Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Soapbox: Tigard soldier's death is a loss felt every day by his Army unit

U.S. Army Sgt. Shawn Jamieson is serving in Afghanistan on his second deployment with the 173rd Airborne Brigade Combat Team.

Hello, my name is Sgt. Shawn Jamieson, I would like to write to you on behalf of Andrew Keller and the issue of memorializing him. As a soldier on my second deployment, I know all too well the sacrifices and hardships of leaving family and friends to fight for our country and the pain that is endured when a close comrade becomes a fallen hero.

I served with Andrew honorably on many missions in his short time in Afghanistan under extreme circumstances, the kind that the everyday person can’t handle. Andrew never once backed down or found any of the million reasons to do so.

I am writing to you from Afghanistan under these same circumstances that took Andrew from his friends and family, not to beg or plead with you about the situation, but to inform you that this was not just your modern everyday death that can occur at any time for any number of reasons. This was the death of a truly great soldier who fought gallantly for our freedoms and fell at the hands of the enemy protecting those freedoms and his fellow soldiers who were out there with him.

Every day his loss is felt by those who are still here, alive fighting for the same things he was. Every day we pray for him and his family, and every day he is honored by us by doing the hard rights over the easy wrongs as he always did.

Even as a private, he was inspiring to those who were far more seasoned soldiers than he was, including myself. This was not just an ordinary man or soldier — this was a gifted individual who had a great future ahead of him, military or civilian.

I truly hope you took the time to thoroughly read what I am writing and see that this is not just an ordinary death because that would be dishonoring Andrew and everything he fought for — this was in fact a death under extraordinary circumstances in the most extreme conditions possible.

Thank you for your time, I hope this can help in coming to the right conclusion.

Get on your Soapbox

The Times offers a Soapbox to stand on every week online and on our Opinion page. The Soapbox is a guest column written by any reader on any local issue of public interest. They should be no longer than 800 words (about three double-spaced typewritten pages) and should include the signature, address and phone number of the writer.

Soapboxes are due Mondays at noon and can be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Local Weather

Mostly Cloudy

75°F

Tigard

Mostly Cloudy

Humidity: 51%

Wind: 8 mph

  • 22 Jul 2014

    Showers 79°F 59°F

  • 23 Jul 2014

    Rain 68°F 54°F