World War I grave connects Valley to Belgians attacked by terrorists

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There are several Valley connections to Belgium, the country targeted in Tuesday?s terrorist attacks (KFSN)

There are several Valley connections to Belgium, the country targeted in Tuesday's terrorist attacks: Fresno State professors who left family there to come here and work, soldiers serving at two bases, and Mormons who've served missions there.

For Krista Thys, the first war of the 20th century brought her to the Valley, and now she's caught in the middle of the 21st century's version of war.

About an hour away from the chaos of Tuesday's terrorist attack in Brussels, a Central Valley family's photos visit Flanders Field. The photos rest at the foot of a cross, marking the spot where Orosi native George S. March is buried. There's even a handful of Orosi soil on the grave, courtesy of Belgian sponsor, Krista Thys. In the wake of a new war in her homeland, she's looking for an explanation.

"Next week there is two weeks spring break so they want to scare us so everybody stays home," Thys told Action News via Skype.

March isn't alone as a Valley native on Belgian soil. Airman Kyle Hayes tells us security is increased around his base. The Sanger native is stationed about half an hour away from the bombings.

Among nearly 200 people injured in the attacks were four Mormon missionaries, including three Americans. Fresno's mission president tells us the church takes security seriously, but danger might lurk wherever they go.

"Understand that even as obedient as missionaries might be in obeying all of the laws, all of the things they're asked to do, sometimes these disasters happen," said Jeffrey Clark.

For Belgians, this disaster is personal. But Thys says the country's new graves, filled with the victims of terrorists, will serve as motivation.

"We had a bad day today," she said. "We had a sad day today and we're going to fight back."

Thys is hoping to visit the Central Valley soon and she won't let the terrorists scare her away from using the airports.

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brussels attacksbombingfresno state
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