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Drebbin
12-18-2004, 12:39 AM
The Associated Press State & Local Wire

December 15, 2004, Wednesday, BC cycle

HEADLINE: Harleys lead soldier's funeral procession

DATELINE: SHREVEPORT, La.

BODY:
Several dozen Harley Davidson motorcycle riders led the funeral procession Tuesday for a Stonewall soldier killed in last month's helicopter crash in Texas.

Spc. Richard Brown, 29, was a motorcycle enthusiast assigned to the 4th Infantry Division based at Fort Hood, Texas. He was among seven soldiers killed when an UH-60 Black Hawk struck support cables for a TV transmission tower in foggy weather Nov. 29 about 30 miles northeast of Fort Hood.

"Thank you," his mother, Denise Brown, mouthed quietly to the scores of silent mourners after she and grandson Chris, the 8-year-old son of the fallen helicopter mechanic, were presented the flags that had been used in the service. One had been draped across Brown's gunmetal-gray coffin, while the other stood folded, propped on a pedestal during the ceremony. Brown was laid to rest just yards from the flagpole in the military section in Forest Park West Cemetery

He had volunteered for service after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and had survived a year of combat in Iraq, his father said. Tom Brown led the motorcycle procession.

"We're trying to do the right thing by him," Tom Brown, himself an Army veteran, told the uniformed honor guard before the escort began. "You're going to give him the high honor. Let's have one last ride for Richard."

The Rev. Stan McGee, pastor of Stonewall Baptist Church, drew on Corinthians for meaning in the loss of Brown.

"We are reminded today is a vapor," McGee said after describing Brown's love of life. "We can see in the short life Richard lived that that vapor has come and gone."