Body of Slain Soldier Returns to East Tennessee

Knoxville (WVLT) - The body of Sergeant James David Connell arrived back in East Tennessee Monday morning.

The man many know as "Tiger" died while fighting in Iraq more than a week ago.

The Patriot Guard Riders call Monday’s ceremony an "unhappy" mission. Riders are quick to note, though it is a somber event, it is a mission of utmost respect.

The challenge on this day is to help escort Sergeant Connell's body back to the Medford Community where he grew up.

"Do we get used to it? No. Do we deal with it? Yes, and try to make each one of 'em even better each time,” says Patriot Guard Ride Captain Duane Romine.

A private service for Sergeant Connell will take place Monday afternoon at the Hatmaker Funeral Home in Lake City.

He will be laid to rest Friday at Arlington National Cemetery.


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  • by Rod George Location: Chattanooga, Tn. on May 28, 2007 at 06:16 PM
    Six of us (Patroit Guard) from Chattanooga were able to attend the funeral services for SGT. James David Connell at Arlington National Cemetery. I did not talk with the family directly but I did talk with Sgt Connell's Battalion Commander's wife and SGT Connells Company Commanders wife. I also also talked with a Mother of another slain solider after the ceremony. You cannot belive how apprecitive these folks are to have had the Patroit Guard at these funerals. Their expression of their appreciatiuon makes this whole thing so worth whiled. There were too many tears between the mother and the fallen soldier and myself to carry on a meaningful conversation, she needed our support so much. I felt so bad for her. There was so much I wanted to say, but just couldn't. But she knew and I could feel the pain of her loss. I hope, although I was unable to express it, she could feel how much we care for these soldiers.

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