Grieving Fort Bragg widows speak out

December 1, 2009 9:31:33 PM PST
The widows of two soldiers that recently drowned in Afghanistan say they hope that Americans remember their husbands as heroes. On Sunday, military leaders recovered the body of the second 82nd Airborne soldier who drown during a mission.

"It's just devastating," Sergeant Benjamin Sherman's widow Patricia Sherman said. "He was so happy just to come home and be a father."

Sergeant Benjamin Sherman was a soldier in the 4th Brigade Combat Team which is part of the 82nd Airborne Division.

On November 4, he and Sergeant Brandon Islip were swept away by a fast-moving current while trying to recover air-dropped supplies that slipped into a river in Afghanistan.

"When I found out the news I just, I completely lost it," Patricia Sherman said. "So, I talked to him the day before he went missing. He told me he would call me and he didn't. So I knew something bad was going on."

She is pregnant with her husband's first child. She's due in March on St. Patrick's Day.

The tragedy has bonded her and Sergeant Brandon Islip's widow's lives forever.

"He would give his life for anybody," widow Sonja Islip said. "And during the circumstances he figured he would give his life to do something for somebody else."

They both say their husbands died as heroes.

"He loved fighting," Sherman said. "He loved fighting for his country. And there's no better way to describe him than being a true American hero."

"He's always been a hero to me," Islip said. "He's willing to put his life on the line for this country and that's all anybody really can ask for."

Sherman has put yellow ribbons the tress outside of her house and despite her husband's death, she says she's not planning to take them down until her husband's entire unit returns.

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