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Condolences from an Old Classmate of Maj. W. David Gray

Our Alma Mater was our only connection. I didn't know him very well, but I did look up to him back then. I still do.

Loganville lost one it's finest sons on Wednesday. of the U.S. Air Force was killed while serving in Afghanistan. Though currently residing in Colorado, and most media outlets listing him as being from Conyers, David was from . He graduated 20 years ago from in a class of 120 some-odd people.

My class

In times of immense tragedy, people from all walks of someone's life emerge and attach themselves to it. I don't mean that to sound as negative as it seems...it is very human to feel loss. The desire to share kind words or try to offer comfort, even when it is unsolicited. So it is with LHS, Class of 1992. I hope that the big show of love from those of us who knew him two decades ago provides some comfort to those who hurt the most...his wife and three children, his brother, his folks. His brothers in arms.

I must disclose the truth that he and I were not close. I'm not sure we could even have been considered friends back in those days. Like most of the folks I went to high school with (other than social media) I haven't known him since. Funny thing, that. When a great space of time passes without contact, people just stay the way they were, in your mind.

This is kind of unsettling, because that means to some of you, I'm still that scrawny, awkward doofus in the comically big glasses and ratty REO Speedwagon shirt, whose carefully planned witty remarks melt into a mumbled "uh-arr-duh......Hi!" around the girls. Great.

That makes David, on the other hand, the easygoing, confident, good-natured guy who looked like he was from Korea, but talked like he was from Loganville. Smart and well respected by the teachers and students, he was one of those guys who just seemed to have everything figured out...grades, sports, friends, girls...everything. 

Of course, I didn't really know the guy that well, so any eulogy from me is inadequate. We weren't really friends, but he had a lot of qualities I wish I had back then. I looked up to him. So, a few years ago, when a "friend" request popped up on my Facebook page from him, the scrawny teenage nerd in me took that as a big compliment. A few "hey man, how you doing?" type interactions ensued, but that was about it.

Still, the bond that is school is a strong one. Even though we ran in different circles, only a few people can claim that school, those years, as our own. He was one of us.

Looks like he did well for himself as an adult - a with a beautiful family. By all accounts, he never lost his confident, easy-going spirit. I am honored to have a small link to this brave warrior and fine man. I hurt for his family, his squad mates and those who truly call him "friend."

He will not be forgotten. Ever. Not by his comrades and those who loved him the most. Not by the grateful county he died serving. Not by his proud hometown.

Not by us. He was the best of us; we will never forget.

 

Maverick Pirtle August 10, 2012 at 06:50 PM
Beautifully worded Jeff. My sentiments exactly.
Grant August 10, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Nicely done Jeff..
Lulu Jordan August 10, 2012 at 08:35 PM
Great job Jeff, summed it up adaquately! He was one of our 120 give or take & that can never be taken!
Melissa Allen August 10, 2012 at 10:09 PM
Jeff, I have very similar feelings. You just spoke them more eloquently. Thank you.
Traci Davis Raines August 11, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Very well spoken for our classmate and hometown hero.
Georgia Democrat August 11, 2012 at 03:12 PM
Jeff, your heartfelt words will carry comfort to those who knew David, those who knew of him and the Loganville community. We all mourn his loss and are grateful for his service to his, our country.
Stacy Laudermilk August 11, 2012 at 06:16 PM
Very touching Jeff... It brought tears to my eyes but reading it in depth makes my heart so happy. Thank You for sharing. David will always be a part of Loganville and he will never be forgotten.... True American Hero!
Vincent Fox August 12, 2012 at 03:33 PM
You honor him and his family with your kind words. I believe it is important for you all to remember that while he gave his life to keep America free and safe, his sacrifice is Loganville's sacrifice too. We all come from some where. Loganville is where this great warrior grew up, learned right from wrong, worshiped God, served his community and high school, and went off to serve our country on Loganville's behalf. Like Jeff, I did not personally know Dave well. I was an Air Force Advisor in his first TACP unit in Brunswick, GA. I left for Germany just before he joined the unit, but the out AF community is small, and our paths crossed. As I said, we're all come from some where; from large cities and small towns all across this great land. This is what America us. Thank you Loganville for giving your best to make America great!
Jeffrey Allen August 14, 2012 at 03:17 AM
Thank you all. I hope and pray that this show of love, not just from "us", but from this entire town, provides some comfort to his family.
amy danielle stone rewis August 21, 2012 at 08:10 PM
i too went to school with david he will be truly missed prayers go out to his family!!!

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