Texas town honors a fallen soldier

David Paulin
President Obama dithered for months about the future of the U.S.-led missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. But no such second-guessing is evident in small towns and cities in America's red states. From Daytona Beach, Florida, to Spokane, Washington  -- residents invariably turn out in large numbers to honor fallen soldiers as their remains are brought home in solemn motorcades.  

Yesterday, another such homecoming took place in San Marcos, Texas, a city of 50,000, as the body of Capt. Paul Peña, 27, was brought home. Some 500 people waving American flags lined downtown's main street as the hearse carrying the West Point graduate's body passed by in a large motorcade of police cars and motorcycles, noted the Austin American-Statesman. American flags hung in nearly every storefront, the paper noted.   Peña and a fellow soldier were killed by a roadside bomb on Jan. 19 in Afghanistan.

Mayor Susan Narvaiz explained that "The focus is on supporting the family... and show how proud we are of Capt. Peña."  

According to the Statesman:  

The crowd included a flag detail from the San Marcos High School Junior ROTC cadets and several local leaders, including Hays County Judge Liz Sumter and state Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs. Some took a break from work or class to show their support.  

"I'm just here to honor those who serve our country, particularly this fellow citizen from San Marcos," said Aaron Scott , pastor of the Church of the Cross, whose office is on the square.  

As in other small towns across America, the most complete records of such solemn homecomings may often be found on privately made videos posted on YouTube. Yesterday's return of Capt. Peña's body was no exception as is underscored by this YouTube clip.

President Obama dithered for months about the future of the U.S.-led missions in Afghanistan and Iraq. But no such second-guessing is evident in small towns and cities in America's red states. From Daytona Beach, Florida, to Spokane, Washington  -- residents invariably turn out in large numbers to honor fallen soldiers as their remains are brought home in solemn motorcades.  

Yesterday, another such homecoming took place in San Marcos, Texas, a city of 50,000, as the body of Capt. Paul Peña, 27, was brought home. Some 500 people waving American flags lined downtown's main street as the hearse carrying the West Point graduate's body passed by in a large motorcade of police cars and motorcycles, noted the Austin American-Statesman. American flags hung in nearly every storefront, the paper noted.   Peña and a fellow soldier were killed by a roadside bomb on Jan. 19 in Afghanistan.

Mayor Susan Narvaiz explained that "The focus is on supporting the family... and show how proud we are of Capt. Peña."  

According to the Statesman:  

The crowd included a flag detail from the San Marcos High School Junior ROTC cadets and several local leaders, including Hays County Judge Liz Sumter and state Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs. Some took a break from work or class to show their support.  

"I'm just here to honor those who serve our country, particularly this fellow citizen from San Marcos," said Aaron Scott , pastor of the Church of the Cross, whose office is on the square.  

As in other small towns across America, the most complete records of such solemn homecomings may often be found on privately made videos posted on YouTube. Yesterday's return of Capt. Peña's body was no exception as is underscored by this YouTube clip.