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Archive for Monday, March 20, 2006

N.W. Missouri family to lead walk for soldiers’ memorials

March 20, 2006

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— A northwest Missouri family plans to lead a 5-kilometer walk to raise money for a statue to honor a family member killed in Iraq and hopes to receive enough funds for memorials for other slain soldiers.

Patrick and Deann Farnan will lead a "Walk to Remember" in Weston on Saturday. The route, which will begin at the Weston City Hall, will be lined with posters with the life stories and pictures of soldiers from Kansas and Missouri who have been killed in Afghanistan or Iraq. The entry fee is $25.

The Farnans' only son, Spc. Colby M. Farnan, was killed in Iraq on Feb. 25, 2005, after fewer than 10 days in that country. Farnan was killed when a bomb detonated near his patrol.

The Farnans want to raise the $5,500 for a bronze Battlefield Cross statue and granite base for a memorial to their son.

The statue depicts empty boots in front of a rifle stuck in the ground holding a helmet and dog tags, and the Farnans also hope to raise money for memorials for other soldiers.

The granite base for Colby Farnan's memorial will have the words, "To all who served, some gave all" etched on the front with his name on the back.

"This is a lot more than raising money and a statue. It's about that person," Patrick Farnan said.

Colby Farnan joined the Army in 2000 and was stationed in Korea and at Fort Riley before going to Iraq with a field artillery unit.

"Colby was an absolutely stellar soldier," said Sgt. 1st Class David Wells, who was in charge of Colby's artillery battery. "His peers looked up to him. He was one of those all-around good guys that people liked to have around."

The Farnans oppose the war but say they support the troops. They have organized letter-writing campaigns to boost troop morale and have sent care packages.

"These are young men and women," Patrick Farnan said. "Sons and daughters, husbands and wives, real people who have a lot to give, but that was taken from them. We know how deeply people miss them."

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