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Dec-06-2009 21:49printcomments

Roadside Bomb in Afghanistan Kills Vancouver, Washington Soldier

The family asks that others please pray for our brave young men and women, and their families, who risk their lives to try to keep us safe at home.

Recent family photo of Elijah Rao
Recent family photo of Elijah Rao

(VANCOUVER, Wash.) - "The words you never want to hear from a military officer or policeman. We heard them today."

That is how the family of Elijah Rao began their post on a blog Saturday. Elijah Rao and his family paid the nation's ultimate sacrifice in Afghanistan when a roadside bomb planted by terrorists snatched his life away this weekend.

"We were informed by the military today our older son, Specialist Elijah Rao, was killed by an IED earlier today in Afghanistan. His convoy was stopped at the site of an explosion. Elijah stepped out of the humvee and within moments, another IED was detonated, taking Elijah out."

His family member writing the post, says the news is something they have feared for years. Elijah had already successfully completed several combat tours.

"Elijah survived two tours in Iraq and then Afghanistan. He was scheduled to come home in January on leave and then come home for good in May."

His family says Elijah will be remembered as an incredible, gentle, bright, loving person. They say the news of his loss, "hits really, really hard."

This soldier had a wife and a one-year old at home. His family says the coming week will be very difficult.

"We were visited by two incredible Army officers earlier today and spent most of this evening with another. We have a lot of grief and ceremony to move through this week, and beyond."

The family says they will continue to cry and mourn the loss of this young American soldier, and they want people to know what a fine and honorable and beloved person, Elijah was.

Special thanks to

And special thanks to Q Madp and, where you can find an endless amount of information about those who are lost while serving at war.

You can write to Tim King at

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Morey Marks December 8, 2009 1:37 pm (Pacific time)

I profoundly grieve with you on the loss of your son. Even though I did not know Elijah personally, I absolutely understand what a fine young man he was. His bravery, heroism and compassion will never be forgotten by me or my family. May God bless and comfort you during the difficult times ahead. Elijah, my humble and heartfelt gratitude to you for your service and sacrifice, brave soldier. You are a True American Hero! Morey Marks father of Spc. Taylor D. Marks, KIA, August 28, 2009 Rashid, Iraq

william keith britton December 8, 2009 5:59 am (Pacific time)

God bless you son, rest in peace.

Frank Rao December 7, 2009 8:12 pm (Pacific time)

I would like to thank the each and everyone for all your thoughtful, heartfelt good wishes and prayers. My son was a special young man and I am very proud of my son Elijah. He will live on forever in our hearts. In Elijah's own words "Don't worry Dad...I'll be coming home". Now he is home...RIP my son. Your Loving Father Frank Rao

Jeff Crowe December 7, 2009 3:05 pm (Pacific time)

I am Leahs uncle from Ohio. I am so sorry to here about Elijah. He was an AMERICAN HERO and will never be forgotten. My Prayers are with you and Leah. staff: We are very sorry for your loss.

Mike December 7, 2009 3:54 am (Pacific time)

Rest in peace brave soldier.

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Sean Flynn was a photojournalist in Vietnam, taken captive in 1970 in Cambodia and never seen again.