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The Military Brotherhood

Posted Wednesday, November 30, 2011, at 9:17 AM

"I am my brother's keeper"*

This last weekend was an emotional one for the Advance community, as we gathered to honor the memory of a young man who spent a part of his childhood with us.

Specialist James Roland Burnett came back to the Advance area for the last time, having been escorted back from Afghanistan where he was killed in a roadside bomb explosion, as he served his country. He was 21 years old and had just become engaged a few months earlier.

As I took photos at the events on Sunday--the Patriot Guard watch outside the church, the escort by the Honor Guard, and the lines of friends filing through the reception in the old gym--I was struck by one man who was neither friend nor family. He walked into the gym alone, filed past the picture display and the medals, and then found a moment to shake hands with James's stepmother. Then he left, as silently as he had come.

This lone Marine seemed to me to embody the spirit of all those who take on the uniform to support their country. All he wanted to do was pay his respects to a brother.

*Inscription on Patriot Guard jacket.

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This was truly a touching scene to an eventful service for this brave soldier who gave his life for our freedom. All the wonderful troops who protected the memorial service today deserve a thank you from the citizens of Southeast Missouri.

-- Posted by Dexterite1 on Thu, Dec 1, 2011, at 6:20 AM

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Madeline DeJournett
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Madeline (Giles) DeJournett is the Advance writer for the North Stoddard Countian. A retired high school English/history teacher, she spent 32 years teaching in 5 schools in Missouri and Alaska. These days, she lives quietly with a menagerie of wild and domestic animals on 52 secluded acres in the remote Tillman hills south of Advance. She graduated from Dexter High School in 1960 and Southeast Missouri State in 1964. She can be contacted at advancensc@sbcglobal.net.
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