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Idaho's Hero Laid To Rest

Major Gregory Stone will be buried Thursday with military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. He is one of two American officers killed at the start of the war when a member of the 101 Division attacked his fellow troops. National Correspondent Hattie Kauffman spoke with Stone's family.

"Greg liked spending times out here in the great outdoors. Yeah! Loved the outdoors," said his father, Richard Stone. He lives on a remote cliff top in a hidden corner of Idaho. After 20 years, Gregory Stone was hoping to retire soon and join him.

"Greg loved it here. He loved it here. He was hoping one day to buy one of the properties up here or close by, Hattie, and be close to dad," Richard Stone told Kauffman.

On March 23, just five days after the start of the war, there was a grenade attack on an officers' tent of the 101 Airborne.

"As soon as I heard it, I felt that panic. I was hoping Greg was out in the field. I got a call from my daughter that Greg had been injured," Richard Stones recalled

Confusing reports from Kuwait left the family in turmoil. Greg's brother, Frank, works in a newsroom in Portland, Ore.

"It was tough to know what to believe and what to trust and when to relax and when to worry... Because things changed so much from call to call," said Frank Stone.

Richard Stone said, "We got a call he had improved by 80 percent and should be on the next plane out. We got a call he was on the plane and got a call that afternoon saying he didn't make it. His condition was worsened and the next day he was dead," followed by a long pause.

Incredibly, it was a fellow soldier, Sgt. Hasan Akbar, who was charged with the grenade attack that left two officers dead.

When you go to war, you expect to face enemy bullets but not something from your own.

Richard Stone said, "Had it been a terrorist or something like that, maybe it would have been a little easier to understand. But to have a fellow soldier throw grenades into your tent while you're sleeping is a real shock."

Frank Stone said, "I'm still trying to come to terms with the fact that I don't have a brother any more. As far as it being at the hands of one of our own, it's unbelievable that that's what happened with someone I knew -- with my own brother."

Showing family pictures, Richard Stone said, "This one is on his 40th birthday at his mom's with his two boys."

He said Maj. Stone was an excellent dad. "He thought a lot of his family ,spent a lot of time with the boys, very active with them."

Frank Stone added, "They were always number one priority to him but he really was concerned for them and wanted to get back and spend time with his two boys."

Compounding his grief, Frank Stone, as a newsman, has had to continue covering the war.

"The hard thing for me is every time we get word that another Oregon man has been killed, we have to chase that as a story. We have to get the family members and do all that kind of stuff. It's hard making those calls. I personally had to make those calls since this has happened, and it's hard because I've been on the other end of the phone," he said.

The family will be traveling to Arlington National Cemetery for Thursday's ceremony. What does Richard miss most about his son?

"To be able to say, 'Hey, why don't you come over for a few days? Bring the boys. We'll go fishing or something.' But that's the type of thing that we were kind of looking forward to. And that's not going to happen now," he said.

Idaho plans to create 10,000 silver medallions with Major Stone's likeness and those of four other soldiers with the inscription "Support Idaho's Heroes."