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|Local Fallen Heroes Among WGIL's Top Stories of 2009
|2009 was another year where the Galesburg community came together on a number of occasions to celebrate local heroes while, in some cases, thanking them for paying the ultimate sacrifice.
One of WGIL's top local stories of the year dealt with two area deaths in a part of the war that has since become the central focus for President Obama. Galesburg came out en mas when 24-year old Army Specialist Chstopher Talbert died in early July while serving in Afghanistan after a roadside bomb was detonated.
Karen Kraft was a friend of the East Galesburg native and former Knoxville High School student, and told WGIL in July about a time when Talbert told her about training he was doing to become an EMT -- and he couldn't wait to get to work doing it.
"You could just see it written all over him; he just had a huge smile on his face as he was telling me that he was doing his training," Kraft said. "You couldn't help but be just as excited for him. It was just absolutely wonderful. He just couldn't get wait to get started and actually help."
Talbert also did a number of other things when not serving in the military. He worked at one of the local hospitals, and also had volunteered in the past with the East Galesburg Fire Department.
Prior to Talbert's death, in February, Kewanee native and Galva resident, Sergeant Schuyler Patch, was killed while serving in Afghanistan, following the detonation of a roadside bomb.
Area residents helped honor Patch on a number of occasions, including in June, when the Patriot Guard riders helped organize a charity motorcycle run in Patch's name that went from Oneida in Knox County to Kewanee. Patch's father John told WGIL in June he was overwhelmed by all those who took part.
"Thanks to everybody," Patch said. "It means a lot to us and my whole family. It helps us through these times. It's not a fun thing to go through."
The ride was a fundraiser for the Quad Cities Honor Flight program, giving World War Two veterans the chance to fly for free to their memorial in Washington, D.C.
(Right: Army Spc. Christopher Talbert. File Photo courtesy Elisa Cecil.)
(Flags flew at half mast in March at Veterans Park in downtown Galva in honor of their fallen resident. Sgt. Schuyler Patch. WGIL News Story and File Photo by Will Stevenson.)
|12 29 09 by Newsroom
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