Woman hopes to honor fallen soldiers with stamp

Thursday, April 24th 2008, 5:49 pm
By: News 9

By Melissa Maynarich, NEWS 9

Thousands of soldiers have been deployed to Iraq, and not all have returned, but now an Oklahoma woman is trying to garner support for a stamp she's created honoring our fallen soldiers.

Tina Bates lost her bother, Sgt. William "Billy" Bushnell, to the war in Iraq. Bates described her brother as a young man and wonderful uncle to his nieces.

"He would come home, you know, most 22-year-old want to run around with their friends, and he would take the girls to the movies or do something special just with them," Bates said.

Bushnell was deployed on his second tour ouversees to Iraq in November 2006.

The young soldier had been their for 5 months when he left his sister a message on her answering machine.

"Hey Tina. This is Billy. I was just calling to talk, say hi real quick. But I love y'all. Tell the girls I miss them and I love them," Bushnell said.

The message was left on the last full day of Bushnell's life. He died in combat April 21, 2007.

"People lost their family members everyday, but to now know what kind of condition they're going to get your family member back in," Bates said. "The wait, the wait is horrible."

The pain is what inspired Tina to create the stamp for every fallen soldier that has fought for our coutry, since it's inception.

"It's not just for my brother. It's for everybody. I have a good friend who lives in Lawton and she lost her dad to the Vietnam," Bates said. "It's for her. It's for everyone that's ever lost anybody to any war, ever."

The stamp is not in circulation yet, but Tina said she will continue to write letters to the Postal Committee hoping that one day her words will make an impression.