Today is a special day of remembrance for Liz.
This was written by by her friend and Team Leader: Rusty Weatherby.
Another year memorial anniversary is upon us and it only seems like she was taken from us yesterday. She will forever be my hero for the sacrifice she gave that day. You see a few hours prior to the IED going off next to her gun truck I walked the road, clearing it for her convoy to pass. I dismounted from my gun truck and began a mile or so trek over an overpass all the way to the turn south toward Kuwait. I checked every inch of the north side lanes, not knowing that a tragic event would unfold at the top of the overpass in a few short hours. As I ended my shift a little while later and another patrol took over I took a shower and went to bed without giving it a thought that something bad would happen. An hour or so into my sleep time I was awaken and told that our convoy was hit and we sustained casualties. I put on my uniform and rushed to my staging area and pushed out as fast as we could to help secure the carnage. As I sat a few miles from the scene I was approached by a supervisor that had come to check on us and he told me that Elizabeth was killed. You see I knew that she and TSgt Harper, both on my team from Goodfellow AFB were in that convoy but I never thought once that it could be one of them hurt. Shoot it could have very well been me that died that day, but a series of events made that day the worst day of my military career. As I turned to my patrol and informed them of her passing I knew that it would be rough. I would have rather not said a word about her death until we finished our mission, but felt that I should be the one to tell them. My team was comprised of 3 or 4 members from Team Goodfellow, so they needed to hear it from me. As I looked into their eyes I saw their pain, but I stayed strong because I knew we were still sitting in the middle of the desert with a strong possibility of IEDs or enemy contact. A hour or so later my patrol was relieved and sent back to Camp Bucca. It was the worst feeling a person could imagine. I didn’t know how to react. Do I stay strong or do I get angry? I took the path of staying strong for the younger airman on Team Goodfellow.
This day took place about three months into our 180 day tour to Iraq. Team Goodfellow had to honor Elizabeth and then get back on the horse and get to work. This is exactly what we did and I believe we did this with Elizabeth watching over us every step of the way. Every person on Team Goodfellow that deployed with us to Camp Bucca was forever changed by 9/28/05. Elizabeth’s death made me strive to ensure that people always remember the sacrifice she gave that day. She was an awesome woman, airman, and friend that will forever be watching over us as we continue to serve as Defenders. Read the verse below and substitute she in the place or he. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13