Body of local soldier arrives in Tennessee Valley
by Paul Shahen
RED BANK, HAMILTON COUNTY (WRCB) – It was a somber scene at Chattanooga Metro Airport Tuesday morning, as the body of a Red Bank soldier arrived from Afghanistan. Sergeant Patrick Durham was killed by a roadside bomb 10 days ago.
It was the homecoming no family wants to ever live through. There's no hello, just goodbye.
Twenty-four-year-old Sergeant Patrick Durham gave his life for our country, the ultimate sacrifice.
"You may not know the person, but you know the person. You know what they've gone through, those who have been deployed before, you know it's always tough to find young people in that situation," Red Bank's JROTC instructor Colonel Hugh Enicks said.
Although Col. Enicks knew him, veterans who didn't feel the same way. Like the Patriot Guard Riders who helped escort Durham's body from the airport to the funeral home.
"I'm here because that's my brother, my brother-in-arms," said Thomas Dooley. "You gotta show respect. He made the ultimate sacrifice for us."
The Patriot Guard Riders say they stand for those who stood for us.
While men like Dooley made it back alive, they say the credit belongs to men like Sergeant Patrick Durham.
"He's the hero, those of us who made it home, we're not the heroes. He's the hero. And that family that's in there, we're here to support the family," said Dooley
In the meantime reality sets in at home.
"As Americans, it hits home sometimes as young people lose their lives to make ours safer," said Col. Enicks.
Visitation for Sergeant Durham is Wednesday from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at Lane Funeral Home.
The funeral is Thursday at 2:00 p.m.
Sergeant Durham will be buried in Francis Cemetery with full military honors.