Monday, January 12, 2009

In Memoriam: Chad Gilliam, 29: Friend, Defender of Freedom

It is with deep sadness that I report that my friend, Chad Gilliam, a fellow member of the Whitesburg High School Class of 1998 and a Facebook friend, died at a Marine base in Kuwait while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom. He was 29. The following excerpt is from the Associated Press via Nashville TV station WTVF:

"...The Department of Defense said Tuesday that 29-year-old Lance Cpl. Chadwick A. Gilliam of Mayking, Ky., in Letcher County, died Jan. 3 at a U.S. military base in Kuwait. Gilliam was assigned to 2nd Battalion, 6th Marines, 2nd Marine Division, II Marine Expeditionary Force at Camp Lejeune, N.C. A statement from the department said the official cause of death is pending the results of the autopsy."

I remember Chad very well. He joked around with me occasionally and he was a very good person to hang out with. PRAY for his family, his friends, and his fellow soldiers during this sad time. PRAY for the entire military as they continue to defend America's freedoms. I will post more information as soon as I get it.

UPDATE on Wednesday at 6:38am: Funeral arrangements are now set for Chad Gilliam. Visitation will be from 6-10pm on Friday at Letcher Funeral Home on Main Street in Whitesburg. Funeral will be Saturday at noon the the funeral home. WYMT in Hazard has more here.

UPDATE on Wednesday at 12:57pm: The Lexington Herald-Leader has posted an AP story which states that Gilliam died of "an apparent cardiac arrest." You can view the story here.

UPDATE on Friday at 8:55am: The day of the funeral has changed. It is now scheduled for Monday at noon at Letcher Funeral Home with visitation on Sunday. Governor Steve Beshear has ordered flags at state facilities to be lowered to half-staff on Monday in honor of Chad.

UPDATE on Monday at 6:39pm: Chad's funeral took place today in Whitesburg. WYMT has more here.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the information about Chad. I am deeply saddened to hear of his death. He was in several of my classes at Southeast, and was an excellent student, and even more importantly a wonderful human being. He will be sorely missed.