Galveston County Daily News -- Travis Buford didnt mind doing the tough jobs.
As a young man, he showed up to work on time every day, even when it was to a dead-end job he didnt particularly like, his mother, Janet Buford, said. But when he thought about the injustice of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks and the threat of more terrorists, he signed up for his hardest job yet. Galveston resident Travis Buford, 23, died Friday in Ramadi, Iraq, when a bomb exploded near the vehicle he was riding in on Thursday.
The explosion killed him and the men with him: Joshua Hager, 29, of Broomfield, Colo., and Rowan Walter, 25 of Winnetka, Calif. But the conflict he died in was something he believed in, Janet Buford said. He wanted to go, she said. He was excited to go. He wanted to make sure that those people who caused 9/11 and those who want to kill Americans dont get the chance to come over here. He wanted to do what was right.
Janet Buford said her son hadnt always wanted to join the military. He grew up in the small community of Douglass, near Nacogdoches. He loved golfing with his father, Anthony Buford of New Braunfels, and spending time outdoors, Janet Buford said. After high school and a string of cruddy jobs, Travis Buford found that he enjoyed working on ships, his mother said. But he couldnt get the conflict in Iraq off his mind. It bothered him severely, Janet Buford said. He and his cousin decided they had to take action.
He wasnt shy about voicing his opinion about the war or anything else. He was extremely opinionated, Janet Buford said. He spoke his mind. If it needed to be said, he said it. He had a huge sense of right and wrong. So Travis Buford, with his cousin and best friend, Joshua Thompson, enlisted in the U.S. Army on the same day. While the two men planned, Travis Buford moved to Galveston with his cousin to prepare for Iraq. After a year of training and waiting, he got there in October.
For five months, his mother wrote him a letter every day to the point that she worried he wanted her to write less. Last time I talked to him, I asked him if he wanted me to stop, Janet Buford said. He said Oh God no, Mama. It wouldnt hurt my feelings if you wrote three times a day. Now, Janet Buford said shes grateful she took the time to write so frequently. Im glad they brought him some joy, she said