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Family Of Weatherford Soldier Honored At Stock Show Rodeo

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News
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FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – This day will mean a lot more to Kallen O’Neal when he grows up. It’s Military Appreciation Day at the Fort Worth Stock Show and Rodeo.

Kallen is just two and a half. He doesn’t realize yet all his father has done for his country.  “I know he’s in God’s hands,” Kaye Jordan, Kallen’s Grandmother said.

Jordan’s son, Private first class Austin Staggs lived in Weatherford most of his life and died in Afghanistan on November 29th 2010.

He was 19 years old.

He was only in Afghanistan about 90 days when, his mother says, a terrorist who was masquerading as an Afghan police officer, fired on him and five other American Soldiers.

“He picked up his gun and shot him at close range with no protective gear on. Shouldn’t happen,” Jordan said.

Austin was her only son.  “He was a good baby when he was little, and Kallen’s just like him,” Jordan said.

Now, Jordan is collecting memories for her only grandson.  “Kallen’s going to have good memories of his father. He’ll know who he is what he stood for and that he loved him,” Jordan said.

Kaye Jordan is keeping the tributes sent on behalf of her son but she wishes more people would keep our soldiers in their prayers.

“It needs to be done when it’s on your mind and you think about it you should just stop and pray because they need our prayers,” Jordan said.

The soldiers’ children need them too.

Military Appreciation Day means all retired and active duty military personnel receive free entry thanks to the generosity of Denbury Resources, Inc.

Jordan’s family was able to enjoy the rodeo in special seats thanks to Roger Williams, the former Secretary of State of Texas who donated his own box seats at the Will Rogers Coliseum.

Kaye Jordan said she’ll be receiving her son’s service medals next week in a special ceremony at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. That was her son’s base.

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