Campbell Co., VA - The Campbell County community has given so much to our country. Staff Sergeant Greg Copes, 36, was a Marine killed on Friday in Afghanistan. He is among several servicemembers from Campbell County wounded or killed in service in recent years.
In 2012, the Campbell County community lost one servicemember and almost lost another. There are similar stories in earlier years too.
"It's like a constant reminder," said Judy Bennett, grandmother of Christopher Murphy.
Bennett's grandson died in Iraq in 2007. The Gladys resident says Private First Class Christopher Murphy was shot multiple times on Mother's Day.
"I don't want to wish this on anybody," said Bennett.
So far in 2012, there have been one death and one near-death experience. Altavista resident Army Staff Sgt. Chris Walker was nearly killed in Afghanistan when an explosive device went off. He lost both of his lower arms and a leg.
"You can't really let it get you down cause I mean. It happened. It's happened. I don't wanna sit in this bed for the rest of my life. So I've gotta get up," said Walker.
On Friday, Campbell County lost Copes of Altavista.
"Freedom isn't free, it does come with a price. I am thankful that men and women out there, like my brother, choose to serve," said older brother Earl Copes.
Residents of the county are still coming to grips with the news.
"It makes me feel bad. It wasn't a good feeling," said one resident.
"It makes it more alarming in this area because it is such a small community," said another resident.
Those who have lost say it is the ultimate sacrifice.
"I am very very grateful for everybody who's given their life," said Bennett. "For their service, for their sacrifice and I pray for their families.
Private First Class Chris Murphy's family says they have found a bit of closure in their scholarship fund in their grandson's honor. Each year, their church provides educational scholarships for kids and young adults of all ages.