Fallen Soldier Sent a Special Message to His Family

June 3, 2008 7:28:00 PM PDT
Friends, family, and the entire Merced community said goodbye, to a local soldier. Sergeant Frank Gasper died May 25th when his military vehicle hit a roadside bomb in Iraq.Sergeant Frank Gasper was just 25 years old and already serving his fourth tour of duty overseas when he was killed. His family members say gasper loved being a soldier, but he made special videos for them in case the war cost him his life.

Soulful music filled the apostolic tabernacle church, along with hundreds of people who came to mourn the loss and celebrate the life of Sergeant Frank Gasper.

Anita Richards, Mother: "They would call him Gasparticus. And the interpretation of that is only the strong can call themselves warriors."

Gasper's mother shared sentimental, and sometimes silly, stories about the many ways her son left imprints on her heart.

Anita Richards: "The time he entered the rodeo just to prove that eight seconds was not that long, he left an imprint."

Gasper's wife Breanna read a letter to her late husband during the service.

Breanna Gasper, Wife: "I knew when we first met, you were my soul mate."

The couple was in the process of adopting his god-son when Gasper was killed by a roadside bomb at the start of his fourth tour in Iraq.

Breanna Gasper, Wife: "My world was shattered the day God took you. Even though you are gone, I feel you all around me, and I know you're watching over me."

Those closest to Gasper say he served his country with courage, but also knew he might not make it home alive.

He made two videos in case he was killed in the line of duty and set them both to songs meant to comfort his loved ones.

Out at the burial site, much more somber sounds filled the air. Gasper was given full military honors and laid to rest next to his father as his friends and family said their final farewells.

Jay Ruiz, Friend: "He's always been the type of person that if he did something, he was going to do it wholeheartedly. And he's my hero because knowing him and knowing the type of person he was, I couldn't thank God for a better hero."

Some of the soldiers from Sergeant Gasper's unit flew back from Iraq for his funeral services. Gasper was awarded several medals during his six years in the army, but his goal was to be the first in his family to become a Green Beret.


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