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War’s first American casualty was man of faith, pastor says

MOUNTAIN HOME AFC, Idaho (BP)–The first announced American casualty of Operation Enduring Freedom was a Mountain Home, Idaho, master sergeant with a reputation as Christian and the sort of person who would do anything to help a friend.

Master Sgt. Evander Earl Andrews, 36, died Oct. 10 in a heavy equipment accident while helping build an air base at Aludeid, Qatar, on the Arabian peninsula. Andrews was using a forklift to unload a dump truck when the accident happened. He leaves a wife, Judy, and four young children at Mountain Home Air Force Base, where his family had lived since 1992.

In a statement read by her minister and reported in the Idaho Statesman, Thomas Westall of the Mountain Home Bible Church, Judy Andrews said she accepted “the death of my husband in defense of our nation. He was a proud, professional, career airman of 18 years. I also know with all my heart as a Christian that Evander, my husband, is home with the Lord.”

Andrews will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery. A memorial service, yet to be scheduled, will be held in the Mountain Home Air Force Base chapel.

The Andrews’ children are Ethan, 9; Leah, 6; Cortney, 4, and Mackensie, 2.

Andrews was a native of Solon, Maine, where his parents attended a Baptist church.

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