Fort Benning soldier mourns loss of brother to Orlando massacre - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Fort Benning soldier mourns loss of brother to Orlando massacre

(Source: WTVM) (Source: WTVM)

FORT BENNING, GA (WTVM) - A Fort Benning solider is mourning the loss of her brother who died in the horrific Orlando massacre.

Eddie Justice, along with 48 others, are remembered for their lives, the lives they touched, and the ones they leave behind.

Eddie's sister, Nerelsha Justice-Macklin, and her husband, are headed to Orlando. The couple said it's a heartbreaking time for their entire family.

In his final moments, Eddie, 30, turned to his family, texting his mother the words, "Mommy I love you."

Trapped in a bathroom with the gunman, Omar Mateen, Eddie's message was still of love, and that's what his sister, Nerelsha Justice-Macklin, is turning to during this immense moment of grief.

"God needed him more than we do at this time. God needed him to send this message," said Justice-Macklin. 

She says that his message is, "the world needs more love, and less hate and judgment."

Justice-Macklin traveled from her duty station at Fort Benning to Florida this week after getting word that her brother was one of 49 slain at an Orlando nightclub.

Eddie's final messages to his mother rallied the world behind the Justice family in hopes that Eddie would turn up among the missing, not dead.

"That person had so much hatred within himself, not just for people but for himself too," said Justice-Macklin.

As the investigation developed, that light of hope blew out, but his sister Nerelsha tells us his spirit, presence, and dying message of love can't be taken away.

"It gives me ease that he served a bigger purpose and that is to spread this message, that people can live, be free to live, their life whatever way they want to live it," said Justice-Macklin.

Nerelsha also says her brother was the life of the party and loved her children, his nieces and nephews, very much. She adds that her mother, Mina Justice, who has made headlines across the country is not doing well, but the family is turning to each other and their faith.

To help the Justice family, and families of the other 48 slain clubgoers, you can find their GoFundMe page here.

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