Capt. Gregory T. Dalessio's mission was successful.
On June 23, the Cherry Hill native was working a security detail for his commander, Army Lt. Col. Michael Shrout, when their group was attacked by small-arms fire near Baghdad.
In an e-mail sent from Iraq and recounted at Dalessio's funeral yesterday, Shrout said Dalessio gave his life in the line of duty, crediting him with saving his life.
Hundreds of mourners, including Gov. Corzine, attended the funeral, at which Dalessio was awarded the Purple Heart and Bronze Star for his actions.
"There are few things left in the world that can't be measured, but Greg's love for his family remains one of them," said his brother Nick Pagano. "We will be eternally grateful for the love Greg gave to his family, his friends and his country."
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The Rev. Tom Newton, pastor at St. Peter Celestine, talked about Dalessio's last moments. He said Dalessio's mother was concerned that her son might have died alone.
Newton said he learned that Shrout went to Dalessio after he fell. Newton said Dalessio asked his commander to "tell me that I am loved."
"Greg, I love you," Shrout answered.
Friday, July 4, 2008
I need to go watch shit blow up, but I wanted to share this little snippet from a finely written Troy Graham article in the Philly Inquirer: