Special escort for 8 U.S. soldiers on their way to final rest

Patriot Guard escort fallen service members

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - The remains of eight U.S. soldiers who were missing in action received a special escort as they passed through Lubbock on Thursday, on their way to their final rest.

The eight U.S. veterans were escorted through Lubbock by a group of motorcycle riders called the Patriot Guard Riders. They arrived in Lubbock around 9:45 a.m. at the Love's Truck Stop at I-27 & FM 2641 for fuel. A collection of DPS officers were assigned the entire way. Each county and some municipalities will pick up the transport in their respective jurisdictions.

Lubbock County Sheriff's Office handed the lead over to LPD Motors. LPD took a parade route headed east on Regis to MLK Blvd, N. Loop on to South E. Drive. Lubbock County Sheriff's Office then took the lead and proceeded to Garza County on Hwy 84, where Garza County took over.

Lubbock was just one stop in this journey. The group started in Amarillo.

"Their motivation is to get these gentleman to their final resting place where they belong," Patriot Guard Riders Secretary Brenda Rowell said.

The soldiers have been identified as Don Stewart, Coy Washington Black, Robert Pete Brunner, Floyd Ray White, Andrew Benson Bramlett, George Machoul Aswad II, Everett Earl Criss and Dana Dean Milton Jr.

  • Don Stewart served in the Army during the Korean War from 1953 to 1955.
  • Coy Washington Black served in the Navy during the Korean War from 1954 to 1958.
  • Robert Pete Brunner served in the Army during the Korean War from 1951 to 1954.
  • Floyd Ray White served in the United States Marine Corps during Vietnam from 1968 to 1970.
  • Andrew Benson Bramlett served in the Army during the Vietnam War from 1973 to 1976.
  • George Machoul Aswad II served in the Navy during Vietnam in 1974.
  • Everett Earl Criss served in the Navy from 1960 to 1964.
  • Dana Dean Milton Jr. served in the Army during WWII, Navy during the Korean War, Air Force during Vietnam and received a Purple Heart.

"Many of them pass away and there's no identification or anything like that," Joel Carver with the Missing in America Project said. "It makes difficult to find any relatives."

So the Patriot Guard Riders become their family, giving these veterans a proper burial.

"It's honoring our veterans, it's what we need to do. These veterans have been gone for anywhere from a year to more than a year and they deserve to be buried with honors," Rowell said. "Since they don't have family, we step in and we are their family."

The transport will continue to travel through Post, Sweetwater, Ballinger, Menard, and  Kerville. They will have the interment at the Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio at 1 p.m. on Friday.

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