Clovis Iraq Veteran to be Buried

4/9/2008 Fresno, CA 22-year-old Drew Eischen will be laid to rest Wednesday. His brother Nicholas died last December while serving in Afghanistan. Drew's death was not combat related.

Tuesday, another mother who knows the pain of losing a son spent hours honoring Joey's life in what's become a sad tradition.

Each time a Clovis soldier dies, combat related or not Robin Butterfield gathers up her troops, to tie ribbons along the procession route. Each time they are a different color and there's a special reason why these ones are blue.

Each one is tied with love and care. From the place family and friends will remember Drew Eischen to this final resting place. A heartbreaking journey Robin Butterfield knows from experience. "We're doing from the church to the cemetery. It's probably one of the hardest roads that's just engrained in your memory for the rest of your life," said Butterfield.

One by one from the church on Nees Avenue down Minnewawa to Villa; light blue ribbons line the path. There's meaning behind the color. "We wanted to do something that represents the hope. And we thought about light blue because it's the color of heaven to us and that's where Joey and the boys are," said Butterfield.

The ribbons have become a custom for Butterfield, whose son Anthony died in the Iraq war in 2006. Last summer she tied hundreds of red, white and blue ribbons to honor fallen Clovis soldier Nathan Hubbard.

Butterfield hopes family and friends feel comforted by the ribbons and one other fact. "That this is a community that cares for one another no matter what the reason that this person has died whether it's a little boy that died on the train tracks that this community cares about each other very, very much."

Drew Eischen had recently been released from his service in the army. His cause of death is pending.

Funeral services will begin Wednesday at New Hope Community Church at 11am. He will be buried at the Clovis Cemetery.

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