Marine Lance Cpl. Corey Little died tragically last week in a helicopter accident on the border of Arizona and California. In a cruel twist of fate, he didn't die at war. Instead he gave his life training for deployment oversees to defend his country.
He died in the most tragic way when his helicopter crashed into another helicopter during maneuvers - a death by friendly fire so-to-speak. His unit was preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. Sadly, he never made it.
Lance Cpl. Little wasn't from here. He was raised in Fayeteville. But his family has roots in Newton County and he spent enough time here with his grandparents Charles and Sylvia Conner and extended family that he earned the right to be a member of our county's family. He spent enough time here to make his loss hit home for our community, and we mourn his loss. He was a hero.
We honor all our brave men and women who are and have been in harm's way to defend the principles of our country.
To have them killed defending a country that has no principles is a travesty and waste of our precious recourses - our young people's lives. We need our military men and women home from Afghanistan. As far as we are concerned there is no reason to shed one more ounce of blood because of it.
To the Conner family, we all owe you a debt of gratitude. Thank you for sharing your grandson with us and God bless you and your family.