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One hero laid to rest, another struggling for life

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ERIC CORNELISON
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ELLIS COUNTY - Red Oak Missionary Baptist Church was the site of one lost hero's burial while another lies in Boston struggling against cancer.

U.S. Army Sgt. Chadrick Omar Domino lost his life in Iraq on Memorial Day, the day we as citizens remember the soldiers who gave their lives for our freedom.

Another soldier, with ties to Ellis County, lay in a Boston hospital fighting cancer, but getting honored by his fellow Marines.

Domino found his last stop in the sanctuary, where family, friends and mourners filled the seats to give their thanks for his life and sacrifice.

Domino graduated from Ennis High School in 2002 and was the seventh Ellis County resident to pay the ultimate price for freedom, his life.

Joined by Patriot Guard Riders, who were there on hand doing what they always do for fallen soldiers, and dignitaries from the Pen- continued from page 1
tagon, U.S. government and city, Omar's flag-draped coffin sat in the church while others told of him as a man and as a soldier.

U.S. Rep. Louie Gohmert spoke of the relationship between Domino and his sister then presented her with a flag which had flown over the U.S. capitol saying, 'We present this to you for his dedicated service which made the world a safer place.'

'We thank Chadrick for giving fully,' Gohmert continued.

Major General Jeff Sorenson was on hand to give a few words from the Pentagon saying Sgt. Domino lived the words of the soldier's motto and Domino had thought of others more than he had thought of himself.

Another man presented the family with a flag which had flown at Camp Stryker in Iraq and described Domino as his American hero.

Reverend Gary Chalk spoke those famous words from the Book of John, 'Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for another.'

With more than 3,500 killed and 25,000 wounded in Iraq, some are not sure whether the war was worth any more sacrifices, but on this day, a man such as Domino gave what most of us would never consider giving.

On the east coast, a season of commencement was being conducted in an unusual graduation ceremony.

A contingent of Marines gathered at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center to stand watch over one of its own as he received his diploma.

Col. Keith Cieri was joined by his family, including Ellis County's own Sharolyn Dawn, former advertising manager at The Ellis County Press, as he received a master's of arts in national security and strategic studies from the Naval War College in Newport, R.I.

The Marines came to Col. Cieri because he was not able to walk across the stage in Newport this week.

Col. Cieri was earning his degree while going through chemotherapy and other treatments for a rare case of biliary cancer.

The cancer was advancing and the last month was tough, but according to Col. Norm Cooling, Cieri did everything the other soldiers did to complete his degree. Dawn, Cieri's mother said, 'He was touch and go there for a while, but he is regaining his strength.'

Cieri and Domino know a lot about challenges and many believe the streets of heaven are guarded not just by Marines, but by soldiers who give until they cannot give any longer.

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