OAK GROVE, MS (WDAM) - A procession including local law enforcement and members of the Patriot Guard brought the body of Specialist Anthony Blount to his church in Oak Grove for a funeral service Sunday morning.
Later, that same procession made its way to Highland Cemetery in Hattiesburg, the final resting place for the 21-year-old soldier who was killed by an IED in Iraq.
After a rifle salute and the playing of taps, the flag covering Blount's coffin was presented to his family, who then joined in singing "America The Beautiful".
"He'll be missed so much. He was a great influence to everyone here and we're going to miss him so much, said church member Gunnar Thorderson.
"He was doing what he felt in his heart and we just have to give them the honor and the glory," added funeral attendee, Adalyn Hinton.
"Well, I think it's a great loss. It's an entire life lost. If you'd just imagine what he could have lived a life and made a contribution to the local community, to the state, to the country, which he has already done...paid the supreme sacrifice for," said Royce Nation, with the Marine Corps League.
"It was great to see people on the side of the road. It means a lot. It shows that South Mississippi is kind of like heartland, USA. There's a lot of people here that are patriots and they're here to show their respects for a fallen soldier, added U.S. Army Capt. Robert Langford.
Family members say Blount was to return home next month for the birth of his first child.
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