Otter, Senate honor five fallen Idaho soldiers

Gov. Butch Otter returned to the Senate where he presided for 14 years to honor five Idaho service members who lost their lives last year. Otter sat on the dais next to Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who presided over the debate on Senate Concurrent Resolution 124.

Families packed the VIP gallery as Sens. Jim Patrick of Twin Falls, Dean Cameron of Rupert, John Tippets of Montpelier, Shawn Keough of Sandpoint and Russ Fulcher of Boise spoke to memorialize the soldiers  who came from their legislative districts.

The service members, all killed in Afghanistan, are:  U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Daniel J. Brown, 27; U.S. Army Sergeant Chris J. Workman, 33; U.S. Army Private First Class Cody O. Moosman, 24; U.S. Army Specialist Ethan J. Martin, 22; and U.S. Army Private First Class Shane G. Wilson, 20.

Of Wilson, Fulcher said he wanted to be a infantryman from a young age. “He was a humble young man, he was fiercely loyal,” he said.

Sen. Marv Hagedorn, a 20-year Navy veteran who has two children serving now, spoke with emotion about his lost colleagues and the sacrifices they made in the name of freedom.

Then, looking to the families, Hagedorn said, “We are all family in protecting those freedoms and I thank you for that sacrifice.”

After the unanimous vote for SCR 124, the Senate stood to applaud the families. A reception followed in Otter’s office.

Dan Popkey came to Idaho in 1984 to work as a police reporter. Since 1987, he has covered politics and has reported on 25 sessions of the Legislature. Dan has a bachelor's in political science from Santa Clara University and a master's in journalism from Columbia University. He was a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association and a Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan. A former page in the U.S. House of Representatives, he graduated Capitol Page High School in 1976. In 2007, he led the Statesman’s coverage of the Sen. Larry Craig sex scandal, which was one of three Pulitzer Prize finalists in breaking news. In 2003, he won the Ted M. Natt First Amendment award from the Pacific Northwest Newspaper Association for coverage of University Place, the University of Idaho’s troubled real estate development in Boise. Dan helped start the community reading project "Big Read." He has two children in college and lives on the Boise Bench with an old gray cat.

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