by my office with Sgt. Andy Stevens who was also among those killed on Thursday. The news of their tragic passing took my breath away. Please…feel free to post the following information about Andy Stevens.
Sgt. Stevens had deployed to Iraq twice previously. He was the oldest of the group that died on Thursday at age 29 though not the most senior because he had left the Marine Corps for a few years and then returned to serve again after the WTC/Pentagon attacks. He was a brilliant individual who had a passion for training Marines and believed in what he was doing. Though possessing no formal training in the field, Sgt. Stevens had become an acknowledged expert on computer based tactical decision simulations and trained many Marines and civilian contractors how to use them.
We pray, as Lincoln prayed, “that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion,” and “that these dead shall not have died in vain.”