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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