Army Spc. Blaine E. Redding
Died June 07, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
22, of Plattsmouth, Neb.; assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 327th Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault), Fort Campbell, Ky.; died June 7 in Konar, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when enemy forces attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device. Also killed in the attack were Sgt. Joshua A. Lukeala, Spc. Matthew R. Catlett, and Spc. Charles S. Jirtle.
(The following was taken from www.journalstar.com of June 9, 2010) The parents, bride of three months and mother-in-law of a young Plattsmouth man waited under overcast skies at Delaware's Dover Air Force Base on Wednesday morning as caskets were carried off a C-17 Air Force transport airplane.
Their soldier, Army Spc. Blaine E. Redding, was coming home after just a month in Afghanistan.
Redding, 22, was killed Monday when his truck hit a roadside bomb near Kandahar, his family says. Military officials have yet to release details of the incident.
Four other soldiers -- including two of Redding's close friends -- died in the blast as well.
In Dover on Wednesday, Theresa Redding waited for her son's remains, watching an Army carry team remove flag-draped caskets from the cargo plane.
Three of the caskets held the remains of three servicemen, including Redding, who have yet to be officially identified.
"There's so much sadness and despair when you're standing there watching them," said Theresa Redding, who now lives in Elmwood. "I don't know what we're going to do without him."
Blaine Redding's younger brother is still a soldier.
Both members of the 101st Airborne Division, the Reddings were stationed less than an hour from each other in Afghanistan.
Wednesday evening, Pvt. Logan Redding, 19, was somewhere between Kuwait and the U.S., his parents said.
He flew to Kuwait with his brother's remains, but he had to wait there while the casket made its way to Dover.
"So I'm doing the hardest duty of all," Logan Redding wrote on his Facebook page, "not even the duty of a soldier, but I will soldier on as a brother in arms, and a brother proud of all Blaine has ever done."
Both parents said Logan Redding looked up to his brother.
"He lost his best friend," their mother said in a telephone interview with the Journal Star.
"Blaine was always the leader and Logan was always Blaine's crash test dummy. They were very adventurous. They were a lot of fun."
Logan has stayed strong, his mother said.
So has Nikki Redding, who married Blaine Redding March 13.
The couple -- who met near Fort Campbell, Ky., where he was stationed -- had planned to have children. They were friends first, and they married less than a year after they started dating.
The wedding was in an old brick building with hardwood floors, Theresa Redding said.
"It was very simple and very tasteful, and it was just family and close friends. ... They were so excited to get married."
Nikki Redding's mother, Gina Cotton, flew from Tennessee to Dover with her daughter.
"I love them," Theresa Redding said of Nikki's family. "My daughter-in-law is like one of my best friends.
"She's holding on. She's very strong."
Nikki Redding is studying to become a teacher.
Blaine Redding, who earned his GED in Plattsmouth, was hoping his military career could help him enroll in college, too.
He came from two military families, said Blaine A. Redding, his dad, who now lives in Lincoln.
"He loved what he did in the Army."
Arrangements for Redding's services are pending. The family plans to have his memorial in Plattsmouth.
"He was pretty much indescribable," his mother said. "He was a priceless personality. ... He was very energetic and strong and just very loyal and just a very sweet person.
"I'm his mom, so naturally I think that of him -- but everyone thought that of him."