Sunday, January 22, 2012

Pierre Raymond, Never Forgotten                  
I was going through my abandoned Myspace account and I found this blog post from before, Pierre was my friend and I had a lot of good times with him. Concerts,Boston, parties. He was loved by so many people in Southern New Hampshire and the Merrimack Valley.He had a heart of gold and would truly give you the shirt off his back. He was known to dance a jig at the drop of a hat. I am honored to still call his siblings and Mom friends.As long as I am alive he will never be forgotten. RIP  

*From the Boston Globe 2005

When Delta Flight 1880 landed late Saturday at Logan International Airport, the pilot went on the intercom to make a request of the passengers preparing to grab their carry-on bags: Sit for a moment and honor a fallen soldier.

''The pilot said, 'We have a hero on this flight and sadly, he isn't with us, but his mother is escorting his remains,' " said Barbara Bell, sister of Sergeant Pierre A. Raymond, 28, an Army reservist from Lawrence who died Tuesday in Germany after being wounded in Iraq.

The normal bustle of an emptying airplane immediately ceased, she said.

''He went on to say that 'a sergeant from the Army is escorting them as well', and then [the pilot] thanked him for doing what he did and for keeping us safe and free."

As Raymond's mother, Santina, got up to walk off the plane, her fellow passengers gave her a standing ovation.

''I was thankful that he was remembered like he was angel," said Santina Raymond, who spent yesterday at her Lawrence home preparing for her son's funeral on Wednesday. ''He was a hero, so everybody cheered. It was wonderful. He was wonderful."

Pierre Raymond died from injuries sustained after a Sept. 15 attack near Ramadi, Iraq, where he was hit in the chest and neck with flying shrapnel while in his sleeping quarters. Immediately after he was wounded, Raymond was talking and even flirting with the nurses who treated him, said Bell, who lives in Palo Alto, Calif. But military doctors in Iraq couldn't stop the bleeding and sent Raymond to Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in Germany for emergency treatment, where he was kept alive until his family arrived.

''We were all flown out on military orders," said Bell, also a former reservist.

The family stayed at Raymond's side during his last hours.

''Pierre just had this capacity that very few people have. . . . This capacity for life," said Bell, 30. ''Even as a kid, we don't have many family photos of him because he was always running in the park."

Bell said her brother joined the Army in 1998 and spent 13 months in Bosnia as a military mechanic. He was discharged in 2001, she said, and spent some time traveling before being called back in the National Guard to serve with the 228th Forward Support Battalion, 28th Infantry Division, which supported a Marine Expeditionary Force. Raymond was dispatched for retraining and arrived in Kuwait in June. He'd barely been in Iraq a week before he was wounded.

For two weeks prior, he called his mother nearly every morning at 6 a.m., Boston time, his sister said. ''He'd even sent letters saying Kuwait was kind of boring," Bell said. ''He was waiting to be attached to a unit."


"On the street outside his elementary school yesterday, children made a corridor of American flags before the soldier's funeral. They lined both sides of the street, holding out their flags in a fluttering display of patriotism and solidarity."


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