Funerals for Soldiers

5th Special Forces Group (Airborne) 

Funerals for Soldiers Held

 

By BRIAN MELLEY, Associated Press Writer

Two of the three Green Berets killed in Afghanistan were remembered by mourners in opposite sides of the country as men who fulfilled their childhood ambitions of becoming soldiers but whose lives were cut short by the war on terrorism.

About 1,200 mourners, some clutching small American flags, gathered at a grassy hilltop cemetery in Bakersfield, Calif., to say farewell to Staff Sgt. Brian ``Cody'' Prosser.

Those who grew up with Prosser, 28, said he had a good sense of humor, a dose of playful mischief and an attention to detail.

``He was a true soldier's soldier,'' said Capt. Jeff Leopold, his commanding officer, who escaped injury while fighting overseas. ``I had the opportunity to take anyone with me to Afghanistan. Cody raised his hand and said, 'It's going to be me.' He knew it was going to be tough.''

Prosser was one of three Army Special Forces soldiers killed Dec. 5 when a U.S. bomb carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives missed its target and landed 100 yards from them north of Kandahar. Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, 39, of Watauga, Tenn., and Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory of Cheshire, Mass., were also killed.

About 500 people filled St. Mary of the Assumption Church in western Massachusetts to pay their respects to Petithory, remembered as an altar boy, a jokester and a patriot.

``We knew him as a kid who always wanted to be a soldier,'' said Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. ``We knew him as a kid who became what he always wanted to be.''

Kerry said Petithory, 32, would receive the Purple Heart and the Silver Star posthumously.

``He gave his life for his country and for all of us,'' the Rev. David Raymond told mourners at the church. ``He served so terrorism would not rule our world.''

Army officers presented Prosser's widow, Shawna, with the Bronze Star and Purple Heart medals that her husband was awarded posthumously.

Prosser's grieving father, also named Brian, delivered a moving tribute to his son, acknowledging his entire family's role in raising a man the whole nation could be proud of.

``If somebody tells you that they think your son is pretty cool, that's a good feeling,'' Brian Prosser said. ``But when you live in a town and they tell you that, and when you live in a country and they tell you that, it's big time. It doesn't get any better than that.''

The crowd stood and applauded when he finished.

The somber memorial began under warm, sunny skies as a bagpipe keened the strains of ``Amazing Grace'' and ended two hours later with a 21-gun salute and two trumpets blaring ``Taps.''

People who knew Prosser said he achieved his childhood ambition to become a member of the Green Berets, which was alluded to in a poem read by his 10-year-old niece, Taylor Prosser. She said her uncle was a born warrior, a trained soldier who tried to save America.

``My uncle Cody, a killing machine. My uncle Cody, a whisper in the sky,'' she said.

 

Thursday December 13 7:48 PM ET

Two Afghanistan War Soldiers Buried

By ADAM GORLICK, Associated Press Writer

Family and friends of two of the three Green Berets killed when a U.S. bomb missed its target in Afghanistan gathered Thursday to pay their last respects.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory was remembered as an altar boy, a jokester and a patriot at his funeral in Cheshire, Mass.

In Bakersfield, Calif., those who grew up with Staff Sgt. Brian ``Cody'' Prosser said he had a good sense of humor, a dose of mischief and an attention to detail.

The two men were killed Dec. 5 along with Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, 39, of Watauga, Tenn., when a bomb carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives landed north of Kandahar.

About 500 people filled St. Mary of the Assumption Church in the western Massachusetts community of 3,500 where Petithory had served as an altar boy. The 32-year-old was buried at Cheshire Cemetery.

``He gave his life for his country and for all of us,'' the Rev. David Raymond told mourners at the church. ``He served so terrorism would not rule our world.''

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, said Petithory would receive the Purple Heart and the Silver Star posthumously.

``We knew him as a kid who always wanted to be a soldier,'' Kerry said. ``We knew him as a kid who became what he always wanted to be.''

Relatives of Prosser, 28, of Frazier Park, Calif., sat in quiet meditation gazing at his flag-draped casket while others wiped tears from their eyes during a private service at Bakersfield's Hillcrest Memorial Park. About 1,000 people then gathered for a public ceremony. He was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

``He's the kind of guy people don't forget,'' said Prosser's father, also named Brian.

Gov. Gray Davis ordered the state flag at the Capitol lowered to half-staff in Prosser's honor.

``Cody was the very best California had to offer,'' Davis said in a statement. ``A devoted son. A loyal brother. A loving husband. An elite soldier. A man of honor.''

All three soldiers were members of the Army's 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. Davis will be buried near his home, but funeral details were pending.

Twenty other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the accident. Five Afghan fighters also were killed.

 

Thursday December 13 6:03 PM ET

Soldiers Killed in Afghan War Buried

By The Associated Press,

Family and friends of two of the three Green Berets killed when a U.S. bomb missed its target in Afghanistan  gathered Thursday to pay their last respects.

Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Petithory was remembered as an altar boy, a jokester and a patriot at his funeral in Cheshire, Mass.

In Bakersfield, Calif., those who grew up with Staff Sgt. Brian ``Cody'' Prosser said he had a good sense of humor, a dose of mischief and an attention to detail.

The two men were killed Dec. 5 along with Master Sgt. Jefferson Donald Davis, 39, of Watauga, Tenn., when a bomb carrying 2,000 pounds of explosives landed north of Kandahar.

About 500 people filled St. Mary of the Assumption Church in the western Massachusetts community of 3,500 where Petithory had served as an altar boy. The 32-year-old was buried at Cheshire Cemetery.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass, said Petithory would receive the Purple Heart and the Silver Star posthumously.

``We knew him as a kid who always wanted to be a soldier,'' Kerry said. ``We knew him as a kid who became what he always wanted to be.''

Relatives of Prosser, 28, of Frazier Park, Calif., sat in quiet meditation gazing at his flag-draped casket while others wiped tears from their eyes during a private service at Bakersfield's Hillcrest Memorial Park. About 1,000 people then gathered for a public ceremony. He was to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

``He's the kind of guy people don't forget,'' said Prosser's father, also named Brian.

Gov. Gray Davis  ordered the state flag at the Capitol lowered to half-staff in Prosser's honor.

``Cody was the very best California had to offer,'' Davis said in a statement. ``A devoted son. A loyal brother. A loving husband. An elite soldier. A man of honor.''

All three soldiers were members of the Army's 3rd Battalion, 5th Special Forces Group, stationed at Fort Campbell, Ky. Davis will be buried near his home, but funeral details were pending.

Twenty other U.S. soldiers were wounded in the accident. Five Afghan fighters also were killed.

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