Gov. Butch Otter returned to the Senate where he presided for 14 years to honor five Idaho service members who lost their lives in Afghanistan last year. Otter sat on the dais next to Lt. Gov. Brad Little, who presided over the debate on Senate Concurrent Resolution 124.
Families packed the VIP gallery as GOP Sens. Jim Patrick of Twin Falls, Dean Cameron of Rupert, John Tippets of Montpelier, Shawn Keough of Sandpoint and Russ Fulcher of Boise spoke to memorialize the soldiers who came from their legislative districts.
The honored service members: U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel J. Brown, 27; U.S. Army Sgt. Chris J. Workman, 33; U.S. Army Pfc. Cody O. Moosman, 24; U.S. Army Spc. Ethan J. Martin, 22; and U.S. Army Pfc. Shane G. Wilson, 20.
Of Wilson, Fulcher said he wanted to be a infantryman from a young age. "He was a humble young man, he was fiercely loyal," he said.
Sen. Marv Hagedorn, a 20-year Navy veteran who has two children now serving, spoke with emotion about his lost colleagues and the sacrifices they made in the name of freedom.
Then, looking to the families, Hagedorn said, "We are all family in protecting those freedoms and I thank you for that sacrifice."
After the unanimous vote for SCR 124, the Senate stood to applaud the families. A reception followed in Otter's office.
Dan Popkey: 377-6438, Twitter: @IDS_politics