Ala. soldier dies after insect bite

Sgt. David Gordon's senior portrait
Sgt. David Gordon's senior portrait
The Hyalomma tick (Source: CDC)
The Hyalomma tick (Source: CDC)

Posted by Bryan Henry  -  bio | email

MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - Mention the name David Gordon and you'll get a smile from Sara Robinson. "Oh yea," said Robinson.

To give you a better understanding of who Sgt. David Gordon was, we begin with Robinson who taught Gordon in the second and third grades at Red Level School in Covington County.

"I remember he would always draw pictures of the Armed Services. He was a very polite little boy," said Robinson.

A happy kid confronted with tragedy so early in life. Gordon lost his dad, also a military man just before going into the third grade. With his mom having to support the family, the Red Level School district became his second family away from home.

Ag teacher David Clark.

"He was always willing to help," Clark remembered.

Sgt. David Gordon died from a rare virus after getting bitten by a tick that carried the Crimean Congo Hemorrhagic virus in Afghanistan. Gordon is believed to be the first American soldier to have contracted the virus there. He passed away Wednesday night in Germany.

Even at an early age Sara Robinson knew David Gordon was special. He never changed. He kept his manners and his loyalty.

"Even then he took responsibility," said Robinson.

It was that loyalty that impressed Clark who later taught Gordon in high school. Clark saw his former student for the last time over the summer, and remembers Sgt. Gordon filled with pride for being an American soldier. Even though Sgt. Gordon was fighting a war, he never forgot home, never stopped stopping by Red Level School.

Sgt. David Gordon graduated from Red Level High School in 2006 and had just re-enlisted for another 4 years in the Army.

David Gordon was 22.

There is still no word on funeral arrangements.

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