Clovis soldier killed in Afghanistan remembered

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Department of Defense released information about the Clovis soldier killed earlier this week in Afghanistan.

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The DOD says 27-Year-old Staff Sgt. Brian Piercy died Monday, after insurgents detonated an improvised explosive device in southern Afghanistan.

Piercy's death has saddened many in the Valley and it led to prayers for his family at several church services.

Wednesday night's service at the New Hope Community Church began with a prayer for Clovis native Brian Piercy.

Associate Pastor Gene Spurling says it doesn't matter whether or not Brian went to their church. They pray for him just the same. "Whether it's in a war, whether it's an automobile accident. Whether it's some other tragedy. When our city family hurts, our church family hurts."

The New Hope Community Church is no stranger to military tragedies. A Memorial sits in Plain view and was built in 2005. It honors two of their local marines who died fighting overseas.

Spurling says even to this day people randomly stop by to pay their respects. "We don't know who they are necessarily. They stop. They get out of their cars. Some bring flowers, some stop and pray, but they remember and that's the purpose of the memorial fountain."

The Clovis church is not the only church in the Valley to honor Brian. For many years the Piercy family attended Peoples Church in Northeast Fresno.

Longtime pastor and family friend Pete Gavarilis says the Piercy brothers were known for their selflessness and dedication to their family and country. "He had the opportunity to come home, but because of his comradely with his fellow soldiers, their family while they're there. He didn't want to leave and leave them short. And he ultimately paid the price."

News of Piercy's death is also devastating for the Buchanan High School community. Piercy is now the seventh former student killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

Its principal Ricci Ulrich says they just have to keep moving on. "This is a school really immersed in a sense of community and giving back. And that probably is what's gotten us through each one of these tragedies."

The Clovis Unified School District also issued a statement offering their heartfelt condolences to the Piercy Family.

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clovis, afghanistan, local, amanda perez
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