Reflecting on a Lost Life

By: Laura Speakman
By: Laura Speakman

“She captured the hearts and minds of everybody there on the base but she's just effervescent,” said BG Mike Bissell, Command for M.B.C.’s VWIL
Three years ago he saw a very special woman go out into the world, Sarah Small. Unfortunately she was taken away from the world too early. She died in a car accident yesterday in Egypt while reporting on a mission for the air force. Bissell says Sarah, also known as “the saint,” was a natural people person who could help anyone.
“We'd say just send the saint up there and she would go up there and I swear about 100 percent of the time she'd come back with a smile on her face and say, ‘Sir, I've taken care of it she's gonna stay.’ I'd often think where did your studies go did you study last night did you go to sleep oh yes sir we did fine and then I'd talk to somebody and said she stayed up until three in the morning talking to her and it didn't seem to dent or phase her at all,” said Bissell.
While climbing these steep hills at Mary Baldwin College, Sarah also climbed the ladder of success as Student Government Association Vice President as well as the Public Information Officer for VWIL. Many say the one thing the world will miss out on the most...her natural people skills.
“To see somebody who's that young and come into the world and go up to anyone and talk to them I think is a miracle it really is but we need to do that more and more,” said Bissell.
Bissell said she’s made an impression on him for the rest of his life.
“I've had many people in combat killed in my command and in peace time too in training over my years but this effected me probably more than anybody because of her and the way she was,” said Bissell.
Bissell has been keeping in touch with Sarah’s parent and says her father, Bill, spoke with her just a couple days ago. She said she was loving the mission but could live without the security. As far as her parents holding up, Bissell says they’re doing as good as they can be.


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