These are always delicate assignments... Honoring the life of a fallen soldier by sharing details of the soldier's life and sacrifice while not getting in the way of grieving loved ones.
In tackling this story I contacted anyone BUT the family of Sgt. Christopher Cooper who died in a non-combat incident while serving in Iraq October 30th.
I talked to the Missouri Captain of the Patriot Guard, military veterans who show up to facilitate in escorting the soldiers body from the airport to the funeral home to the cemetery.
He checked to see if the family would be okay with us being outside the funeral home during the visitation tonight. They were, as long as we didn't get to close.
Then I called the director of the funeral home to get a specific definition of "too close." Back of the parking lot was fine. The family would see our live truck but as long as we didn't approach them, they were fine with our presense.
The Patriot Guard Captain, Mike Gibbs explained the struggle grieving families of soldiers go through regarding media coverage. In most cases they want the world to know about their loved one's sacrifice... they're just not up for telling the story themselves.
We were happy to oblidge. Telling the public a little bit about this 28-year old wanted to make the military his career, and how he loved his army buddies like they were family is our pleasure.
Sgt. Cooper will be buried at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery Thursday, November 11th... Veterans' Day.