September 7, 2006
The Charlottesville Newsplex first brought you the story on Wednesday of a Culpeper soldier being killed while fighting the war in Iraq. Friends of Private First Class Edwin "EJ" Andino's shared their memories, but now another person very close to him is talking-- his girlfriend.
"We just had this connection. We looked at each other, and just knew that we wanted to try to start something up," said PFC Andino's girlfriend Jennifer Driggers.
The connection between Jennifer Driggers and Private First Class Andino started three years ago. The two have been dating ever since. Now, it's all over, Andino was killed in Iraq on Sunday.
"I'm speechless right now. It's just really, it is still a little hard for me to talk about right now," added Driggers.
Driggers said Andino, who she calls E.J. was protective and caring. Even in Iraq, he would call to make sure she was alright, and not working too hard. Now E.J. Is gone, and others are picking up where he can not.
"I've had my friends, and all his friends surrounding me. I have not been alone since it happened," added Driggers.
Driggers still feels his spirit. In fact, she said thinking about E.J. during this interview is moving.
"See, you just gave me cold chills when you said that. He's definitely still protecting me. Even when I go to sleep I still have his picture beside my bed," said Driggers.
Causing many sleepless nights now is his death. Driggers talked to Andino on the phone Thursday, and somehow knew it would be the last time she would hear his voice.
"I couldn't go to sleep. I knew. I do not know how to explain it. I just had this feeling," said Driggers.
Driggers got the call of PFC Andino's death from his family. Four days later it is still hard to understand.
"I can't believe. I can't believe he's gone," said Driggers.
Driggers told us the topic of marriage did come up between her and PFC Andino, but the exact discussions were private with those two only.