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GONZAGA UNIVERSITY NEWS RELEASE
Dale Goodwin, Director
Peter Tormey, Associate Director
|Former ROTC Cadet Killed in Action in Afghanistan|
U.S. Army 1 st Lt. Forrest Ewens, a 2004 Whitworth College graduate and a member of Gonzaga University’s ROTC Bulldog Battalion, was killed June 16 by a road side bomb as he led soldiers on a combat mission in Afghanistan’s Pech River Valley.
A memorial service for Lt. Ewens was held Thursday, June 22, 5 p.m. at Peninsula Christian Fellowship, 3114 45th St. Ct. NW, Gig Harbor, Wash.
A military service at Fort Drum, N.Y., and interment at Arlington National Cemetery will follow on a yet-to-be-determined date. In lieu of flowers, Forrest’s wife 1 st Lt. Megan Jagelski Ewens, a 2003 Gonzaga University graduate and Bulldog Battalion mate, suggests that contributions may be made to the Forrest Ewens Scholarship Fund, which is being established to honor Forrest's memory and his dedication to his country. The scholarship is being established to assist Gonzaga and Whitworth students. Submit contributions to the Forrest Ewens Scholarship Fund, c/o Sheri Fitzthum, Gonzaga University, 502 E. Boone Ave., Spokane, WA 99258-0098.
Forrest also is survived by his twin brother Oaken, who graduated in May from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and commissioned a 2 nd lieutenant; brother Eli, a specialist with the Washington Army National Guard in Spokane; and his parents Michael and Carol Ewens, Gig Harbor.
“Forrest was a solider who had a genuine love of his country, and was a loving and loyal husband, son, brother, friend and comrade in arms,” said Lt. Col. Alan Westfield, assistant professor of military science at Gonzaga. “He had a passion for life, and great determination in everything that he attempted. His integrity, respect for others, and physical and moral courage were of the highest magnitude. He was a man of action in thought, word and deed.”
Forrest was a history major at Whitworth, and in 2004 was captain of the Whitworth track team. His coach, Toby Schwarz, remembers his last conversation with Ewens.
"No matter what happened, God was in control," said Schwarz, reiterating the words Forrest had recited to him a few months ago, just two days before he deployed to Afghanistan. He told Schwarz, “‘Life is just one big practice’ for what's to come. ‘When our work is done and practice is over, God calls us home. We hit the showers, put on some warm, clean clothes, and sit down for a meal.’ Forrest is having a great meal right now, with some great company, and I praise God for that," Schwarz said.
Forrest was assigned to the 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He and Megan were stationed at Fort Drum, N.Y.
To make an online contribution to the 1LT Forrest Ewens Memorial Fund, log on to the Gonzaga University website at www.gonzaga.edu/makeagift. Select the link “ONLINE-Credit Card/Check Gifts.” Complete the online gift form and in the “Fund not Listed” box, please type “Forrest Ewens.”