A Texas Town Honors a Soldier Killed in Afghanistan on Memorial Day

Pfc. Anthony M. Nunn, 19, died on Memorial Day in Afghanistan - killed by an improvised explosive devise while on patrol in Paktika Province, a mountainous region along Pakistan's border. On Tuesday, his body was returned home to Burnet, Texas, a city of 4,735 that's 48 miles northwest of the capital of Austin.

The Austin American-Statesman has a poignant and must-see photo essay of the hero's welcome that Nunn got when his hearse, part of a long motorcade, passed along main street. Hundreds of solemn-faced residents - men, women and children - waved American flags and crossed their hearts as temperatures hovered around 100 degrees.

"I didn't know Anthony," said Dan Bullock, 44, who was waiting in his pickup along U.S. 281, according to the Statesman's article about Nunn's final homecoming. "But he's from Burnet and we're a tight-knit community and everybody feels like he's one of ours and we lost one."
 
"Nunn," the Statesman added, "was the second Burnet soldier killed in Afghanistan in the past year. In July, Capt. Jason Holbrook, 28, was also killed near the Pakistan border." Holbrook was a West Point graduate.
 
George Banks, a Vietnam veteran who commands VFW Post 6974, put things into perspective. "Nunn was 19 years old. He didn't have a chance to even live a life. And with Capt. Holbrook, it was basically the same thing. It's a sad thing, but when the call to war comes, we go."
 
Similar homecoming are happening in towns and cities across America, as fallen soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq return home -- traveling from a local airport to a funeral home by way of main street. These sad homecomings aren't covered by the agenda-setting New York Times or CNN; that's for local television stations and newspapers to do.
 
The Statesman's account, for its part, unintentionally touches upon something that Americans glued to the 24-hour news cycle are apt to forget; that small-town America, in its bedrock patriotism and strong community spirit, is light years away from the headlines and buzz generated by national news outlets and pundits in New York and Washington. To understand that, just look at the honest faces of the people lining main street in Burnet, Texas.
 
Funeral services for Nunn, who'd been in Afghanistan less then two months, are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.
 
(Editor's Note: Austin's KXAN news channel also covered Nunn's final homecoming in a report that may be seen on YouTube.)

Pfc. Anthony M. Nunn, 19, died on Memorial Day in Afghanistan - killed by an improvised explosive devise while on patrol in Paktika Province, a mountainous region along Pakistan's border. On Tuesday, his body was returned home to Burnet, Texas, a city of 4,735 that's 48 miles northwest of the capital of Austin.

The Austin American-Statesman has a poignant and must-see photo essay of the hero's welcome that Nunn got when his hearse, part of a long motorcade, passed along main street. Hundreds of solemn-faced residents - men, women and children - waved American flags and crossed their hearts as temperatures hovered around 100 degrees.

"I didn't know Anthony," said Dan Bullock, 44, who was waiting in his pickup along U.S. 281, according to the Statesman's article about Nunn's final homecoming. "But he's from Burnet and we're a tight-knit community and everybody feels like he's one of ours and we lost one."
 
"Nunn," the Statesman added, "was the second Burnet soldier killed in Afghanistan in the past year. In July, Capt. Jason Holbrook, 28, was also killed near the Pakistan border." Holbrook was a West Point graduate.
 
George Banks, a Vietnam veteran who commands VFW Post 6974, put things into perspective. "Nunn was 19 years old. He didn't have a chance to even live a life. And with Capt. Holbrook, it was basically the same thing. It's a sad thing, but when the call to war comes, we go."
 
Similar homecoming are happening in towns and cities across America, as fallen soldiers from Afghanistan and Iraq return home -- traveling from a local airport to a funeral home by way of main street. These sad homecomings aren't covered by the agenda-setting New York Times or CNN; that's for local television stations and newspapers to do.
 
The Statesman's account, for its part, unintentionally touches upon something that Americans glued to the 24-hour news cycle are apt to forget; that small-town America, in its bedrock patriotism and strong community spirit, is light years away from the headlines and buzz generated by national news outlets and pundits in New York and Washington. To understand that, just look at the honest faces of the people lining main street in Burnet, Texas.
 
Funeral services for Nunn, who'd been in Afghanistan less then two months, are scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday.
 
(Editor's Note: Austin's KXAN news channel also covered Nunn's final homecoming in a report that may be seen on YouTube.)


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