Army Spc. Scott A. Andrews
Died June 21, 2010 serving during Operation Enduring Freedom
21, of Fall River, Mass.; assigned to the 618th Engineer Support Company, 27th Engineer Battalion, 20th Engineer Brigade, Fort Bragg, N.C.; died June 21 at Forward Operating Base Lagman, Zabul province, Afghanistan, of injuries sustained when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.
(The following was taken from www.bostonherald.com of July 4, 2010) FALL RIVER - The sounds of Independence Day had nothing to do with firecrackers yesterday.
Rather it was the rhythmic shuffle of an Honor Guard’s boots, echoing up and down a hushed neighborhood street, that brought home the true meaning of this national holiday.
A squad of young paratroopers carried the silver casket of 21-year-old Army Spc. Scott Anthony Andrews into the church, where his mother offered daily prayers to the Blessed Mother for her youngest son’s protection.
The Rev. Edward Murphy pointed out that early on the morning of June 21, Jo-Ann Mello was on her knees inside the chapel at Holy Name Parish, “deep in conversation with Mary,” on the day an IED buried along a road in Afghanistan claimed her son.
“There is no such thing as a successful life without sacrifice,” the priest reminded Scott’s mother. “And the Purple Heart given to you signifies only one thing - and that is sacrifice.”
A swarm of dignitaries led by Gov. Deval Patrick and Sens. John Kerry and Scott Brown bore witness to the hard truth of the priest’s words. They came to Holy Name yesterday to honor a Fall River boy who had just turned 21 on Father’s Day.
Scott Andrews’ modest dream was that the Army would provide him with the training and skills he desired to be a diesel mechanic.
“We live in a violent and uncertain world,” Murphy told the congregation. For those seeking consolation, the priest offered the Gospel words of John, which held out the promise of “many dwelling places in my Father’s house.”
“Scott is truly at home with the savior,” Murphy said, standing just a few feet away from the large portrait of a beaming Scott Andrews, his Army beret worn with all pride and rakishness of a paratrooper.
The boy who began fixing things when he was 9, whose career at Durfee High School finally culminated with a GED, was eulogized as a “son, brother, friend, soldier, paratrooper . . . and hero” by the commanding officer of Ft. Bragg, Lt. Gen. Frank Helmick.
Helmick led an Airborne contingent up from South Carolina and presented Andrews’ parents with three posthumous citations: the Bronze Star, Purple Heart and NATO Medal.
After praising Andrews as a soldier “who fulfilled all the tenets of The Soldier’s Creed, and risked everything in defense of his country,” Lt. Gen. Helmick posed the question: “How do we make sense of this?” The answer he settled upon was: “Heaven needed Spc. Scott Andrews more that day. Heaven has another paratrooper in the ranks.”
Linda Owens of Fall River knew that her friend Jo-Ann Mello could understand that. Owens did not know Scott Andrews, but once traveled to a remote village in Herzegovina called Medjugorje, with his mother, as part of a pilgrimage to a spot where many believe Mary is present.
“I can’t begin to imagine how her heart has been torn apart,” Linda said of her friend, “but the serenity you see in her is a tribute to her great faith. You see, Jo-Ann understands she will see her son again. Our lives here are not all there is. The Blessed Mother will reunite them one day.”