Vermont Governor Jim Douglas was on hand, as was Senator James Jeffords. Jeffords said he'd come to know Gilbert personally because of his commitment to serve. He said Gilbert had sought his help after being initially rejected from the military for medical reasons.
(Jeffords) "It was an emotion I'd never had before, to fight so hard to get somebody into war. And then to have the experience of that individual killed in active duty just brings all things into turmoil. The fight - was it worth it to get him in? But you know it was what he wanted. And he's a hero in my mind. But it really raises questions again, why we're there."
Gilbert was the kind of guy who you would expect to be wearing the silver wings of the Airborne on his chest. He was a great athlete, earning a black belt in karate as a teen. He loved snowboarding and snowmobiling. He was a whiz when it came to working on cars. He was hardworking and resourceful and Vermont to the core. And he wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Robert, who served with the Army's Special Forces.
The 82nd is the Army's elite infantry division, ready to go at a moment's notice to where the action is. It was exactly where Kyle Gilbert wanted to be.
Gilbert graduated from Brattleboro Union High School in June 2001 and went straight from there to basic training at Fort Benning, Ga. He was fresh out of the Infantry School and set to begin airborne training when the Sept. 11 attacks happened. It only deepened his intensity to serve.
Best New Blog finalist - 2003 Koufax Awards
A non-violent, counter-dominant, left-liberal, possibly charismatic, quasi anarcho-libertarian Quaker's take on politics, volleyball, and other esoterica.
Lo alecha ha-m'lacha ligmor, v'lo atah ben chorin l'hibateyl mimenah.