News 12 First at 5, June 11, 2007
AUGUSTA, GA -- A salute to a fallen soldier: Monday, family and friends gathered in Augusta from across the world to remember Sgt. First Class Robert Dunham.
He was killed in action late last month after a roadside bomb in Iraq hit his Humvee.
SFC Dunham was remembered, as a man, who loved the Lord, loved his family, loved people, and loved serving his country.
A grand processional Monday, was held to guide family from Atlanta, Florida, Arkansas, Maryland and service members from all over the world into Augusta to celebrate a fallen American hero, SFC Robert Dunham.
Master Sgt. Lewis Brown worked with Dunham at Fort Gordon. "Words, I tell you at this time you’re so emotional. Once upon hearing it I had goose bumps."
It was hard to learn a fellow soldier would not be coming home, a hard realization for his church family as well.
"It's been very traumatic for us. It's been very painful for us. Of course we are very, very sorrowful because we knew he had gone away but we never expected him not to come home," says Restoration Ministries International Member Theressa Cooper.
His home-going celebration started on a high note as the choir brought family and friends to their feet, lifting their hands and voices and lifting Dunham's life and his legacy to God.
"The bible says to be absent from the body, is to be present with the Lord. So real life for Robert yet lives on," words spoken by RMI Minister Dr. Michael Mitchell.
His legacy will also live on through his five sons and through music.
Music ministry was his passion. A wreath now sits in front of the band near the same keyboard he loved to play.
"He was a gifted and talented musician and he played at practically every service so every service that he's missing makes an impact on us," adds Cooper.
It’s a loss felt by all who knew him and even those who didn't; an emotional farewell to a man who truly gave his all.
"Our faith lets us know even though he's not with us in the natural we will see him again," says Cooper.
Another memorial service will be held Wednesday at Fort Gordon for SFC Dunham. His body will then be flown to Arkansas where he will be laid to rest.