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SSGT George Ray Draughn, Jr
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Birth: Mar. 10, 1976
DeKalb County
Georgia, USA
Death: Sep. 1, 2005
Baghdad, Iraq


Sgt. George R. Draughn Jr.
Hometown: Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Age: 29 years old
Died: September 1, 2005 in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Unit: Army National Guard, 108th Cavalry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, Army National Guard, Griffin, Ga.
Incident: Killed when a makeshift bomb detonated near his Humvee during patrol operations in Baghdad.

Slain Shreveport soldier laid to rest
Staff Sgt. George Draughn Jr. died Sept. 1 in Baghdad
September 15, 2005

By John Andrew Prime

Hardly any words were spoken during the somber burial of Shreveport Staff Sgt. George Draughn Jr. until brother Masons, who had driven all the way from Atlanta, began their rites of farewell.
But the harsh crack of three volleys of gunfire, the 21 shots fired in honor of the soldier who died Sept. 1 in Baghdad, punctuated the hot, silent, sunny Wednesday afternoon at Lincoln Memorial Park, just past Shreveport's western city limits. Draughn, who moved to Georgia in 1999 for work reasons, died with a fellow Georgia National Guard soldier in a roadside bomb blast.
The burr of an airplane flying overhead muffled the words Brig. Gen. Terry Nesbitt, commander of the Georgia National Guard, spoke to Lucy Draughn, the soldier's mother, as he handed her the flag that had draped her son's casket. But it could not cloak the cry of anguish she sobbed.
Funeral services at Zion Baptist Church's packed John Wilson Chapel, though barely over an hourlong, were more dramatic. Sentiments ranged from anger over the war to pride for Draughn's service and sacrifice, to his and his family's long military service and his wish to be a soldier, to joy over his passage from this life into that promised by his Christian upbringing.
"He died doing what he loved," neighbor and family friend Roxie Bell said. "It hurts that he's gone, but he died doing what he loved, serving his country. ... He was a young man of great compassion, and he loved his family."
Fellow Mason Pedro Pollard expressed anger and bewilderment at the loss of a friend but also pride that his friend and college buddy stood up when names were called.
"Why did he die and who did he die for? We have no idea. This brother had a right to life. ... But he was man enough to take on the responsibility. Remember him for the person he was."
Nesbitt, Draughn's commander, spoke briefly before handing the family encased trifolded flags at the funeral service. He was composed but affected by the loss of his soldier.
"Words fail," Nesbitt began. "George's fellow soldiers grieve with you. ... He knew there were risks in serving his country, but he served anyway.
"Men like George Draughn keep this country free. We're here today to celebrate his life. Regardless of how you feel about the war, we need to honor this soldier."
"What do you say to a family?" mused the Rev. E.R. Brown, who followed Nesbitt. He reminded the family that George R. Draughn Jr. went to what they all believe is a better place and everyone's final destiny.
"George is not the last (soldier) we're going to lose in this war. ... You go ahead and cry because God will wipe away all your tears."
Brady Blade Sr., Zion Baptist's senior minister, closed by extending the "final destination" message Brown introduced. He used a biblical analogy of the journey from Bethany to Jerusalem as a metaphor for Draughn's passage and that of all those listening to him and said that life here, as at Bethany, is "a pit stop on the journey.
"We've got to stop getting too attached to these pit stops," he said in a rolling, thunderous eulogy that contrasted the conjured images with Christ's final words on the cross, "It is finished."
"This world is not your final destination," Blade said. "Iraq was just a pit stop for George. Iraq didn't finish George Draughn. ... He finished it."
Draughn's mother and another family member became inconsolable just before his open, flag-draped casket was sealed. There frequently were sobs from the friends and relatives who had gathered to say goodbye to the 29-year-old who had made the military and Army service his career.
A crisp honor guard and firing squad attended. They were mostly soldiers from Fort Polk, just two hours south of Shreveport, but also included a member from Fort Stewart in Georgia, which Draughn's unit, the 108th Cavalry Regiment, 48th Infantry Brigade, calls home.
Several family members wore military uniforms and have made careers of national service. Air Force Staff Sgt. Charlene Demming, Draughn's sister, plans to make that branch's security forces her career. First cousin Terry Henderson, a Navy lieutenant with prior service in the Air Force, was resplendent in his dress whites.
"They're doing fine," said Henderson, a native Shreveporter who grew up in Mansfield. "They're a strong family, a very close family."


Warriors Walk Memorial
Liberty County
Georgia, USA
Plot: 185
Created by: Elizabeth Olmstead
Record added: Jul 10, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14883086
SSGT George Ray Draughn, Jr
Added by: sniksnak
SSGT George Ray Draughn, Jr
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
SSGT George Ray Draughn, Jr
Added by: Elizabeth Olmstead
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