This is Gary Long, a former Lamar County sergeant, and I’m still working with our military in Afghanistan. My partner is Sgt. First Class Jeffrey Hackett with the U.S. Army 10th Mountain Division, 3-71 CAV out of Fort Drum, N.Y.I was assigned and worked with Sgt. Hackett and together we were mentoring and advising the Afghanistan police chief in Kandahar Province. Sgt. Hackett went out to an Improvised Explosive Device blast site and stepped on a secondary IED. Sgt. Hackett lost his right leg above the knee and his right arm was severely damaged in the explosion. He also received major damage to the right side of his torso. It would speak volumes for the citizens of Lamar County to at least send their thoughts and prayers as well as cards, letters and care packages. This solider came to the call of our country and never hesitated to risk it all for our freedom. Unfortunately he has paid a major sacrifice in doing so and is suffering for it now. Sgt. Hackett is not only my partner but had become a true friend to me. The address to Sgt. Hackett’s hospital room is: SSFC Jeffrey Hackett, Tranquility Hall, 8901 Wisconsin Ave., Bldg. 62, Room B312E, WRNMMC, Bethesda, Md., 20889-5600.
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