2005 Regular Session
By: Senator(s) Pickering, Browning, Butler, Carmichael, Dawkins, Dearing, Frazier, Gollott, Hewes, Hyde-Smith, Jackson (11th), Jackson (15th), Jackson (32nd), King, Kirby, Lee (35th), Little, Mettetal, Moffatt, Ross, Thames, White, Wilemon
A CONCURRENT RESOLUTION REMEMBERING THE GALLANT SERVICE AND COMMENDING THE LIFE OF SPECIALIST JOSEPH ANDREW "DREW" RAHAIM OF LAUREL, MISSISSIPPI, WHO WAS A COMBAT CASUALTY IN IRAQ ON FEBRUARY 16, 2005, AND EXPRESSING THE SYMPATHY OF THE LEGISLATURE.
WHEREAS, Specialist Joseph Andrew "Drew" Rahaim, 22, of Laurel, Mississippi, was killed on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, in a vehicle accident while on combat duty in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, carried by a military honor guard, he came home to his community and family, as the American flag in downtown Laurel City Hall was lowered to half-mast in honor of the city's first fallen as a result of the Iraq War; and
WHEREAS, Specialist Rahaim was a member of Detachment 1, Company A, out of Mendenhall, Mississippi, which is attached to the 155th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, which includes 3,500 soldiers from Mississippi and others from Vermont and Arkansas. He was one of two Mississippi Army National Guard soldiers to die in the same accident; Drew, along with Sergeant Timothy Osbey of Magnolia, Mississippi, were the third and fourth members of the unit to die in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, Drew is the 23rd soldier or sailor with Mississippi ties to die in the war in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, Specialist Rahaim is the seventh Mississippi National Guard soldier to give his life in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, during his funeral, Specialist Rahaim was awarded the Bronze Star and the Mississippi Medal of Valor posthumously by Major General Harold Cross, Adjutant of Mississippi; and
WHEREAS, Drew's family and friends remember him as a witty, charming young man and a tough, dedicated soldier who loved the outdoors and military life; Drew loved his country and he wanted to serve; and
WHEREAS, he was originally from Jackson, Mississippi, and moved to Laurel to enroll at Jones County Junior College in the forestry program after he had already joined the military; his brigade underwent training at Camp Shelby and left for the Middle East in January 2005; and
WHEREAS, Specialist Rahaim comes from a long line of military people. His grandfather and three great-uncles served with American forces during World War II; and
WHEREAS, his family has received an outpouring of grief and support from across the state, demonstrating the community's acknowledgment of the sacrifice made by the Mississippi National Guard; and
WHEREAS, he is survived by his mother, Cheryl Walters Rahaim of Snellville, Georgia; his father, Donald M. Rahaim of Knoxville, Tennessee; his sister, Erin Daniele Rahaim of Hattiesburg, Mississippi; grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. D.E. Walters of Snellville, Georgia; aunts and uncles, Mr. and Mrs. Jim McCammon, Tim and Rose Yancy of Jackson, and Ed and Susan Ritchey of Laurel, Mississippi; great-aunt Mollie Rahaim Kennedy of Laurel; great-uncles, Colonel Mazick Rahaim (retired) of Columbus, Georgia, and Ernest Rahaim of Laurel; and a host of cousins. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Milheim and Gladys Rahaim of Laurel; and
WHEREAS, to a country, a fallen soldier means a national loss; to a community, a fallen soldier means a true hero; to a parent, a fallen soldier means a son who won't be coming home. Mississippians understand the costs of conflict because we have paid them in the past, and it is with great pride and humility that we recognize the heroic action of this great American and Mississippian, who was the guardian of civilization as we know it today:
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI, THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING THEREIN, That we do hereby remember the gallant service and commend the life of Specialist Joseph Andrew "Drew" Rahaim of Laurel, Mississippi, who was killed in action in Iraq on Wednesday, February 16, 2005, and extend the thoughts and prayers of the Legislature to his family and our sorrow on his passing.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That this resolution be presented to the surviving family of Specialist Rahaim and be made available to members of the Capitol Press Corps.