As students and faculty at McMurry University celebrated the start to the new year at the school's morning convocation, their hearts weight heavy on news that US Army Staff Sgt. Jeremie Border, a McMurry alum and former football player, had died while serving overseas in Afghanistan.
"That cost is born by young men and women like Jeremie, who are committed to something bigger than themselves," Russel added.
The Mesquite, Texas native played for McMurry from 2002 to 2005. Members of the current team say they were saddened to learn he had been killed in action during an attack this past weekend.
"It was hard to hear even for those of us who had never heard of him. We can still see him in our locker room, and once you're a Warhawk you're always a Warhawk," said Jonathan Blair, a sophomore football player.
During his time at McMurry Border was very active on campus. His dedication to the school is being praised by those who knew him.
"We thank you for the life that he lived for the ways that he faithfully served this community while he was here, and the ways that he went on to serve our country and our world," Said Assistant Chaplain Timothy Palmer in his invocation speech.
The football team has chosen to honor and remember border by placing decals on their helmets with the number 28, a number Border wore so proudly on the playing field.
"Once you're an Indian or a Warhawk you're always that, and Jeremie border was a great one," said football coach Hal Mumme. "Everybody is saddened by the loss."