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I’ve attended two Patriot Guard Riders mission in the last two weeks for fallen US Army Soldiers killed in Afghanistan. Only to find out this week that I’ll be riding in another mission on Friday for the funeral services of 21-year old Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Stanley of Rosanky, TX.
Today, LCorp. Stanley was welcomed home by his family, friends, and community. The PGR riders were at the airport today to escort the family from Austin to the funeral home in Lockhart (30 miles south of Austin). I wish I could have been there today with my fellow riders, but they turned out in huge numbers on a Wednesday morning to honor a small town hero:
Hundreds of people waving American flags circled the courthouse square in Lockhart Wednesday afternoon to welcome home a man many consider a hero.
Marine Lance Cpl. Cody Stanley, 21,was killed Oct. 28 when an improvised explosive device exploded near him in Afghanistan. His body was flown back to Texas Wednesday and was escorted to Lockhart by a procession including police, his family and friends and the volunteer Patriot Guard.
The procession circled the courthouse in Lockhart, where hundreds of flag-waving mourners stood waiting. As the procession slowly drove by, veterans saluted and others stood at attention, some with their hands over their hearts.
“We felt it was important to be here to support the family and show that we truly respect the loss, and the sacrifice they’ve given,” said Laurie Davis, who brought her two young daughters to the courthouse square two hours before the procession arrived. “I think it’s important that we understand that this is something important that needs to be honored and respected.”
She said she didn’t know Cody Stanley, but still fells unspeakable sorrow for his family.
“Once you live in Lockhart of Caldwell County, you might as well all be family,” she said.
It’s been nearly 70 days since General McChrystal asked President Obama for more troops in Afghanistan. While the President dithers on a decision, Marines and Soldiers continue to die at the highest rate in years.