Thursday, October 9, 2003

Delhi infantryman remembered as a hero



By Reid Forgrave
The Cincinnati Enquirer

DELHI TWP. - Brothers Eddie and Jimmy Wright shared a passion - cars.

After Eddie, now 29, graduated from Oak Hills High School and his brother was still in school, they each got low-riding trucks. Eddie painted the trucks, and together they outfitted them with extras.

Wednesday evening, a beige Porsche 911 was parked in front of the Vitt, Stermer and Anderson Funeral Home on Delhi Pike.

Eddie Wright had painted onto its hood a memorial to his brother, James Christopher Wright, a member of the 4th Army Infantry from Fort Hood, Texas, who died in Iraq three weeks ago during an ambush near the Tigris River.

On the hood is an image of Jimmy Wright, known simply as "Dawg." Below it reads, "Killed in Action, September 18, 2003."

More than 100 friends and family gathered Wednesday and remembered him as: a brother who enjoyed riding BMX bikes and loved to laugh, an uncle who once bought his niece an Easter bunny larger than she was, a dedicated Marine and outgoing soldier who served valiantly in Bosnia, Greece, Turkey, Italy and, finally, Iraq.

"When Jimmy died," Eddie said, "he was doing something he loved. I'm proud of my brother. He's a hero."

A soldier who was with him at the time told his family that Jimmy died while firing at several men who had ambushed Jimmy's fleet of a half-dozen Humvees.

Bouquets of flowers and dozens of pictures of Jimmy were scattered about the funeral home Wednesday, including one of him sitting in a gaudy chair that allegedly belonged to Saddam.

The family said the west-side community has rallied around them, with more than 400 people attending a benefit dinner and silent auction for Jimmy's wife and unborn son, who will be named Jamison Edward Wright.

"Jimmy knew the dangers he faced, but he never backed down," the Rev. Thomas King of Guardian Angels Church in Mount Washington said during the short prayer service. "Jesus said, 'There is no greater sacrifice than laying down your life for another.' Like Jesus, Jimmy practiced what he preached. And now, Jimmy shares in Christ's victory of life after death."

E-mail rforgrave@enquirer.com




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