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Members of Waterford VFW grieve for fallen airmen

Photographs of fallen military men and women line the walls of the Waterford VFW and Auxiliary Post 6573, and soon me...

Posted: Jul 16, 2018 6:24 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2018 6:24 PM

Photographs of fallen military men and women line the walls of the Waterford VFW and Auxiliary Post 6573, and soon members said another photograph will be added.

The Department of Defense announced on Friday that Staff Sergeant and Waterford resident James T. Grotjan died in Germany after non-combat injuries sustained while in the United Arab Emirates on Sunday.

Grotjan's family said on a fundraiser page on Facebook that Staff Sgt. Grotjan was exposed to methane gas.

Auxiliary President, Gail Gagnier said she will try to meet with the Grotjan family soon.

"We don't want them to feel they have to deal with this by themselves," said Gagnier. "We want to let them know that there are people here that are willing to help them."

Gagnier told Channel 3 on Friday that she knows nothing she can say to the family will ease their pain immediately, but she said she does know what they are going through.

Gagnier's husband Arthur was a casualty of the Vietnam War. She said he came home then but passed ago three years ago from complications tied to Agent Orange.

"I have to keep a hold of my emotions because I don't want the hole that I have in my heart to open up," said Gagnier.

"And then my sorrow comes out."

Similarly, Gagnier's sister Carol Wilson lost her husband, Lester to complications tied to Agent Orange exposure the same year Arthur died.

"I just have no words," said Wilson. "My heart goes out to them and there's nothing you can do."

Wilson shared her advice on coping with the loss.

"Just try to keep him memory alive everyday," she said. "Do things in memory of them."

Both Carol and Gail are reminded everyday of their losses, but said, despite their own heartbreak, they hope to meet with Airman Grotjan's family and tell them he will never be forgotten.

"I just feel like it's something that I have to do and I know that my husband would want me to do that," said Gagnier.

Mississippi Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 331863

Reported Deaths: 7494
CountyCasesDeaths
DeSoto22855279
Hinds22625437
Harrison19462326
Rankin14765286
Jackson14233251
Madison10658227
Lee10398178
Jones8713169
Forrest8164157
Lauderdale7528243
Lowndes6761150
Lamar665988
Lafayette6446124
Washington5497139
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Marshall4648106
Warren4612125
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Monroe4243137
Union424379
Neshoba4179180
Lincoln4088115
Hancock402788
Leflore3562125
Pike3511111
Tate348988
Alcorn343174
Sunflower342293
Adams331987
Yazoo330573
Scott330175
Simpson313690
Copiah311467
Itawamba309580
Coahoma308285
Tippah298368
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Covington280183
Marion278980
Leake277975
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George259851
Newton256064
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Stone209137
Holmes194974
Clay191554
Tallahatchie181542
Clarke181480
Calhoun177332
Smith175334
Yalobusha169240
Walthall140448
Lawrence137026
Greene134934
Amite131843
Noxubee131135
Perry130838
Montgomery130644
Carroll124531
Webster116732
Jefferson Davis112934
Tunica110827
Benton104425
Claiborne104231
Kemper100329
Humphreys99033
Franklin85923
Quitman83519
Choctaw80919
Wilkinson73232
Jefferson69028
Sharkey51518
Issaquena1696
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Alabama Coronavirus Cases

Cases: 565510

Reported Deaths: 11468
CountyCasesDeaths
Jefferson828061584
Mobile44938853
Madison36534532
Tuscaloosa26589465
Shelby26409255
Montgomery25598623
Baldwin23319324
Lee16691179
Calhoun15030332
Morgan14877288
Etowah14563368
Marshall12723235
Houston11302292
Elmore10576217
St. Clair10449251
Limestone10420158
Cullman10198204
Lauderdale9883253
DeKalb9226191
Talladega8705187
Walker7545286
Autauga7388113
Jackson7216117
Blount7147139
Colbert6522142
Coffee5962131
Dale5224117
Russell463942
Chilton4603117
Covington4502125
Franklin439781
Tallapoosa4343156
Escambia414782
Chambers3813124
Dallas3674163
Clarke361562
Marion3354106
Pike323179
Lawrence3176101
Winston289672
Bibb276165
Geneva267383
Marengo257367
Barbour241860
Pickens238862
Butler233571
Hale230578
Fayette223863
Henry203345
Cherokee192347
Randolph192244
Monroe190241
Washington174539
Macon167252
Crenshaw163457
Clay161859
Cleburne158445
Lamar149138
Lowndes143854
Wilcox128431
Bullock125342
Conecuh117730
Coosa115229
Perry109628
Sumter107532
Greene95935
Choctaw63125
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