Brook friend remembers fallen soldier

Published 6:40 pm Friday, October 22, 2010

He made his friends in the heat of electronic combat on a videogame console. He died protecting his country in the heat of realcombat in Afghanistan.

U.S. Army Sgt. Eric C. Newman, a 30-year-old soldier fromWaynesboro, was killed by an improvised explosive device at AkatzaiKalay on Oct. 14, and will be laid to rest in his hometown atHebron United Methodist Church Cemetery Saturday morning. Thewarrior’s viewing will be held Friday from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Though an entire county and state are in sadness over his death,Newman’s pride in life was distributing happiness, saidBrookhaven’s Cara Fulps, 25, a former classmate fromWaynesboro.

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“That was the main thing about him – he just wanted every to behappy, no matter what,” she said. “He was really outgoing, funnyand loyal. He was a really good person, a good friend.”

Fulps said she and Newman were “self-described nerds,” havingdeveloped their friendship playing the Halo series of Xbox videogames at Newman’s house with friends after school. He went on tobecome a policeman after graduation before joining the Army in2006.

Newman was in the midst of his second tour when he died last week,having originally served in Iraq. In Afghanistan, he was deployedwith the 1st Squadron, 38th Cavalry Regiment, 525th BattlefieldSurveillance Brigade, XVIII Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg,N.C.

“He really loved the Army,” Fulps said. “He received his parachutebadge. I guess that’s what he always wanted to do – jump out ofplanes.”

According to the website Freedom Remembered, Newman was therecipient of the Bronze Star Medal, Purple Heart, Army CommendationMedal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, NationalDefense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, ArmyService Ribbon, Overseas Service Ribbon, NATO Medal, CombatInfantryman’s Badge and Parachute Badge.

An honor line for Newman led by a hundred motorcycles was held inWaynesboro Thursday, with hundreds coming to pay their respects andAmerican flags “everywhere you could stick one,” Fulps said.

“He would be proud,” she said.

Newman is survived by his wife, Chariday, whom he married on April1, 2009; his stepdaughter, Larissa Leigh; his mother, Diane; andsister, Kim.