By Chris Green
Posted Aug 04, 2008
ROCKFORD A grieving mother lashed out at the U.S. military Monday,
three days after her son was killed in Afghanistan.
Netha Morgan said her son, David John Badie, died doing what he
wanted to do, but she also said he would have never joined the
military if he hadn't been "enticed" into doing so.
Pfc. Badie, a 23-year-old member of the Special Troops Battalion,
3rd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, in Fort Hood, Texas,
was among four NATO soldiers and a civilian interpreter killed early
Friday when their Humvee drove over an improvised explosive device.
Morgan sat in her living room recliner Monday. On the floor near her
feet was a makeshift memorial of pictures of her son David and a care
package of toiletries and goodies she had planned to ship to him.
She said she and her son locked horns more than once over his sense
of patriotism and her strong belief that war of any sort is wrong.
"I'm sorry, but these kids are 18, 19, 20 years old. They aren't
allowed to gamble. They aren't allowed to drink, but they're old
enough to lay down their life?"
Planned to teach history
Badie (pronounced ba-dee) had aspirations of going to college and
becoming a history teacher, a dream Morgan said wasn't financially
possible until her son turned to the military. She said recruiters
offered Badie a $6,000 bonus to apply toward college.
"He was at a point in his life where he was kind of rambling and not
sure what he wanted to do," she said. "They enticed him with money
and a chance to go to college. Killing is not an answer to killing.
He knows this, but this is what he felt he had to do (to go to college).
"I don't think he would have gone in if the enticement wasn't there for money.
"I'm angry, I'm hurt, and my heart is shredded."
Friend saw explosion
Patti Esswein of Taylorville said her son, Billy, 21, had become a
good friend of Badie's and was in the humvee immediately in front of
the one Badie was in.
"He said the humvee blow up because they hit an IED. That's all he
said. He's very upset. It's very much a tragedy. Eighteen of them
went over, now there's 13."
Morgan described her son as a jokester who liked to laugh and who enjoyed life.
"If given the opportunity to do anything at least once, he was going
for it, even if it were dangerous," she said.
Badie's body was expected to reach Dover, Del., Monday and be shipped
in the next five to seven days to Illinois for a closed casket
funeral, Morgan said.
Born in Phoenix
Badie was born in Phoenix and moved to the Belvidere area with his
family in 2000. He attended Belvidere public schools for about a
year, then his family moved to Janesville, Wis. Badie attended and
dropped out of Milton High School in Milton, Wis., and later obtained
his general equivalency diploma.
He moved to Rockford in 2004 and joined the Army about two years ago.
He celebrated his 23rd birthday on Wednesday.
Badie is survived by his mother, stepfather Daniel Morgan of
Rockford, two sisters and a brother.
Staff writer Chris Green can be reached at 815-987-1241 or email@example.com.
U.S. war deaths
From 2003 through Monday morning:
In and around Afghanistan
Killed in action: 347
In and around Iraq
Killed in action: 3,362
Source: U.S. Dept. of Defense