Another soldier from northeast Iowa has reportedly been killed in the war on terror. Reports say 21-year-old Army Specialist Stephen Daniel Shannon of Guttenberg was killed Wednesday in Iraq, though details of his death haven’t been released. Jennifer Meyer, of Guttenberg, was a childhood friend of Shannon.
Meyer says "Stephen was a good person. He was a great friend. He was just so loving and adventurous. He liked to have good times with friends." Shannon was a 2003 graduate of Clayton Ridge High School and had attended the University of Northern Iowa.
Meyer says she still remembers the last time she spoke to Shannon. She says "I just wished him luck and told him to be safe and take care of himself and told him I’d see him when he got back." Guttenberg is a town of about 23-hundred in northeast Iowa’s Clayton County. Donna Witham, a family friend, says it’s the kind of town where everybody knows everybody and a death like this has a far-reaching impact.
Witham says "You start thinking about your own children and you want to grab them and hug them. That’s kinda’ why I called every one of my children today and told them that I loved them." She says Shannon had a great sense of humor and always treated everyone with respect. He loved the movie "Star Wars" and his college, UNI.
Shannon was a wrestler in high school and members of the Clayton Ridge wrestling team will reportedly have his initials sewn on their uniforms as a tribute. The team will also call for a moment of silence before tonight’s meet against Elkader. Witham says Shannon had joined the military because he wanted to help people.
Witham says "I think he died doing what he thought was right, fighting for his country. We’re all going to miss him." Reports say Shannon had deployed to Iraq in August or September. Family members plan to release a statement soon. The military is expected to officially confirm Shannon’s death sometime today.