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Halifax County Teen Prepares Tribute For Soldiers Killed In Iraq

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Austin Lasure, cross tribute, Iraq soldiers killed, memorial
LITTLETON, N.C. — More than 1,500 American troops have lost their lives in Iraq. A young Halifax County man wants to honor each of them, and a memorial of simple white crosses could soon be on display for everyone to see.

"The message I'm trying to present is one that honors them, respects them and shows them how much I support them," said Austin Lasure, an army recruit who is preparing hundreds of white crosses for a tribute. "I am grateful that they are willing to give the ultimate sacrifice for our country."

Lasure said when he finishes making the crosses, the crosses will be placed along Highway 158 in Littleton. Each cross will be bear one name of those soldiers killed in Iraq according to the government's official causality list.

"Some here are as young as eighteen," Lasure said. "Some here are in their forties."

For Lasure, the tribute has meaning in more ways than one.

His father was in the Special Forces and retired after 24 years of service.

"I can't name one person in my family who wasn't in the military," Lasure said.

Lasure also will leave for basic training in a couple of weeks.

"Basically, I'm dating the military," Lasure said. "I [plan] to make a career of it...I plan to stay in until they kick me out."

Lasure said he hopes to finish the tribute before is called to duty.

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