A Fort Carson soldier who drowned when a tank plunged into the Euphrates River has been identified.
Officials say 34 year old Private First Class Jesse A. Givens died when the bank along the river gave way and sent the tank into the water.
Givens was originally from Springfield, Missouri, and part of the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment based at Fort Carson. He lived in Colorado Springs and is survived by his wife, Melissa, who is due to deliver a baby in two months. He also leaves behind his stepson, 5 year old Dakota.
Fort Carson chaplain Jim Bixler had to deliver the news of Givens' death to his family. He says it's a difficult and emotional message. "You are knocking down to their very foundation of the person's life---everything. We don't imagine ourselves as having to tell our children that daddy's not coming back."
"It's a solid and humble reminder of the sacrifices we make and the risks we take on behalf of America," says Lt. Col. Tom Budzyna, Fort Carson spokesperson.
Three other crew members escaped from the tank. Efforts to
revive Givens failed. He is the first member of the unit to die in Iraq.
Six other soldiers from the 3rd Armored Cavalry were injured in
a grenade attack on Thursday. Two of them remain hospitalized. Their names have not been released.
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