A Tri-State soldier, killed in Iraq, returns to Evansville. Corporal William Powell-Kerchief's body arrived at Tri-State Aero Thursday morning and there was a large outpouring of support.
Of the supporters Thursday there were just a handful who personally knew the 21-year-old. Family and close friends took part in a private ceremony once the body arrived. Then the rest of Evansville saluted their fallen hero.
It was less than a year ago that Tim Fickas sat in the same spot along Highway 41 to welcome home the 163rd Field Artillery.
Tim Fickas, a supporter, says, "I was on such a super high when the 163rd came back, and this is just different."
Fickas saluted the, 21-year-old, Corporal William Powell-Kerchief, the young Evansville soldier was killed in Iraq last week during combat operations.
Tim Fickas, says, "This young guy went over there because he fought, and he thought it was the right thing to do. I feel it's the right thing to do for me, for everybody else out here to come out here and honor him."
The Patriot Guard Riders came out to honor Powell as well. Like Fickas they usually ride with joyful welcome homes.
Pete Smith, a Patriot Guard Rider, says, "It is important to me to attend both kinds of missions to show and honor and respect for those who have payed the ultimate sacrifice."
Some in attendance made their own sacrifices to salute this home town hero. 82-year-old, Harry Kinney, a World War II veteran, could barely brave the heat.
Harry Kinney, says, "I get out of breath just walking across the house."
But that military bond gave Kinney the strength to watch Powell return.
Kinney, says, "He would probably do it over again if he had to do it he'd probably do it."
Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel asked that flags be flown at half staff Thursday in honor of Powell.