Soldier sacrifices twice (Iraq)

MINERAL CITY -- Another family mourns the loss of a fallen son


Sgt. Jeremy Barnett lost his life after an explosion in Iraq. His family says it was supposed to be his day off, but he volunteered for an extra mission.

"I told him 'You don't volunteer for anything'" says his father, Dave Barnett. "'You do what you're told to do, but do not put your hand up.' Being Jeremy, he volunteered."

The military says Barnett was seriously injured after a landmine exploded. He was flown to a hospital in Germany. His wife, Stephanie, his mother, father, sister and step-mother soon followed.

"I had to be there," says his mother, Michele Barnett. "I did not want him alone without his family until he made the last sacrifice he could give."

But Barnett sacrificed twice. Once for freedom and again so someone else could live. Jeremy chose to be an organ donor. His heart saved the life of a 51-year-old man.

"Steph and I both went with him to the E.R.," says Jeremy's mother. "He was going in when I kissed him, I held his hand, and I put my hand on his chest. And, I knew that heart was going to continue to beat."

Barnett's services have not yet been scheduled, but his family plans to bury him in Mineral City where he grew up.

Von: 27.02.2007

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