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Our Iraqi War Vet Nephew, who  is like a son to me,  returned from Iraq in September. He was awaiting the safe return of his close Friend who was due to return home this week. October 10th, she was killed by the Mortar attack on Camp Victory.

She was there for our boy during his Hour of Need, a Constant and Dependable Friend,  and helped him endure his time in Iraq.

Army Staff Sgt. Lillian Clamens leaves behind a husband and 3 children.

More about the beautiful Lillian below the fold

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Lillian and our Nephew worked together, side by side, while stationed in Iraq. She was an optimistic, kind, loving, and strong woman who inspired those around her.

I owe Lillian a debt of gratitude for helping our Soldier get through this tour in Iraq! I will never be able to thank her so now I pay a Final tribute to this American Hero.
She was an inspiration to those who served with and those under her command.

While in Iraq, our nephew  received a Dear John email from his wife. She had abandoned their home and took their only child and moved to be near an old friend who is surely more than a friend, we have discovered.
Naturally our soldier was devastated and heartbroken. Lillian was one of those who comforted and encouraged him through this heartbreaking time. It is hard enough to deal with the news of a divorce under normal circumstances but to get this news while serving in Iraq is beyond difficult. And then coping with temperatures soaring to 120 degrees F and the constant threat of an attack all combined to increase his all ready mounting PTSD.

Lillian's positive attitude, her nurturing, her kindness, her strength, helped our dear nephew cope with the stress within him and around him. She was more than a friend, she became his family away from him as so often happens when at war. They lean on their military family in times of duress and crisis,no matter what that crisis may be.

Lillian was due to return home this past week. But on October 10th, she was one of two soldiers killed when there was an attack on Camp Victory in Baghdad.

"She was the type of person that was honest," her niece Sierra Cobbin, of Omaha, told KETV. "She never had a bad bone in her body. She did everything for her family. She was confident, strong and just a very down-to-earth person."

This past Friday, our nephew received a package and letter from Lillian sent prior to her death. Naturally that hit him like a ton of bricks. It sent chills down his spine and mine to receive a gift from a deceased loved one.

Lillian was a dependable friend who was well respected and loved. The news of her death positively devastated our boy.
The same day he received news of his close friend's death; he discovered his soon to be ex wife was in a court of law fighting joint custody and attempting to assassinate his character.

He said:

It was times like this that I would turn to Lillian and now she is gone. I miss her so much, it hurts like hell.

Keep a good thought for  Lillian's grieving husband and 3 children in your prayers. Her children will grow up without their mother because of Bush's War. There are thousands just like Lillian's friends and family who are grieving the loss of a loved one, whether that loved one be American, Iraqi, British or whatever country of orgin. They all share one common denominator, their lives are forever changed because of this war with the loss of a loved one.

Yes our Soldier has returned home from Iraq with no Visible Wounds. But the Invisible Wounds are ever present.
He is being treated for PTSD plus counseling for the loss of his marriage and the inability to spend more time with his baby daughter.

This War has forever impacted all who were there, are there presently or have to live in that worn torn country ripe with a civil war.

We will ALL never be the same. We just pick up the piece and move on.

As our Iraqi Vet Soldier says:

We take what life gives us, we try to make the best of tragic situations and we move forward into the unknown, doing the best we can.

But I often think,

What if we never went into Iraq, we would not have to Cope with such Loss and Tragedy.

Now my job and the job of families who have had loved ones serving in Iraq and Afghanistan begins of listening, loving, being a strong shoulder to cry on, a friend, a confidante, someone in their corner rooting for them, and their strongest ally in their struggle to cope with the after affects of war.

We have discovered that those who served there are most comfortable venting and processing their feelings with those who have been there and those specialists in PTSD therapy.

So I have heard few of the War stories and our nephew says he will tell us all about it someday.

But right now, he is just trying to survive day by day:

* He is learning how to drive again without worrying about a roadside bomb. * He is trying to avoid a panic attack if he takes a wrong turn or gets lost driving in the USA, still fearing sabotage by an enemy * He is trying to figure out a way to sleep without fear that he will not awaken and be killed in his sleep.

And the List goes on.

As his struggle continues, he remembers those who will not return home to Cope such as his close friend, Lillian.
He is so young to have known so much death and loss.
It is becoming far too commonplace and routine.

And he has returned to an America that has no clue about what he has experienced and he often feels like a Stranger in a Strange Land.

Welcome home dear Boy!

Farewell and May Angels Carry you to your Rest Lillian,   Our Hero, Our Friend forever because you were our Soldier's Saving Grace, Lilian.

( also posted at

Originally posted to wishingwell on Sun Oct 21, 2007 at 07:27 AM PDT.

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