Clanton buries soldier

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 31, 2005

Staff report

BNI News Service

CLANTON – Union Missionary Baptist Church was packed to capacity yesterday afternoon as mourners grieved the loss of Staff Sgt. George Thomas Alexander, Jr.

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Alexander, a 1989 graduate of Chilton County High School, found worldwide fame as the 2000th soldier killed in Iraq, but old friends took the opportunity yesterday to remember their friend as a friend, not as a statistic.

“George was a dear friend and classmate,” said Greg DeJarnett.

DeJarnett continued by saying that in Biblical times, everyone wondered if anything would come out of the city Galilee and referred to Alexander’s home – the West End community – in the same context.

“Our savior Jesus Christ came out of Galilee,” he said.

“Jesus Christ is our hero and something great and good. And our hero, George T. Alexander, Jr. came out of West End.

George stood for something and didn’t fall for anything. He got an education and always strived for the best. And even though we might question it all now, we’ll all understand it better when tomorrow comes.”

Jefferson Varner, Jr. of Clanton spoke on behalf of the Army, saying to those in attendance, “George was the backbone of the Army.”

“The next time you wake up and watch CBS, ABC, CNN or anything else, know that people like (Alexander) let you be who you want to be and do what you want to do,” he said.

“It’s people like (Alexander) that help make all of us free.”

Alexander, who was a member of 1st Battalion, 15th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division, endured eight tours to the Middle East including serving in Desert Storm.

While serving his ninth tour in

Operation Iraqi Freedom, he was wounded by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad, Oct. 17.

He was transported to Brooke’s Medical Center in San Antonio where he remained until he died, Oct. 22.

The family of Alexander wishes to acknowledge with deep appreciation the many comforting expressions of kindness and concern evidenced at this time.

Alexander was the son of Joseph and Anne Spence and George T. Alexander.

He was born August 5, 1971 at Dewitt Army Hospital, in Fort Belvoir, Virginia.

He was a 1989 graduate of Chilton County High school and in October of 1991, he joined the United States Army.