A fallen South Plains soldier has made his final trip home. Private First Class Brynn Naylor died in Iraq a week ago after enemy forces attacked his unit in Baghdad.
Thursday morning NewsChannel 11 was invited to join Naylor as he arrived in Lubbock. There, a small gathering of family and friends waving American flags welcomed him home.
Greeted by an honor guard from Fort Hood, Texas with family and friends looking on, Private First Class Brynn Naylor arrived back home. And while painful, Naylor's Stepfather Robert McGuire says it a homecoming Brynn would have wanted.
"When you are in the military you have to talk about these types of things and we're following what he wanted to do," McGuire said.
The 21-year-old grew up in Shallowater, where his mother still lives. However, he graduated from high school in Roswell, New Mexico after moving to live with his father.
McGuire says Brynn enlisted in the Army soon after graduation and deployed to Iraq in October of 2006.
"Brynn knew the risks and he was willing to do it," McGuire added.
However, less than two weeks after his 21st birthday, Naylor was killed in Baghdad.
"The hardest thing with the loss over in Iraq is the family just didn't know. They couldn't envision it because they hadn't been there. They couldn't envision where he lived what he was doing, who he was with," Bernarr Treat, the spokespersons for Naylor's father said.
Treat said they flew in from New Mexico for Brynn's arrival in Lubbock.
"At least to get this done, to know that he's back here on home turf that's what the goal was," Treat added.
Brynn was expected home before the New Year. Instead, on Thursday Patriot Guard Riders escorted his casket to Resthaven Funeral Home here in Lubbock.
"Our mission is to pay our respects to the fallen soldiers. So we came here to provide an accompanied and escort him back. We just feel like it's the least we can do," J.D. McNamara, of the Patriot Guard Riders said.
"He made it for Christmas," McGuire added.
Friends and family in Roswell celebrated Naylor's life Thursday afternoon at a memorial service.
Here in Lubbock, friends are welcome to pay their respects from six until eight Friday evening at Resthaven Funeral Home.
At Naylor's request, his funeral will take place in Shallowater and he will be buried next to his grandfather in Plainview Memorial Park Cemetery on Saturday.
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