Fallen hero welcomed home
By Senior Airman Adam Grant, 6th Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs
/ Published October 30, 2012
MACDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla-- -- Hundreds of Team MacDill members and the local community lined the streets to honor a fallen comrade and local hero, Oct. 24.
The remains of Army Spc. Brittany Gordon were welcomed with salutes from sister services and veterans both past and present.
Gordon, 24, was assigned to the 572nd Military Intelligence Company, 2nd Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash. She was a native of St. Petersburg. Gordon died of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked her unit with an improvised explosive device.
Gordon was the first female Soldier from the local community to die during Operation Enduring Freedom; she graduated high school in 2006 from St. Petersburg High School.
"Female service members are often expected to serve out of harm's way," said Staff Sgt. Nicole Sommersville, 6th Air Mobility Wing ground safety craftsman.
"The unfortunate and untimely death of Gordon is a reminder that we serve beside our male counterparts both at home and in war; it's also a reminder that were not safer based on our gender compared to our service brothers. I thank her for her service and wish her family and friend's peace and understanding," Sommersville said.
There are 13,000 service members assigned here, Gordon was the fourth fallen hero Team MacDill has paid respects to since January. During the brief observance, service members both past and present, expressed their sincere condolences while watching the dignified transfer.
According to reports from the Department of Defense, 20,000 of the 205,000 service members currently serving in Afghanistan are women. As of February, 144 military women have been killed and 865 wounded in both combat and noncombat incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's a harsh reality that all military members train and serve, but to know that it was a woman, touches home," said Susan Monson, 6th Air Mobility Wing commander's executive assistant.
Gordon is survived by her mother Brenda Gordon and father Cedric Gordon, the St. Petersburg assistant police chief.