Mid-Missouri Soldier Dies
Most of the people who live in the small town of Sweet Springs learned on Monday that one of their own was killed.
Staff Sergeant Russell Shoemaker of Sweet Springs and another soldier were killed on Thursday in Baghdad when the vehicle they were traveling in hit an improvised explosive device.
Shoemaker was 31 years old and was stationed at Fort Riley, Kansas. He was married four years ago.
The news came as a shock to Shoemaker's father, who also served in the military.
"He was an American fighting soldier," Shoemaker said. "He lived the Army and the Army way. He always placed the mission first and never accepted defeat."
Originally, Shoemaker signed up for active duty, but transferred in order to spend more time with his family.
The Shoemakers now reside in Emma, but their former town of Sweet Springs is grieving just as well.
"This is another situation that again we know young men like them has made it better for all of us and it's quite a sacrifice," Sweet Springs resident Jerry Reid said. "We're grateful and again the Sweet Springs sommunity is, have their heart felt feelings go out to the Shoemaker family."
Shoemaker was an army reserve infantry-man and joined the army in 1995.
His family said he loved kids and went from active duty to the reserves to help start a family.