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Jill Atwood reportingIt's been one year since the war in Iraq began. This weekend many of us have paused to think about the men and women serving in Iraq. But for those with family and friends in Iraq, the thoughts and prayers happen everyday.
There may be division on this war and what it stands for, but today in the healing field at Utah Valley State College there was no division, just pride and patiotism.
Specialist Coban Fife will be leaving his little girl soon for Afghanistan. He seems to gain strength and courage from each name he reads, an experience that has reassured him he's doing the right thing.
Spec. Coban Fife/211th Aviation: "The curse of the Army is that we have to leave our homes and families to go fight battles. But the blessing is that we have to leave our homes and families and fight the battles."
The flags in the healing field represent the loss of a dad, or a brother, maybe a daughter, or a wife.
The site of Sgt. Daniel Stanger among the flags is quite powerful. The focus today in this field of flags is on the people both here and abroad-- not politics.
Lynne Elliot: "We're proud of all of our military personnel serving there. We love them and we think they are doing the right thing. We think people should be entitled to their freedoms."
"Each one of these flags represents the ultimate sacrifice. We have lost 780 soldiers since 9-11."
Rick Elliot: "There were 19-year-olds to 43-year-olds. People from Hawaii to Pennsylvania."
Ten of these flags represent Utah soldiers.
- On March 29th, Staff Seargant James Cawley of Layton was killed by a Humvee.
- Days later, BYU graduate Ltn. Nathan White died when his helicopter was shot down.
- On April 3rd, Staff Sgt. Nino Livauday of Syracuse was killed by a car bomb.
- Captain Nathan Daley graduated from Brighton High. He was killed by a gunshot on November 17th.
- On January 31st, Corporal Juan Carlos Cabbral Banuelos was killed when his truck hit a homemade bomb.
- And just this past week, Utah lost Sgt. Clint Ferrin, also to a hidden homemade bomb.
- In February of 2003 Chief Warrant Officer John Darren Smith of Taylorsville was killed when his Blackhawk helicopter went down in the Kuwait desert.
- On April 3, 2003 Sgt. First Class Randall Rein died during fighting near the Baghdad airport.
- On July 17th, Sgt. Mason Whetstone was accidentally killed when a weapon discharged.
- Sgt. David Goldberg of Layton was killed November 26th. He also died of a gunshot wound.
The healing field at Utah Valley State College will be in place until tomorrow (Monday) at 4:00.
Families can also purchase healing field flags. That money goes to support Utah troops and their families.