VICKSBURG, Mich. (WOOD) - Hundreds of people lined the streets of Vicksburg to pay their final respects to a US Army captain from Scotts.
Capt. Drew Russell was killed in Afghanistan on Oct. 8.
The funeral at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church was filled with about 500 family and friends of 25-year-old Drew Russell. Rev. Chris Ankley officiated over the service.
Ankley told those assembled that the 2004 Vicksburg High School graduate was a good, kind and dependable man. Russell was described as a man who gave his life so others can live.
He was also described as a man "born to be a soldier."
Following the service, about 150 vehicles in the funeral procession wove through Vicksburg's streets. The line of cars was escorted by emergency vehicles from several different agencies. Vicksburg Police cruisers blocked off several city streets that led to Russell's final resting place, Vicksburg Cemetery.
Each of Vicksburg's streets were lined with people silently honoring the sacrifice he made.
One of those people was Mike Wagner. "He's a hero and, you know, it's time to pay my respects," said Wagner.
Rain hitting the ground and tires sloshing through puddles were the only sounds heard during the procession.
"Someone told me when it rains on a day like this that its God's tears," said Beverly Smelker. "So I like to keep that in mind, that He's feeling the pain of this family."
Smelker drove to Vicksburg from her home in Sturgis to pay her respects.
Russell and Capt. Joshua Lawrence of Nashville, Tenn. both died that day after enemy forces attacked their unit in Kandahar province. According to the Department of Defense, the two were killed in Afghanistan earlier this month when their unit was attacked by a rocket propelled grenade.
Lawrence, and his family, were remembered in Thursday's funeral ceremony as well.
Russell was buried with full military honors at the Vicksburg Cemetery, his family was presented with several medals.
US flags in Michigan are lowered in his honor by order of Governor Snyder.
Memorials may be directed to the Wounded Warrior Project.
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