Fallen Student Lived His Dream Of Serving His Country

Roberta Jones was Shane Childers' high school art teacher. Her own son is nearly the same age as the 30 year Marine, so Childers sudden death hits close to home.

"It's very discomforting but also I'm very sad for his family and very proud of him cause he did so well when he went off and then he's grown up to be quite a young man that Mississippi can be proud of," says Jones.

Another teacher remembers Childers as someone who knew what he wanted to do with his life. Charlotte Arledge says, "He came from a military background and he just wanted to be a Marine."

Childers signed up for ROTC in 10th grade.

"There are more than just Shane involved in this fight. A number of my students have gone through ROTC and selected to go into the service. We're represented in the Middle East in all branches of the armed forces by former students and I have a number of kids over there that I'm worried about," says instructor Morey Butler.

Now that he's gone, Childers' drafting teacher is glad she kept a cherished memento from him, a Christmas card he sent her in 1993 from Washington. Sheryl Moran read from the card. "Just wanted to wish you and your family a Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays. Thank you Miss Moran and he signed it Shane. Just to let me know that he was doing fine and to let me know what he was doing so it makes me very proud cause I know that's what he wanted to do."

That's the comfort that helps Moran and Childers' other teachers accept his death, that he died living his dream of being a Marine.

Childers graduated from Harrison Central High School in 1990. He enslisted in the Marines and went on to The Citadel in South Carolina. At the time of his death, Childers was a lieutenant assigned to the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division in Camp Pendleton, California.